Seeboden: Torture & Windsurfing in Carinthia
Not quite as legendary as nearby Millstatt, Seeboden is another popular lakeside town by Lake Millstätter See. It is situated just next to the regional county town of Spittal an der Drau and due to the heavy tourism around the lake, Seeboden is a rather popular place. Beyond windsurfing, hiking and swimming, the town has also contributed a great deal to the understanding of Carinthia′s past in the time of antiquity.
Many archaeological digs were undertaken here, as Seeboden is one of the most rewarding excavation sites in the province. The Roman "highway" Via Iulia Augusta passed today′s town, and a side road to Iuvavum (Salzburg) branched off where modern Seeboden can be found.
The constant stream of traffic on the north-south route ensured the antique town a booming economy and many scholars believe that this road was the first that the Romans built to cross the eastern Alps. Today, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is a good place to learn more about the Romans in Carinthia; alongside with the various town museums in the province.
Seeboden Sights: Torture, Bonsais & Gründerzeit Villas
The centuries that followed were probably less eventful: Even religious wars and Turkish invasions failed to get as far as Seeboden. Influenced by the similarly calm Salzburg, Seeboden′s landlords were the Counts of Lodron from Gmünd since 1651. One of Salzburg′s most important Prince Archbishops, Paris Lodron, was a descendant of this family.
Following the construction of the railway network in Austria, Seeboden became a fashionable holiday destination. In terms of sightseeing, the opportunities are limited. There is a Bonsai Museum for people with specialist interests (also known as "nerds"), a few reminiscences from the time when Viennese aristocrats paraded the Millstätter See - such as a park and a few nicer villas (although this is better in Millstatt), and a museum for fisheries.
Somewhat outside of the town you will find Burg Sommeregg Castle. The building itself is not overly spectacular in a country full of impressive fortresses, yet it is a popular trip-destination for its inside: It houses the supposedly "biggest
museum of torture in Central Europe". Until the age of enlightenment with the two reform monarchs of
Empress Maria Theresia and her son Emperor Joseph II, torture was a common mean for information retrieval. The
tools employed for such endeavours are displayed here, alongside with information on modern means of torture
and the fight against it by Amnesty International.