The former Suedbahnhotel was built by the train-company and it used to be a Grand-Hotel in its best times, when the celebrities of Vienna started to spend their vacations and free time at Semmering at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. After WW II the business was too low for so many large hotels and after several decades the former hotel is nowadays used as a theatre during the summer-season and some part of it was also restored and sold as appartments.
You can walk around the building and take a look through the windows of the entrance-hall, it looks kind of spooky and oldfashioned with its own charme!
Suedbahnhotel waqs also a popular hotel among poets and authors and it is mentioned in various books and plays :
Arthur Schnitzler : "Das weite land"
Karl Kraus "Die letzten Tage der Menschheit"
Stefan Zweig : "Brennendes Geheimis"
Mariaschutz is mostly spelled Maria Schutz in Austria and it is a small village of just a few houses with an oversized pilgrim-church that might make sense to take a closer look, when you are on vacation in Semmering.
You can enter the church freely and without restrictions during the day and admire the fine, ornate interior. Next to the church you can also taste the giant "Krapfen" a fluffy donut-like pastry, filled with apricot jam or with nougat. I tasted the one with apricot and enjoyed it a lot.
Dr. Erwin Pröll Milleniums-Warte at Hirschenkogel is a nice place to take a look out, once that you have steped up the 155 steps of that giant wooden construction on top of Hirschenkogel in Semmering. This tower dates back to the year 1999 and you might get the idea, that the name comes from the person, who gave the money, BUT NO, it is just the highest politician, who gave the money of the ordinary population for the construction carrying his name now...
At first you have to walk about 5 minutes from the cablecar, then you step up the tower and can take a view of the landscape including Panhans & Hoehestrasse, the giant highway-bridge of Schottwien and in my last picture : the view towards Muerzzuschlag / Styria.
This tower also holds the web-cam, from where you can see Hirschenkogel everyday in ORF 2, the austrian TV, broadcasting webcams of special points all over Austria daily untill 09.00a.m.
Klamm is an interesting castle on top of a steep rock not far from Schottwien and you can almost drive all the way up to that castle by your own car. You can leave the car at the small church of the village of Klamm and step up the last few meters. The castle will have a sign "Privatbesitz/ private property", BUT you will simply walk around the castle on the small path on the right and get to that great viewpoint behind the castle.
Be prepared : take good shoes, when you intend to climb these cliffs !!
When booking a hotel in Klamm, you better ask the hotel-owners about the noises of the trains, that go there almost every 20 minutes, some hotels are affected, some are not, because of the tunnels of Klamm !
Gloggnitz is in the north of the Semmering and it is mainly worth a visit for the lovely old castle / palace, that is nowadays used for weddings and other festivities.
You will find a large carpark there and walk around the castle freely and without restrictions, there is a small museum andalso a restaurant, that are open mainly in summertime.
When you drive by car from Vienna to Semmering it certainly makes sense to leave the highway at Glocknitz and continue via the old passroad to Schottwien, maybe with a side-trip to Klamm and finally to Semmering.
Schottwien is a small village just a few km north of the village of Semmering and as you can see on my picture a giant bridge for the S5, the Schnellstrasse over the Semmering is spanning over the valley and the small village, that used to be at the northern start of the old passroad over the Semmering for several centuries, a long time before the train was built.
On my 4th picture you can see the house, where Carl Ritter von Ghega had his bureau, while the trainline was built, also the Doctor-house (my 2nd and 5th pic) and the old church are worth seeing !
The viaduct of "Kalte Rinne" is the most spectacular viaduct of Semmeringbahn and there the valley is crossed by a double series of arches. On the brochures you can see both arches, but when you search for the point to make that same picture yourself, you will find out, that the lower row of arches will always be covered by trees, so the postcards were taken from a helicopter or any other point that is not accesible for ordinary tourists.
So it might be the best to take a closer look at the model of it, that you can see at the small museum inside the train-station of the village of Semmering : see my 2nd and 3rd pictures, they even have different trains running over it to and fro.
All of the other pics show the viaduct from a short distance, I passed through it , when driving from Reichenberg to Gloggnitz, but also there, the most of it is covered by trees.
Suedbahn-museum Muerzzuschlag is a great museum about 10 km south of Semmering, at the end of the Semmering-passroad. This museum is situated in the backside of the ordinary trainststation of Muerzzuschlag and shows various exhibits about the history of the Semmering-trainline from Vienna to Triest. When you enter the museum you will have the feeling to be in an old station with the cashier behind her counter and an oldfashioned train-wagon opposite of it. That wagon has an interesting interior, beeing decorated like the emperor's wagon, that he used in order to get over the Semmering. It is used as a cafe - see also my restaurant-tip, I had an excellent coffee and applestrudel there for a total of just 3,80 euros !
The ordinary ticket for adults is 6,80 euros
including the exhibition and the Rundlok-Schuppen
20-Schilling-Blick is the viewpoint, from where you can see exactely the same panorama-view, as it was shown on the former austrian 20 Schilling-bill, a quite popular bill with a small denomination equivalent to 1,40 euros of today.
On the back it had the landscape of Semmeringbahn, at the other side it showed the face of Carl Ritter von Ghega, the architect of the train-line.
20-Schilling-blick is rather close to Semmering station
Rundlok-Schuppen is the 2nd part of the train-museum in Muerzzuschlag and it shows an interesting collection of interesting "Draisinen" - those are these light vehicles, powered first by muscular-power, later by engines, that are used in order to repair or control train-tracks the easy way, without needing to use a heavy locomotive.
Most of these vehicles could easyly be removed from the tracks, so the trains could pass by.
The name "Rundlok-Schuppen" comes from the round shed, where the locomotives are stored like in a garage and when getting out a revolving track will lead them into the ordinary train-tracks.