When I was looking around the Monastery, I came across the floodwater marker.
I always find these interesting, as the majority times, it is in the "old times" when the floodwaters were at their highest. Here was no exception, with the highest flood being in 1594!
Spitzvilla is another Villa, easy to see as it's painted painted bright yellow. This Villa is owned by the province of Upper Austria, so is open to the public. Important guests that have stayed here are the English King "Edward VII" and the Emperor Franz Joseph I.
There's and Cafe, and the now the pretty gardens surround the building are a public park. They were exceptionally pretty as it was "rose" time, and they were in full bloom!
There are some architecturally beautiful buildings in Traunkirchen. One of them is the Russian villa that was built between 1850 and 1854 by a Danish architect who designed many of the Ringstrasse buildings in Vienna.
The building was built for Sophie, a Russian princess. Many famous guests have resided here including Archduke Maximilian (brother of Emperor Franz Joseph), the Russian conductor Anton Rubinstein, Rainer Maria Rilke, William Kienzl and Adalbert Stifter.
The house is privately owned, so is not open to the public, I didn't mind, as the view from the outside is pretty good!
The Parish Church of Traunkirchen adjoins the Monastery. This Church is in a lovely position overlooking the Lake, and has some nice onion dome spires and is beautiful inside.
Destroyed by fire twice, it was rebuilt in Baroque style by the Jesuits after the second fire.
Now, come with me inside, because in this Church, there is a famous fisherman Pulpit which was carved in 1753 by an unknown artist.
It represents the miracle of the rich fish catch by Peter. Take a good look at this exeptional piece of art showing the apostles James and John in the boat, dragging the net filled with fish, while in the background is Christ kneeling before Peter.
The "Sounding board" has the statue of Francis Xavier, the Jesuit mission of the Apostle of India and Japan. Four brown and black figures, representatives of the Far East, are sitting at his feet. Against the Saints, there is a large crab, holding in his scissors a cross.
From the Life of St. Francis Xavier, it's said that a ship on which he found himself, was brought by a storm in great danger, in order to allay the storm, he held up his cross into the sea, where his hand was hit by a wave. After landing, he brought back a large cancer of the Holy cross.
Other sights of importance are the main picture "Maria Coronation," painted in 1754, it's rich with character jewelry.
The Village gets very busy when the Corpus Christi procession on the Lake is being performed, as it has been done each year since 1632.
As we were heading to Traunkirchen, we could see a Church sitting on a high outcrop that jutted out into the Lake. Arround it was a village. It was a very pretty sight, and it turned out to be the Village of Traunkirchen and the Johannesberg Chapel.
Once in the town, I followed the lakeside path, and then followed another path uphill through a dense stand of Yew trees. This area is actually a natural monument, with John Mountain where the Chapel is situated, an ancient piece of cult ground.
Upon reaching the Chapel, I had a look at the outside and the tall bell tower, then went inside. This Church was built around 1356, and was extended by the Jesuits. What grabbed my attention was Dutch Mannerist painting and the dark wood and carvings on the pews.
Back outside, I enjoyed the views from this high vantage point before making my way down the Mountain on a different shorter path to the Village.
This is lovely to do!
When I was in the Monastery, I exited out the door on the opposite side. This took me on a pathway beside the lake, and beside the high Monastery walls.
As I rounded a corner, infront of me were Boat sheds, one was covered in moss and very picturesque, made even more so, as the pathway wound its way up hill and under shady trees complementing the scene, a sight I could sit down and paint if I lived there!
Views were lovely, would be wonderful on a fine and sunny day. I could just imagine myself sitting here on one of the seats, what a lovely place to relax and take it easy!
I think this was one of the nicest entrances I have ever walked through into a cemetery.
Either side of the archway entrance is a lovely painted Mural.
Now, even if you aren't interested in a cemetery, take your time to come up here, as you can walk around the Church and see some wonderful views of the lake.
