"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: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
The Rax is a huge raised limestone mountain ringed on the south side by 1000 meter cliffs. Atop, there are many miles of... more travel advice
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