Architecture buffs will enjoy the interior of Pfarrkirche St Michael which features seven altars carved by Meinrad Guggenbichler who I never heard of until I visited here, but apparently he was a famous Swiss sculptor who dedicated much of his life to beautifying the monastery here in Mondsee as well as the church.
A slight oddity of the town of Mondsee is that it's built about 500 yards off of the lake. However, it's just a quick, slightly downhill walk to the waterfront and there you'll find a nice walking promenade and small grassy park as well as a couple places to eat and some boat docks. Here you can also rent boats and windsurfing boards or just enjoy the view of the lake that shares the town's name. The word Mondsee, in fact, means "moon lake" because the lake itself resembles the shape of the crescent moon.
Main market square
Mondsee's main market square sits right in front of the church of the former Benedictine monastery and is lined with great cafes all with with outdoor seating. The buildings in the square are really colorful and interesting and provide a beautiful setting for a meal.
You'll also find a few shops in the square and on the streets jutting off of the square.
Just to the left of the entrance to the church, you'll find the Heimatmuseum which has items from over the years collected from the former monastery. Remember, this place was founded way back in the 8th century, so there are many artifacts that have been collected over the years. In fact, there are items here that date back to 2500 B.C. that are believed to be relics from inhabitants who lived on the lake in dwellings built on stilts.
To the right and slightly behind the church you'll find a nicely manicured little park with this memorial that I think is some kind of war memorial, although I couldn't read it.
If you continue up the hill on this side of the church, you'll end up at the Freilichtmuseum, which includes a few wooden houses that depict 18th century life in the town. One of the houses, the Rachhaus ("smoke house") is a farmhouse and gives you a true sense of what life must have been like for people back then. I didn't walk up and see this, but you can see plenty of pictures of it on VT member, globetrott's Mondsee page.
We were here in May and thank-goodness we decided to walk the Promenade late afternoon when the sun was out, as in the morning, low fog spoilt the views!
There is a good size car park which I imagine may be full on weekends or in the holiday season. From the carpark, we walked across a well maintained park with Toilets and good playground equipment, before reaching the promenade and the lake.
This is such a lovely promenade to walk or sit and enjoy the lake and the faboulous mountain views. I saw the wooden boatsheds sitting in the water and in the distance, more lake side village. The Kiosk with outside umbrellas was closed, at least now you know there is one! As I walked further along, I came to the pretty marina where the water was calm, a chance for some reflection photos. Next to the Marina was a Restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a very nice place to enjoy a romantic evening meal.
This Promenade was where if I had more time, I would enjoy walking a lot further!
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Other than leisure activities, the main reason that people visit Mondsee is to see this church. It began as the church for the former Benedictine monastery which was the whole reason the town was founded way back in the 8th century. Today it's known officially as Pfarrkirche St Michael, although it's also known as the "Wedding Church" from the movie "The Sound of Music."
Advent in Mondsee
Advent in Mondsee is a great christmasmarket in front of the church of Mondsee. I have been there last year and it looks very romantique when the village of Mondsee is covered by snow. It is open obviously only at the 4 weekends before 24. dezember.
- Adventure Travel
Boat trip on Mondsee
One of the reasons for visiting Mondsee was to try a boat trip on the lake. The lake is one of the warmest in Austria and is popular with swimmers. We were really lucky because the first place we tried the boat which is also called Mondsee was just about to leave at 1030am. It was a good choice and only cost us about 6.80 euros each and the trip lasted about 1 hour. The boat is the largest on the lake and can take up to 120 people, it was launched in 2009. Because we spoke to the captain when we purchased the ticket, he did some of the commentary in English. The boat has a range of refreshments and snacks and there are some roast trips in the evenings with a meal included in the price.
- Sailing and Boating
CRUISE LAKE MONDSEE
Want an inexpensive enjoyable time, well a cruise is the way to go! I prefer to book on the day so I can see that the weather is great, making for an enjoyable cruise.
The Boat "Mondseeland" has an open top deck, the best place for taking photos, but also the coldest, so rug up. As we cruise, information is given on the sights we are seeing, the old Villas and the breeding Herons in the nature conservation area. If your with a non-English speaking group, you can always ask the Captain to explain in English.
