Austrian hermitage recruits Belgian hermit

A divorced, Trabant-driving Belgian has emerged victorious to fill a role, beating 50 competitors to the coveted post of – hermit.

The BBC reports Stan Vanuytrecht will have no heating, running water or pay at the Saalfelden hermitage in the Austrian Alps, which has had a hermit for all of its 350 years.

The BBC adds Vanuytrecht’s beard will help as his predecessor lacked both beard and cowl, and lasted only one season, hinting at "arch-conservative Catholic" criticism.

These appear to be halcyon days for hermit hiring as only last September the Swiss city of Solothurn successfully appointed its own hermit

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