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Traunkirchen Tourist Information

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The workshop will take place in Traunkirchen, a small village at water side of the lake Traunsee in Upper Austria. The Traunsee is located in the "Salzkammergut" region, one of the most beautiful parts of the Austrian Alps, and is famous for its numerous lakes spread over many valleys between the mountains, reaching up to more than 2000 meters in altitude. Traunkirchen can easily be reached by train, with the next closest airports in Linz and Salzburg at a distance of about 90 km.

The lectures of the workshop and poster session will proceed in the former monastery of "Trunseo" founded in the year 632, which was later rebuilt in Baroque style. Other workshop facilities will be provided by the International Academy Traunkirchen.

History and Sights

The Salzkammergut region is a very popular recreational and holiday area for hiking, water sports, skiing and mountain climbing. There are plenty of cable cars to the summits of the surrounding mountains such as Grünberg, Feuerkogel, Kathrin, Schafberg, Krippenstein, etc., providing excellent views over the northern Alps. Nearby points of interest are also Gmunden, Hallstatt, St. Wolfgang and Bad Ischl, which until 1918 was the favourite summer resort of the Austrian Emperors (Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl). To the Schafberg summit, there is also the historic cog-railroad built in the year 1892. It runs up to the top of the Schafberg at an altitude of 1.780 m with a slope as steep as 255% and is still run partly by steam engines today.

Left: View of the Dachstein summit rising up to 2995 m. Right: Hallstatt.

The Salzkammergut has also a long history as a centre for producing salt, the "white gold" of ancient times. From prehistoric times onwards to the present day, salt mining has been the major economic activity in this region. In the early days, at least three thousand years ago, salt was mined by hand, and then transported in flimsy boats down the fast-flowing River Traun to the Danube, from where it was distributed over central Europe. A large number of prehistoric settlements have been discovered in the region, the most notable in the picturesque village of Hallstatt, a world cultural heritage, where a huge prehistoric cemetery was discovered in 1846 with more than 1.000 extremely well preserved burial graves, dating back as long as 1500 BC.

Left: Sketches of prehistoric burial graves discovered in Hallstatt, dating back to 1500 BC.
Right: Geographic extent of the Hallstatt culture in the bronze and iron ages.

Due to these sensational archeological findings already in the 19th century, the whole cultural period of Bronze Age and beginning Iron Age in central Europe from 1200 BC until ~500 BC is named as "Hallstatt Culture". This culture extended from Croatia and Hungary over Austria up to northern Italy, Switzerland, Germany and even eastern France, and folk movements spread the Hallstatt cultural complex even into the western half of the Iberian Peninsula, Great Britain and Ireland.