Cruises even run in winter, that is if the lake is not frozen over and at least 15 people do the cruise.
BOATS DEPART from the Marina
May - October (min. 10 persons) 10.30 am, 12.00 am, 1.45 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.15 pm, 5.15 pm, 7.30 pm and on request
Winter - only on sunny days and with a min of 10 persons 12.00 pm, 2.00 pm and on request
Guglhupf Trip € 7,20
Scharfling Trip € 8,00
Adults € 6,80 1HOUR CRUISE
children 6 to 12 years half price
- Sailing and Boating
- Budget Travel
ST. MICHAEL'S BASILICA
Did you see the Sound of Music?
Do you remember Maria and Georg von Trapp's wedding?
Then you had better make sure you see the inside of St. Michael's Basilica, as this is where the wedding in the film took place!
St. Michael's Basilica is situated right in the middle of the town centre and next door is the monastery building and courtyards which your free to walk around. It is easy to spot the two 52 metre high towers of this former Benedictine abbey church anywhere in Mondsee.The Basilica is painted yellow and white and has the figures of Saints Peter and Paul on the façade.
In the year 748, the Bavarian Duke Odilo II founded the monastery Mondsee on the remains of a Roman settlement.
Today, sits a late-Gothic church that was consecrated in 1487.
I thought it was beautiful inside and a MUST VISIT.
Salzburg sculptor Hans Waldburger designed the18 m high early Baroque high altar. More altars were built in the monastery church, these included the Holy Spirit Altar, the Wolfgang Altar, the Corpus Christi Altar, the poor souls altar, the Sebastian Altar, the altar dedicated to St. Peter Altar. Later, other altars were added, this time by Franz Anton Koch. These were the John altar, the altar Josef, the Anna or Virgin altar and Antonius altar. The altar cross was put together by a Mondsee sculptor. All the Altars I thought were outstanding pieces of work!
The three-aisled Basilica is one of the most prominent, as well as the largest monuments in Austria.
In 2005, the former monastery church was made a Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II.
The same year, renovation of the interior began that included every part of the Basilica. It took 3 years to complete and now the Atlars and the Basilica interior sparkle!
OPEN DAILY - 9am - 7pm
ADMISSION IS FREE
More photos in travelogue
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
St Michael's Church
Whilst wandering around the town of Mondsee we came upon the town centre. An ornate path lead to St Michael’s Church. One of the reasons people come to this is area is because of the film ‘The Sound of music’. St Michael’s Church was used for the filming of the wedding of Maria and Captain Von Trapp. The church was extremely busy and another reason is its history which dates back to the 12th century, it is also one of the largest churches in this area. The beautiful Baroque interior dates back to the 17th century.
Almeidapark is part of the quay at Mondsee. I found it a well kept lawned area with something for everyone, especially for children. There's a fantastic playground, pathways where some joggers went past, plenty of benches, and you can go for a stroll with your dog.
It's a wonderful spot for a picnic, or perhaps enjoy a meal in a Restaurant, or buy something from the Take-away.
Plenty of off-street parking and its free.
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
- Travel with Pets
WORLD WAR MEMORIALS
After I had finished with St. Michael's Basilica, I looked around the outside, and on the right side I found War Memorials.
Attached to the wall were many memorial plates commemorating the dead from WWI and WWII.
Above all of these plates were paintings about the war.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Schloss Mondsee or Hotel Mondsee is the new name for Austria’s oldest Benedictine abbey (Mondsee Abbey) which was founded in 748. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times, then in the 16th century, the collegiate church was added. Napoleon took over the Abbey in the 18th century, then later the aristocratic family Almeida became the new owners. Countess Almeida sold the castle in 1985 to the Asamer family, who opened it as a hotel in 2001.
I didn't go inside the Hotel, so I read about how some of the old walls have been preserved and have information panels which tells you the age of the masonry. Even the old bread oven of the Benedictine monks has survived!
- Historical Travel
- Luxury Travel