Maria-Heimsuchungs Kapelle is a big name for such a pretty and tiny Church also known as the Visitation of Mary Chapel or the Holy Mary Chapel. Whatever her name, she is the emblem of Ellmau, constructed in 1719 - 1721 and designed by Johann Kaisermann. The Church was completely renovated in 1988 - 1990. We didn't visit inside, sadly it was closed when we were here but if you do get a chance go inside - look out for the baroque altar with its alarpiece depicting the visitation of Mary by Alois Wagner. One regret I do have was missing the Reigious folk songs which take place here on Friday evenings at 20.00 we were late back from a day trip and were leaving the next day - if only we had more time!
While looking on the internet for a picture of the interior I found the little Chapel in the snow - I did wonder if the white washed church would disappear but no = now I long to visit here in Winter - magical!
I have seen lots of sunsets from my home village, but usually I don't get up early enough in Summer to catch a sunrise! Here in Ellmau things were the opposite, I can't quite work out why but I seemed to be frequently waken just before dawn. Maybe this was due to the early morniing traffic passing by or more likely the birds awakening, whatever, the sunsets I witnessed were truely spectacular. Ah to be alone watching dawn break on an other day - special moments to hold dear.
I never like just going from A to B I much prefer taking time, often doubling back if I see some thing which catches my eye. I loved the details of the little windows, some had pretty painted shutters while others featured intricate designs, no copies here everyone was different. I rarely go anywhere without my camera, even going to the place where you can powder your nose can produce a treat for my camera such as the little statue encountered in a hall way of a restaurant. Take your time while wandering around here you may be surprised by what you see just around the next corner. You may be lucky and see the little green fog hidding behind the flowers too.
The Wilderkaiser or Emperor mountains are a bright lime rock mountain range in the eastern Alps. The highest point is close to Ellmau known as the Ellmauer stop which rises to 2,344 meters. This is a protected area which covers 280 kilometers producing 38 different types of fern, 940 different wildflowers and 400 different mosses. Here there is a lot of woodland too beech, fir and spuce trees all grow in abundance with sycamore and ash trees also growing at the lower levels. I could never get enough of seeing this great vista so close by, the mountain changed so much with the changing light conditions -the eerie look at dusk, golden and gleaming in the morning light - magical mystical mountains in a magnificent world.
The interior of the Pafarrkirche Erzengel Michael has a certain serene beauty the first sight leaves you in awe. The Church has many undecorated windows of varying shapes which admit a lot of light giving Her an airy sunkissed feel. The High Altar which encompasses Saint Anna's Chapel just shimmers with the gold reliefs which adorn the loveliest of Altars. Looking up at the ceiling your heart is caught by the paintings - Saint Michael the Arch Angel seems to float above you bearing the words " QUIS VT DEUS MAGNO PATR-MIHAEL ARCHANGELO" the inscription emblazened on his banner as he stood before God "Who would have the audacity to compare himself to God" This little Church left me feeling very humble indeed as I lit a candle and offered up a prayer of thanks.
Sitting in an alpine meadow at a height of 1,555 meters on the slopes of the Hartkaiser with no one around save for ourselves and some walkers in the distance was sheer bliss on a warm sunny day. Looking down on the distant green valley below, seeing the neighbouring Wilder Kaiser, the still and silent ski lifts, this was the perfect place to relax. No sound disturbed the air only the gentle buzz of bees together with the unseen but much heard crickets as they chirped in the grass beneath our feet. There were few alpine flowers, Spring is the best time to see those beauties but there were butterflies galore with such beautiful coloured wings fluttering back and forth. There is little need to walk here - nature just stretches out before you and it is always a pleasure to sit in the sun and enjoy a picnic. There were no cows here but they had left their calling cards = be careful where you sit!! Strangely the name translates as Hard Emperor - we only saw his soft gentle side.
Enter Ellmi's Zauberwelt to find some magical fun high up on the Hartkaiser mountain. We spent some time here just people watching, sitting in the sunshine and relaxing. This adventure park is very scenic and as you would expect it is popular with families. Children are well catered for with lots of safe play equipment providing lots of fun especially around the fairy tale pond. We enjoyed exploring the little trails through wooded areas where we could escape the heat for a little while. I liked the botanical garden, it is on the small side but worth a look to see the colourful alpine flowers. A pleasant place to spend some time in a very natural environment.
There are various horse and carriage rides available which run from the 300 year old farmhouse of Achlhof. A carriage ride of one hour is offered for 8 euros per person although there is a minimum fee of 24 euros so you may have to look for some others to share. Children under 12 are half price. They also offer pony trekking and horse riding in the mountains using a Halflinger as a pack horse check out their web site for more details. We didn't go on a carriage ride, the weather was nice for walking but I'm sure this would be ideal for families with small children and indeed suitable for older or less mobile people. Maybe if I come back to this lovely area I would choose the three day ride which includes 2 nights bed & breakfast available only in September and October at 159 euros per person
The Pafarrkirche Erzengel Michael was designed by Jacob Singer from Schwaz, built between 1740 - 46. The Chapel was consecrated on August 21st. 1746 by Bishop Franz Karl from Chiemsee. The Church was completely renovated in 1987 - 88 when the new portal was built. The Church is dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. The Church is open for guided tours from the tourist office on Mondays the opening times are Monday to Sunday 10.00 - 12.00 & 14.00 - 16.00 Mass is celebrated at 10.00 am on Sundays also every second Saturday at 19.00 hours. A beautiful white washed building with a tall slate roofed spire which fits perfectly with the mountain scenery. Look out for the spledid details around the building, the Crucifix, at the rear of the Church is heart stoppingly beautiful as is the tiny chapel depicting the Archangel Michael. One other thing to see is the grave yard to the rear and side - I have never seen such dedication to the Dead - it is totally awe inspiring - fresh laid flowers are everywhere - everything is so tidy and well cared for - this little Church totally impressed me.
This was our first visit to Austria and was booked as a last minute break so I didn't know too much about the village or surrounding area. The tourist office was a mine of useful information the lady was most hepful she had a kind, friendly manner, took her time to explain about walking in the hills and valleys then she gave us some detailed walking maps and a leaflet explaining the week aheads events. The tourist office also offers a lot of activities for children and it is from here you can book your guided walks. If you have arrived without pre booking accommondation they will try to find you somewhere suitable for your stay. Oh and if you didn't receive a guest card from your hotel you can pick one up from the office.
a big sport center, with 2 swimmingpools outside, a nature pool (very cold!!) more slides, sauna,very clean and ordered. Unfortunately it started rain and thunderstorm when we just were there for about an hour.
on the top of the mountain Hartkaiser there is for kids a big playground. You can climb, play in the water, pump up the water, looking for gold and after that the kids recieved 3 little precious stones, and a lot more, you see the pictures. We were here on a sunday and a big orchestra from Limburg was playing.
Although I am not a fan of cable cars and other uplift facilities that take masses uphill in one lump, the Hartkaiserbahn was surprisingly effective and waiting was kept to a minimum.
I think it is one of if not the quickest funicular in the Alps.
The Hartkaiserbahn whisks you up to the top of the mountain in a matter of minutes, although it seems to be quicker in the winter.
Once at the top the view is superb and a number of paths are available for mountain biking or walking.
Incidentally the little reservoir you can see in the picture is used to supply water for the snow making in winter if conditions require.
The village is not that big and there are prettier villages in the tyrol but its setting is what makes Ellmau special. As a very catholic country many crufixes and memorials can be seen in the villages and towns.