The Lake from another perspective
23rd April blog
Some fantastic and stunning videos of the Wolfgangsee for our subscribers.
Here are the links:
In this time of little movement, we felt that some history would be interesting for our readers.
The Abersee, as the Wolfgangsee was originally called, is mentioned for the first time in 790 by Bishop Arno (Notitia Arnonis) as “Abriani Lacus”.
The lake area, including hunting and fishing rights, came to the Salzburg bishop through a donation by the Duke of Bavaria, Odilo.
The cultivation was carried out under the guidance of monks by Bavarian settlers and was completed in the valley corridors as early as the 13th century.Christianization started from both the St. Peter Monastery in Salzbur This was founded in 696, and the Mondsee Monastery, was founded in 748.
This competitive situation often led to disputes about existing borders and rights. The first church was built around 1300 and dedicated to St. Egydius.After the patron saint, the village of Oberdrum, which had only 8-10 houses, was given the name St. Gilgen.
The church was rebuilt in 1425, the lower part of the tower and the porch date from that time.Until the 14th century, St. Gilgen was administered from Thalgau, which was also the responsible parish.To protect the sovereign border, the “Veste Hüttenstein” was built around 1326 at the Scharflingpass.
Around 1400 Hüttenstein became the seat of its own nursing court, which administered today’s municipalities of St. Gilgen and Strobl am Wolfgangsee and Fuschl am See.
The nursing court was moved to St. Gilgen around 1600. 1719-1720 the caretaker Wolfgang Niklas Pertl had the new courthouse built. His daughter Anna Maria Walburga was born here on December 25, 1720, the mother W.A. Mozart’s.
St. Gilgen was made vicariate in 1570 and parish in 1856.
Under the care of Franz Anton Berchtold v. The parish church was completely redesigned in 1767-1769, the father-in-law of Mozart’s sister Nannerl.
From the uniform baroque furnishings, the following should be emphasized:
the figures on the high altar created by Simeon Friess in 1695, a Madonna by Meinrad Guggenbichler and the altarpieces of the two side altars attributed to Paul Troger.
The well-shaped church tower received its present shape in 1705-1728.
Until 1600, St. Gilgen remained a small fishing and farming village. In the first half of the 17th century, there was a modest upswing due to the lace making and the Aberseer bowl turning shop. The glassworks in Aich was founded in 1701 under Johann Ernst Graf Thun. The archbishopric’s only glass factory was closed around 1820. Shipping was of great importance, especially since numerous pilgrims had to be taken to the pilgrimage site of St. Wolfgang, and the iron was transported over the lake from the iron defeat in Strobl to St. Gilgen for more than 300 years.
Steam shipping started operating in 1873.
In the 1880s, Viennese doctors and industrialists discovered St. Gilgen as a summer retreat and had beautiful villas built on the lake.
With the development of traffic technology by the Salzkammergut local railway, which was completed in 1893, the final change to a tourist destination took place.
Free face masks for everyone when shopping
It came as a bit of a surprise today, that we all have to wear a face mask in the supermarket.
First thoughts were…how do I get out to buy a face mask…but on listening close to the Government new regulation, the supermarkets will be responsible to supply a free mnask to all customers as they shop.
The children of course think this is hilarious…their giggles being that we will all look like Doctors in the hospital.
We are not sure yet that the proposed end date of 10th April will be met….we guess it will be extended untilk end of April at least.
The children have managed very well, but the niggles are starting as they get more fractious with each other!
Virus in Wolfgangsee
Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that there are a few cases of the virus at Wolfgangsee. Both villages of St Wolfgang and St Gilgen are affected. But this is hardly surprising as it it is a main tourism area.
But unlike Tirol, Salzburgland is not trying to cover up virus cases.
We are all under stay at home orders, so the children are studying from home via internet with school. They still moan about the amount of homework …so all is normal.!
Here is the webcam for the Wolfgangsee so you can keep upto date with local life. https://strobl.panomax.com/
The village is following regulations put out by Salzburg gov, so all resturants and bars are closed. It is amazing to see the village without the normal hoards of tourists spilling out of their tour Buses!
You will see from the village webcam how deserted the streets are…But if you want to see the village in colour try the Street view link, at least you can enjoy the beauty…and of course stay safe.
Wolfgangsee schools closures?
Because of Coronavirus, and to help contain the virus, the local schools have decided, that from next Tuesday, pupils who can do so, should stay at home.
They have been given access codes to use the internet for all their school work. The junior schools are giving the pupils homework packs to cover at least 2 weeks.
The Easter holidays start at begin of April, so this effectively keeps the pupils home for a month or more.
Peculiar or what??
Something that always fascinates our guests is the pricing structure for petrol and Diesel.
