Gmunden: Salzkammergut & Porcelain - Part II
Most of today′s attractions, however, were built in the much more peaceful 19th century. This includes the "Villa Toskana", a manor for the Duke and Duchess of Tuscany and the manor "Schloss Cumberland". There is also a town theatre "Gmundner Stadttheater", which has a reputation for accommodating the tourism industry by producing mostly "tame" things such as concerts of classical music or operettas.
There is a little fountain made of porcelain on the Rinnholzplatz Square, which is supplied with tap water and suitable for drinking. And the paddle steamboat "Gisela Luise Marie von Österreich" can be seen next to the Kammerhof, which also holds the local town museum.
Another interesting mean of transport is the old tram, the steepest of Austria, which takes you straight to the main ceramics factory. In the attached outlet shop you can purchase the rustic and coarse pieces of pottery they produce. Personally, I could never quite understand the hype around the rather plain porcelain. It cannot compete with the much more delicate pieces made in Meissen or the Augarten Porzellan from Vienna - but found its market among those who fancy the style of the countryside.
Back to the real attractions: The water castle of Schloss Orth is truly impressive and famous in Austria not only for the building itself, but also for a TV series set in a (non-existing) hotel within the castle. Just follow the promenade along the lake and you will find Schloss Orth, which was originally built for the Count of Herberstorff in the 10th century.
Schloss Orth & Schloss Weyer: 3 Castles for 2
It is considered to be among the oldest buildings of the Salzkammergut, but was extended and modernised throughout its history. In the 19th century boom period, it belonged to Archduke Johann Salvator, a nephew of Emperor Franz Josef I. The castle is divided into a "Landschloss" ("land castle") and "Seeschloss" ("lake castle") and consist of two buildings: One on and one off the shore. Note the pretty Rococo well in the castle, the arcades, the Gothic chapel and the little prison tower.
The third castle worth noting in Gmunden is the Renaissance Schloss Weyer. It contains a museum with an exhibition of Meissen porcelains, finally bringing the ultimate porcelain experience in Gmunden to perfection. You will find the castle and museum approximately one kilometre east of the town centre. Beyond this, Gmunden offers many hiking opportunities. It makes a great starting point for excursions to the Mount Traunstein or Mount Grünberg. The latter one can be conquered by the cable car "Grünergbahn".
Lazy bones will also be happy about the local Strandbad, where you can go swimming in Lake Traunsee. It is the oldest cable car of its kind in all of Austria (wow!). Other attractions nearby are the Schloss Scharnstein Castle which holds a police museum, Hallstatt and the Lake Hallstätter See as well as Ebensee with its ancient salt mines and concentration camp memorials on the southern shore of Lake Traunsee.
Return to "Gmunden - Part I"