"SEMMERING - THE PAST LIVES ON" Top 5 Page for this destination Semmering by mtncorg

Semmering Travel Guide: 82 reviews and 391 photos

Semmering is an old vacation resort favored by the Viennese for years. It is laid out along steep forested slopes at the top of 985m high Semmering Pass. A couple of small ski areas sit atop the pass off a busy road that connects the Wiener flatlands with the canyon of the Mur. Over this pass, the first mountain railroad was completed in 1854. This railway led to the development of a vacation resort for the people of Vienna and the construction of several monolithic hotels. The importance of the construction of the railway - it is a UNESCO Heritage site - and the natural beauty both with which the railway itself was built and the nature through which it passes was reflected in the old 20-schilling paper bill of Austria (pre-Euro) - bascially the same as the picture, with the railway, the cliffs of the Brietenstein and the Rax in the distance.

Semmering once was a very bustling vacation center for the well-to-do and faded pictures show the archdukes and their families at play in Semmering in the late 19th Century. The mountains around the area are pleasant enough to wander in but visitors of old seem to have vanished. The train station is unmanned today. Slopes leading up to the town from the station are steep with hotels strung out along forested slopes. It is a pleasant and restful place to stop, but few come by train anymore. The railway made Semmering, but today the car is unmaking it. A new autobahn will soon tunnel underneath the Semmering Pass, taking the traffic with it.

One very worthwhile thing to do while in Semmering is to wander along the Hochstrasse, past the huge PannHaus hotel which alone among the old mammoths of Semmering continues along. The huge BahnHotel, maybe about 1 km further, sits alone with a huge crane towering above, giving the impression of a future that might yet return to the old hotel. Walking around the hotel you can feel the past; peering inside you can see the old parties that took place.

Another good use of your time is to walk along the Bahnwanderweg. This trail takes you from the train station in Semmering as far as Gloggnitz, but there are intermediate train stations, in between, from which one can hop on a train and return. The trail takes you along through woods and fields, never straying far from the tracks.

A third option from Semmering is to grab a train to nearby Reichenau an der Rax. Here, catch a local bus to the Raxseilbahn - Austria's first cable car dating back to1926. From the top you can walk on the alpine top of the many peaks and dales that make up the Rax - one of the mountains that Viennese consider as the Hausberge.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Glorious Past, Beautiful Nature, and some not-so-bad Schnapps!
  • Cons:The town has a scent of a Ghost town
  • In a nutshell:Wandering along the Bahnwanderweg can take you far away from the Now
  • Last visit to Semmering: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (11)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    excellent page - this is what I love about travelling! great to get off places that are not the usual plus have a lot of historical meaning with stunning landscapes!

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Amazing trail and line. Thanks for putting the link to it in your home page.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2006 at 1:16 AM

    Great hiking travelogues!

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2005 at 1:32 AM

    Excellent infos and wonderful pics ! I think, I better stay home next summer and explore my own homecountry...This is just 1 hour to drive to, BUT I have not been there for 30 years :-((

  • Fam.Rauca's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2005 at 6:53 AM

    A wonderful page with expressive photos and interesting tips. Very, very beautiful! We wait for new pics. Fam. Rauca

  • MEdelmann's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2005 at 11:07 AM

    What a fabulous page, Mark ! I visit Semmering regulary, so next time will go up to the Rax mountain too!! Thanks for the infos.

  • Rusket's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2005 at 4:54 PM

    Yes, I HAVE to go to Semmering!

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2005 at 9:29 AM

    What a beautiful place, Mark! Glad to see even you cheated and that you don't always scale mountain cliffs to reach a vista like this.

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2005 at 1:50 PM

    Sheep, schnapps, and most - sounds like a perfect getaway to me! I hope those who do still come by train only enjoy this place all the more now that the autobahn is bypassing it.

  • alusru's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2004 at 7:50 AM

    Thank you for that excellent page ... Semmering is so near of Vienna, but I was not there since years, except for skiing. Wish you a Happy New Year! Ursula


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