Take for example…the school run in the early morning…the price can be 1.06 euro, then come 11am the price is 1.15….then come 2pm the price can be 1.10…then after 5pm, the price is back to 1.06!!
So, why the disparity…well I have asked a few different Petrol garages and they say, it is because the Government set the prices and they just get emails during the day stating the price to be charged!! So, here we are …it is all about tax.!!
I guess if the Government is trying to balance the books, what easier way than to have an instant tax increase? So if you are visiting and needing fuel…either buy in the morning or evening.
Fasching officially over!
Tuesday was Fasching Dienstag (Shrove Tuesday in UK)
This is a day when many people dress up during the working day to bring a little fun to the supermarket, office or school classroom.
The teachers in our local school excelled themselves with various crazy costumes, much to the delight of the pupils.
It does have the desired effect in that everyone seems less stressed….perhaps we should have a Fasching Dienstag every week!!
The weather is un-seasonably warm, as today it is 8.5 degrees, when it would normally be around zero or below. So there is no snow in the lower lakeside villages, but enough in the higher ski villages above 1,000 mtrs.
So, local schools broke up for the half term and the children are getting ready for the Fasching Fun!
Most schools will return next Monday and this starts the fancy dress parties for the children…and besides dressing up fun..there are free Krapfen (Donuts) for all children…one of the main attractions!!
The adults get their chance at the weekend following on 22nd February, this is when most of the Facshing balls take place..leading up to Rosen Montag (Rose Monday, more for Germany) and Fasching Dienstag (Shrove Tuesday)
Woken by the snow tractor this morning!
It is great that the snow is cleared to allow people to get to their work place or office….but at 5 am!
The local authorities clear the streets and roads to allow people to get to work, then if it is still snowing they clear again around midday, and then they clear again around 4pm to allow for people coming home from work or the office. Talk about Germanic effeciency!
So, anyhow, I should not complain, as there are very few times that one is stuck because of snow..but unfortunately last evening was one of them…I had taken the children to village tobaggan and learner ski area. I had checked the forecast and it was for light snow showers….But it started snowing very heavily, so to be on safe side we decided to head for home as the snow was fast piling up!
On driving up the main road out of the village the local bus had got stuck…causing a tailback…but what was worse, was the typical Austrian ‘Me first’ attitude of the cars coming down the hill, making it impossible to get past the bus…then when one did, that was it! … total chaos for an hour or so, with nowhere to go either forward or back.
It does not happen often, but when it does…………
Is now a good time to visit Wolfgangsee?
It is….. if you want to ski, as the family friendly ski areas of the Postalm and Dachstein have plenty of snow.
But what if you just want to relax and chill? Well, After the 6 week long advent many hotels. guesthouses and restaurants close until February, when they start on the Fasching celebrations (Carnival) So there is a feeling of nothing open…which is not strictly true as many simply extend the weekend to 3/4 days, as there are fewer non ski-ing guests and no point to keep a restaurant open for a few visitors!
So, look to the Fasching (Carnival) period, which tends to be around the Half term week..so from 14th Feb onwards. The Fasching celebrations and Balls, at Wolfgangsee, are mainly on the weekend of 21/22nd Feb, and when I checked some flight prices..you could come to Austria with Easyjet from 25 euros!!
You can see more Carnival info here with the local tourism.
This is the scene from winter January a few years ago…a completely frozen lake, that people even road bikes on!!
This year is like spring time:
Today is the day of the 3 kings!
Monday, January 6, 2020 Blog
This is the final Public holiday in Austria and a most important one….Visitation by the Three Kings at the Mozartplatz in St. Gilgen.
The riding and presentation ceremony of the Dreikönigsreiten, the three kings, The Magi, is an old tradition in St.Gilgen performed since 1936. It is to replicate the gifts brought by the kings to baby Jesus at his birth.
Three local people dress up to represent Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar riding on horses making an impressive trio. Originally their clothes were made from any colourful curtains and drapes. Their crowns, stars and horse decorations were made from cardboard pasted with embossed goldpaper.
The wise men riding in impressive costumes through the village to the Mozartplatz. They will be led by a rider and an oriental themed group. With their Christmas messages, they create a reflective atmosphere amongst the crowd. The procession ends with a devotional service in the parish church where the new-born Jesus in the manger is presented with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Oh… to be a Builder!
2nd Jan 2020. Blog
You think they close down for a long time in UK! .. here the Building companies, house management companies and local councils close on 19th Dec until 7th January the following year…so what you I hear you say?
But did you know that all Austrian workers get an extra month’s salary in December………..and also an extra month salary in August! That is 14 months for 12 months work…well about 10 months after you take out their holidays and public holidays!!
Then there is the 2 weeks in a Kur hotel ( you just need a note from your doctor recommending you need a break for burn out or whatever) every 2 years.