I am a cemetery lover, and when I saw this one next to the Parish Church, I was "wrapped!"
Austrian cemeteries are ever so pretty with their wrought iron crosses in all different styles. Some are very elaborate! Each plot, had a well cared for small flower garden and a gravel pathway took me past the graves. How pretty this cemetery was, one of the nicest I have seen.
The Traunkirchen Monastery is now owned by the parish of Traunkirchen. A very large building, painted white, I couldn't miss it!
It was in 1020 that Benedictine nuns from the Erinkloster in Salzburg came to Traunkirchen and built the oldest convent of Upper Austria.
During the Reformation, the Nunnery was dissolved in 1573 and was passed onto the Jesuits in Passau in the 17th century. Two major fires destroyed the monastery and the Church, the first in the year 1327, and the second in 1632.
The former monastery now is home to the International Academy (science) and the Summer Academy for Painting, also used for weddings, concerts and seminars.
If you are looking for a Toilet, then head through the arched Monastery entrance, turn left, and you will see them.
We were driving along the road to Traunkirchen from Ebensee, when we saw a side road that went beside the Lake. Deciding it would be nice to drive on a less busy side road, we turned onto it, and to our surprise, hidden out of sight from the main road were large sculptures of Lions.
There is a plaque just below the Lion statue telling the sad story.
A local artist was commissioned by the Kaiser Franz Joseph to cast several bronze lions. He finished his first and presented it to the Kaiser to view his work, only for the Kaiser to tell him the Lion had no tongue! The poor man was so upset by his mistake, that he later committed suicide by jumping into the Traunsee (at the spit of land that the the tunnel now bypasses).
This in turn, upset the Kaiser, he felt so bad about this, that he vowed never again to criticize someone who had prepared something for him.
The village of Traunkrichen now hosts a little festival on October 26 to commemorate this event.
Sadly there is not much more to say than the Spitzvilla used to belong to Karl Rudolf von Slatin who was Austrian Officer who enjoyed the trust of Queen Victoria of England and served as a Generalgovernor of Sudan for the English. Acquired in 1897, the Spitzvilla accepted great names of the era such as King Edward VII of England and Kaiser Franz Josef. Since 1976, the Spitzvilla has belonged to the Austrian government and is used in the summer as and exhibition and events center.
The Russenvilla (Russian villa), ideally situated on the Klavarienberg (name of the hill), get it's name because the Sophie Pantschulidze, the daughter of a Russian Duke, gave the order to build this villa. The famous architect Theophil von Hansen built the villa between the years 1850 and 1854. The villa hosted famous guests as the Archduke Maximilian (brother of Emperor Franz Josefs and later became Emperor of Mexico--yes Mexico was once part of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire!), Richard Wagner, und Adalbert Stifter. Today it is in private hands. If you look to the left of the picture, you can just make out the double eagle crest symbolic of the Habsburg empire (see picture in Local Customs for a close up).
I strongly recommend you pay the Tourist Information Center in Traunkirchen a visit if you don't have a guide like I did. There is a wealth of information available to you there about Traunkirchen and what to see and do.
Just next to the church (attached to the structure actually) is the Handarbeitsmuseum (Hand Crafts Museum) in Traunkirchen. Inside you'll find many traditional hand crafts like Goldhauben (a very traditional golden hat worn by women in parts of Upper Austria and Salzburg provinces), and examples of local knitwork and crochet work.
On the hill overlooking the Pfarrkirche of Traunkirchen is a spire called the Johannesbergkapelle (Johannesberg Chapel). No one is quite sure when the chapel was built. The earliest mention of it in any official document is 1356. In 1651, the Jesuits of the Pfarrkirche enlarged the chapel.
Inside the chapel is a baroque altar with a painting of St. John the baptist. The tower to the chapel also houses a large bell (not sure if it still rings). Also noteworthy is the paths to walk up to the chapel make for excellent walks and you get some pretty nice views of the Traunsee and Traunsee and not too far away Gmunden.