The history of Obertraun
Obertraun is the smallest of the 4 World Heritage communities in the Inner Salzkammergut and is situated to the south east of Lake Hallstatt, During the Middle Ages, it was mainly wood cutters and lumberjacks who lived here, as a lot of wood was needed to build the “Sudhaus” (brewhouse) in Hallstatt. The River Traun and Lake Hallstatt were a means of transporting the wood. Several names such as “Wood cutters’ wall” and “Lumberjack hole” would indicate this. Obertraun is the smallest of the 4 World Heritage communities in the Inner Salzkammergut and is situated to the south east of Lake Hallstatt. During the Middle Ages, it was mainly wood cutters and lumberjacks who lived here, as a lot of wood was needed to build the “Sudhaus” (brewhouse) in Hallstatt. The River Traun and Lake Hallstatt were a means of transporting the wood. Several names such as “Wood cutters’ wall” and “Lumberjack hole” would indicate this.
Obertraun developed further as a scattered settlement, and the main employment of the locals was salt mining or small scale agriculture. Obertraun nestles in the valley carved out by the River Traun, surrounded by high mountains on the shore of Lake Hallstatt, and at the foot of the Dachstein. The Krippenstein is the most imposing feature of the landscape, standing 2100 metres tall and watching over the valley. The Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, the Mammoth Cave and the Koppenbrüller Cave were discovered in 1910, and the first section of the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car was installed to transport visitors up to these natural monuments. There followed an influx of visitors to Obertraun. The Krippenstein became a well-known and popular destination for skiers with an 11 km long run. The Krippenstein also became increasingly popular with walkers and hikers. The year 1954 became associated with the “Heilbronn Dachstein Tragedy” in which 10 pupils and 3 teachers from Heilbronn lost their lives on the Krippenstein. In memory of those who died, the “Heilbronn Circular Hiking Trail” and the “Heilbronn Chapel” were established, and there continues to be a strong connection between the people of Obertraun and Heilbronn today.
Videos of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. A journey through all the seasons in moving pictures. Ideal to get you into the mood for your holiday on Lake Hallstatt.
The most recent developments on the Krippenstein are the World Heritage Spiral and the 5-Fingers – a viewing platform which affords wonderful views across the southern part of the Salzkammergut. Obertraun has just 760 inhabitants, but is nonetheless a very lively community. Culture and music are much loved by local people who continue to uphold these traditions. Concerts, brass band music, a mountain pasture fest and lots more are firm social fixtures each year. There is a delightful walking trail which begins in the valley. It leads to the lake and runs parallel with the steep slopes of the Sarstein. The trail leads to the Koppenwinkel Nature Preservation Area. Here there is an area of tranquil meadow land (the “Koppenwinkelalm”) and the “Koppenwinkelsee” is a beautiful little lake. A visit here is said to bring good fortune.
We then follow the River Traun back to Lake Hallstatt, where there is a lovely, natural lakeside bathing area. Along the eastern shore of the lake there is a trail which leads to Steeg, and this can be completed, comfortably, in three hours. Cyclists following the Salzkammergut Cycle Route ride from Bad Goisern along the lake to Obertraun, and then via the Koppenwinkel through the Koppental valley before reaching Bad Aussee. Obertraun offers a variety of sports activities regardless of the season. The area is perfect for nature lovers and those seeking rest and relaxation too. Local people and visitors all feel a sense of peace and tranquillity. The very first inhabitants of the area sensed this too and named Obertraun “Traundörfl” (“Little Traun Village”).
Information at a glance
Tourist Office Obertraun on Lake Hallstatt
Ferienregion Dachstein Salzkammergut
Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut
Phone: +43 (0) 5 95095 40
Fax: +43 (0) 6131 / 34222
Tourist Office Obertraun
Mon – Fri 8:30 - 17:00 hrs
Sat, 9:00 - 13:00 hrs
Closed on Sunday