A Legendary Lake in the Salzkammergut
Lake Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut district
Even today the story of Saint Wolfgang and how the village was given its name is still told.
Starting off in the village of St. Gilgen, follow the pilgrims way to St. Wolfgang and find out about the legend: In the 10th Century The Bishop of Regensburg came to the lake. Having reached the Falkenstein rockface, the legend goes that he fled from images of the devil. Today a church dedicated to Saint Wolfgang stands on the Falkenstein. Inside the church there is a so-called “Schlupfstein” or stone chasm which is probably the remains of a pre-Christian place of worship. Plagued by thirst, it is also said, that St. Wolfgang struck the rocks and water came rushing out: the spring is still a refreshing source of water for thirsty hikers today. From the Falkenstein outcrop Saint Wolfgang hurled an axe in order to determine the sight on which a church would be built. For many centuries the axe was revered in folklore tradition by the people of the village of St. Wolfgang. The church that bears the same name as the village fascinates and delights visitors from all over the world. The village and the bishops of days long gone are entwined with further episodes of the legends of St. Wolfgang.
On the west banks of Lake Wolfgang, St. Gilgen is the main town in the Salzburg section of the Salzkammergut Lake District. The boat rides on the lake, which have been running since 1873, are a popular attraction for summer visitors. In the traffic-free centre of this quaint village you will find houses where Mozart’s mother and his sister Nannerl lived.
A romantic walk along the shores of the Wolfgang lake will take you to Fürberg, a small bay where you can look out onto the “Ochsenkreuz” or “Ox’s cross” and the “Hochzeitskreuz” – the “Wedding Cross” and have a fantastic view of St. Gilgen and the “Zwölferhorn” mountain. There are also legends surrounding the two crosses, but you can let us tell you those when you get here…
St. Wolfgang and the Schafberg Mountain
The village of St. Wolfgang lies tucked up between the picturesque and sun-drenched slopes of the Schafberg mountain and the beautiful Wolfgang lake. St. Wolfgang is best reached by boat from St. Gilgen. The boat ride is a wonderful experience in itself! Next to the landing stage, one of the first buildings you see is the famous “Weißen Rössl” or White Horse Inn where you could perhaps stop for a cup of coffee before heading up to the top of the Schafberg mountain on the cog-railway. At the summit, a breathtaking panoramic view of the Salzkammergut Lake District awaits you! This is one highlight you shouldn’t miss!