Traunkirchen, perched on the western shore of Lake Traunsee,
originally developed as a fishing village whose houses grouped
around the 11th-century Benedictine nunnery. The former nunnery
chapel is now Traunkirchen's parish church, which is renowned for
its famous Fishermen's Pulpit. This impressive wooden pulpit was
carved in 1753 and is breathtakingly ornate, with vivid detail and
colours. It depicts the miracle of the fishes, with the apostles
standing in a tub-shaped boat and hauling in their fish-laden nets.
This was no doubt popular with the congregation, the vast majority
of whom made their living from the lake. Today the attractive
hamlet is popular with visitors, thanks to its clutch of authentic
fishermen's cottages and twisting cobbled streets. It is also
brilliantly placed for exploring Trausee, the stunning fjord-like
lake with its rippling, almost turquoise waters.
Among Traunsee's highlights are a number of large rocky crags
that lap at the eastern shore, the tallest of which is the imposing
Traunstein. At 5,548 feet (1691 metres), Traunstein
dominates the local skyline, and is often called the "guardian of
the Salzkammergut". Thanks to the charm of these rugged grey
mountains, and the pretty resorts dotted along the shore, Traunsee
is an immensely popular destination.