When in the Town Square, I couldn't help being drawn to the renaissance styled 16th century Town hall with its ceramic chimes from the famous Meissen factory, painted with the Gmunden pattern (green flames).
There are only 19 ceramic chimes worldwide, so its worth having a look at and staying for them to play
The Glockenspeil bells hang in the balcony of city hall facade.
I came to the old part of town by walking along the Esplanade. After viewing the Rathaus, I just started wandering the old town and found an arched entrance way for cars to pass through if coming across the River Traun. This was dated 1278 and had the Gmunden coat of arms located above the arches.
I wandered further up the hill, and this is what you must do too, for here I found some beautifully decorated historic buildings. I found another square, and another fountain! This is where the historic Church is, and where I found George and the Dragon in a niche on the outside wall.
On another building, and in another niche was the cute Dalmation dog and his master. I loved this part of town, infact, I thought Gmunden was lovely!
When I was walking along the Esplanade, I came across this lovely park.
In the centre, was a fountain full of clear water and surrounded by a bed of flowering Snapdragons. In the centre of the Fountain, is a man carrying a huge salt crystal. Gmunden is known for its ancient salt mine.
There are more flower beds and a statue of Emperor Franz Josef.
There is seating, cafes, and a lakeside view, what more could you ask for!
As we were driving out of Gmunden, we passed by this Kloster. It isn't in the old part of town, but across the bridge.
Emperor Ferdinand II had the Kloster built as a base for missionary work in the Salzkammergut.
During the Second World War, the monastery had to be completely vacated. In the years 1964-1967 the interior was redesigned, in 1958 the altarpieces were restored. The whole exterior was renovated in 1978.
It is open limited hours if you wish to visit...
Sunday...7 & 9 pm
Saturdays: 7.00pm and the first Saturday of the month at 6.30pm
I call this a little Tourist Train, quite good for people like my husband who can't walk a lot.
The one at Gmunden takes you around the sights in Gumden, or it can be used as a shuttle service from the town hall to Schloss Orth, and after your visit in the Schloss Orth, you can easily come back with the train. The trip takes 20 minutes. This is a good option for the elderly.
The Train departs near the Town Hall of Gmunden.
One way ticket: ADULTS... 1.50euro
Day ticket (hop on / hop off) 2.50euros
Schloss Ort was an attractive looking Castle that was sitting on an island on Lake Traunsee. A walkway from the mainland takes you across to the Schloss.
The Castle wasn't open for tours as it was being used as a Restaurant and for weddings, etc.
Never mind, I still had a good view of the Schloss from the mainland. The Schloss is very old, built in 1080. It has an onion-domed tower doorway leading to a courtyard, lined on two sides by arcaded galleries in the style of the 16th century.
The Schloss changed hands many times until 1595, when it was sold to the city of Gmunden, however, they sold the castle to Rudolf II that same year. The castle then passed to other owners before finally being acquired by Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor.
The castle fell into some disrepair until 1979, luckily, the city of Gmunden acquired the Castle again in 1995.
It has been used as a location for the TV series Schlosshotel Orth.
I was very happy the doors were open of this Roman Catholic church in Gmunden. This Church was first mentioned in 1270.
The three-aisled basilica is built in Gothic style, and inside are some remnants of Gothic frescoes. Over time, the Church has been remodelled, the Tower rebuilt and the choir area altered.
During World War II, the original bells were melted down for metal.
Restoration of the church building between 1946/1947, discovered two Gothic frescoes, both under arches on the south side of the outside of the Church. The frescoes have been dated to about 1525.
Inside, it has some wonderful works of art, one such piece, is the Three king altar, done by a Bavarian Baroque sculptor.
When we arrived at Gmunden, we found parking along the Esplanade. As it happened, the Esplanade ran for a long way, so we had a bit of a walk to the city centre.
The whole length of the lakeside walk was 2 km. It was an enjoyable walk, one that quite a few people were doing, perhaps because it was market day. I walked past flowerbeds full of lovely bright Pink roses, past fountains, beautiful buildings, a wonderful childrens playground, to the harbour and beach.