Yep…why work for yourself when you can have a life as an over worked employee in Austria? Think I know where all the EU contributions go??
Perhaps ‘Border Force’ should inform all the illegal visitors to the Uk!!
Silvester Fever time!
The word ‘Silvester’ is the German version for what we know as Hogmany or New year’s eve.
Now that Christmas is over until the Day of the 3 Kings on 6th January and Advent markets are finished…. the Austrian’s look forward with joy to the New year celebrations.
They treat Christmas more as a celebration for the church and children, their own fun being Silvester. The biggest thing about Silvester are the fireworks! Every village goes a little crazytrying to outdo each other with their displays and perhaps over the top because their favourite fireworks are the ones that make the most noise!
All around Wolfgangsee lake the main villages of St Gilgen, Strobl and St Wolfgang, between them do their best to wreck the eardrums of all residents and send the dogs and cats into hiding!! Some years the fireworks are still going at 3 & 4am!!
Of course there is the more sedate enjoyment of waltzing with your partner in the streets to the sounds of Strauss….and unlike some UK cities, the ladies do not go out to celebrate in see thru mini-dresses, getting drunk and needing medical treatment for too much alcohol!
Where ever you are, Enjoy your own celebrations.
Wish your friends a Guten Rutsch before midnight (which translates as “sliding well into the next year” and a ‘Frohes neues Jahr’ after the clock has struck 12. It’s traditional to hug and kiss your fellow party guests, and then sit back and enjoy the fireworks displays.
You can check the Austria info site for Silvester in all the areas of Austria.
As we say here:
Austria weather gone crazy!!
Temparature in village is 19 degrees!! Last week it got up to 21 degrees!! More like Spain than the Alps, but this is in the lower resorts around the Austrian lakes… thankfully there is snow in higher ski resorts…so if you are coming out for winter ski break..have no fear, and if they need more snow…all the resorts have snow cannons!
When tourist crowds become plagues
Crowds at lakeside resort of Hallstatt
Austria is one of the most tourism-intensive countries in the world. Hallstatt and Salzburg are particularly affected by the overload!
Last year Hallstatt had 124 visitors per local resident!
Day tourists leave much less value in a city than overnight guests, so contribute mainly to the masses in the streets.
The locals have to deal with the large volume of traffic, with the rubbish left by the visitors, and – in smaller communities – with the tourists who look in the windows at the locals. But even the tourists themselves do not like crowded resorts.
In Hallstatt, the problem is compounded by the fact that many visitors only take a short break for a few photos, so they do not even spend money for lunch in the village.
Not sure there is an easy answer, as more nations get better income and travel more?
Source: Der Standard – Photo: REUTERS / Lisi Niesner
Advent, St Nicholas & Krampus!
6.dec. The advent markets are in full swing, and the weather is kind…crisp and clear. Makes it easier for those attending as they can enjoy their gluwein without getting wet through as in previous years.
The Krampus, I hear you ask ‘What are they?’ best that I just put a photo below!
In Central European folklore Krampus is a horned, figure described as “half-goat, half-demon”,who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved. This contrasts with St Nicholas who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.
Vienna Concert house bomb scare
Recently, a suspicious object caused a scare during a concert by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra turned out to be something quite different.
A suitcase ‘vibrating suspiciously’ gave staff a fright at Vienna concert hall, but police said they quickly defused the situation when it was found to be just a sex toy..in fact a vibrator.
An employee of the venue’s coat check sounded the alarm when she heard a piece of luggage vibrating at an event late on Tuesday, Vienna police said.
An explosives expert was sent to inspect it using X-ray equipment – only to find that a switched-on vibrator was to blame for the “suspicious movement”.
The suitcase was returned to the owner and his companion and officers “wished them a pleasant evening”, …how embarrassing!!
Blog from Wolfgangsee Austria
Welcome to our first Austria blog. We decided to start our blog with the opening of the Advent markets at Wolfgangsee 2019. We shall update the blog regularly.
We will be updating regularly with the relevant local chat to keep our interested subscribers updated with all the latest news and info from the wolfgangsee where we are based in Austria.
So,…….. the Christmas markets actually commenced last week on 21st November. There are 3 main markets around the lake, St Wolfgang, St Gilgen and Strobl…all connected by the lake ferry..so when you get bored with one, you can move onto another.
Unusually for local villages, the market at St Wolfgang is open 7 days a weekend all the way up to Christmas. The other villages around the lake, St Gilgen and Strobl, open from Thursday morning to Sunday evening. This gives all visitors the opportunity to visit different markets.
Click on ST Wolfgang advent pic for the complete Wolfgangsee Advent website.
Here is the webcam for strobl to give you a feel for the Wolfgangsee lakeside villages.
or you can view many other Austrian villages here.