I believe there is another lakeside walk that follows the River Traun for 2 km. I loved it, and if you know where to look to the south on a clear day, you will see the crests of the Erlakogel, which are shaped like a recumbent woman and known as the "Sleeping Greek."
What a sight were the lakefront Roses and the Paddle steamer Gisela!
The Gisela is one of the oldest steamboats in the world, built in 1871. Of interest for the men, is the oscillating compound steam engine which you can watch working from the deck.
On the ship there is a buffet, music and Toilets.
It can be used for weddings, birthdays and important events.
CRUISES.....mid-May to early October are mainly alternating boat circuits of the .....
NORTH...ADULTS....€7.50 1¼ hours
SOUTH ..ADULTS....€13.0 2¼ hours
North and South regions of the lake several times most days from
DAILY FULL CIRCUIT OF THE LAKE....ADULTS.....€16, 3¾ hours in July and August.
What looked to me to be a Lighthouse, is the office for buying tickets to rent Electric boats, Paddle boats and sailing boats.
Boats can only be hired in fair weather from 9 -8pm from Friday to Sunday from May.
Electric boats cost 8 euro half hour, and 13.50 euro for an hour
Paddleboats cost 6 euro half hour and 9.50 for an hour.
Sailing Boats for a half day are 50 euro and a full day 70 - 90 euro.
It wasn't open for business, probably because the day wasn't the best.
The day we were at Gmunden, the market was being held in the Market square. I always enjoy these, especially seeing the local food being cooked into different dishes for sale. There were a few stalls selling snacks, one of them was my photo. This lady had quite a queue and was doing a roaring business. Must be good food!
A trip on the Gisela (the oldest coal-fired paddle steamer in the world) is certainly a unique attraction in Gmunden. The 52-meter (170-foot) long Gisela was built in Vienna and then taken apart and transported to the Traunsee, where it was reassembled for its maiden voyage in 1872. It has been ploughing through the waters of the Traunsee ever since.
The Gisela even transported Emperor Franz Joseph to his cool summer retreat in the heart of the Salzkammergut region every year. (Gisela, not coincidentally, was the name of his first daughter.) In fact, the Habsburgs used it as a transport link between Vienna and Salzburg--at the time there were no roads between Gmunden and Bad Ischl--and an especially luxurious "Kaiserkabine" (Emperor's Cabin) was designed for their exclusive use.
It seemed in 1980 that the Gisela was soomed to an ignoble death as, dilapidated and rusting, it appeared in imminent danger of breaking up. Only an initiative of the Association of fFriends of Gmunden saved it fromt he scrap heap. First of all the ship was declared an historic moument. Later, when the necessary funds were allocated, it was restored to its original grandeur. My brother-in-law worked on rebuilding the engine in the mid-80's. He and his fellow students at the time, were assigned this task in their engineering department.
Traunsee is my favorite lake in Austria because there are so many nice mountains around. Gmunden is a nice village and on the townhall there are bells, making a melody several times every day, that is nice. I also like the old steam-boat on Traunsee, it is called Gisela.
Do not miss looking at this beautiful building in the town square. It is the Rathaus - Town Hall, and is the third in Gmunden's history.
The Town Hall (1756) with its beautiful stucco decoration, was once the centre of the salt trade. Above the second story there is the town's coat of arms, displaying the major characteristics of Gmunden, such as fish, a salt container, a mountain a green lake and a salt boat. Right at the top there is a clock flanked buy the red, white, red shield and the coat of arms of Upper Austria and the imperial double eagle.
The Schiller Linde Baum (Schiller Basswood tree) is one of the most prominent trees along Gmunden's Esplanade and has special significance. I photographed it in the winter, and as such, I'll have to go back in summer to get a picture of it in bloom. There is an inscriptoin at the base of the tree which reads, "Was auch draus werde -steh' zu deinem Volk, Es ist dein angeborner Platz", which means, roughly translated, whatever happens, be true to your people, this is the place of your birth. It also states that the tree was planted in 1905.