The Open Air Museum is situated a few kilometres west of Salzburg in the direction of the German border near Großgmain at the bottom of the Untersberg, one of the mountains close to the town.
It stretches over a big area and can be crossed by train. It is divided according to the districts of the province of Salzburg.
Old farmhouses, a grocer’s shop of times gone by, a mill, an old classroom, a shoemaker’s workshop, a saw and many other buildings were put up in marvellous surroundings to preserve them for the future.
A tiny little village near Salzburg was the place where the song “Silent Night Holy Night“, was sung for the first time. You will hear a lot about the composer, Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr who wrote the lyrics, their interesting lifes and the difficult days they had to handle with. Also an interesting story is, how this song was sent out into the world and is sung now all around the world.
A small chapel reminds us of the original site.
A walk over to the other side of the river Salzach shows us a historically interesting town called Laufen, where a well-known baroque painter, Johann Michael Rottmayr, was born.
Due to its size Lake Chiemsee is known as the “Bavarian Sea”. It is situated at the bottom of the Alps and surrounded by a belt of reeds, home of many birds. Its 2 big islands can be reached by boat. On the Monks’ Island the former male monastery near the moorings was later secularized. Today the island is known for one of the castles of Ludwig II, who had to leave some parts of it and the plans for its park unfinished for want of money. It can be reached by foot or in a horse-drawn carriage passing through a wood full of flowers.
The church-tower on the neighbouring Ladies’ Island is typical of the region. The church possesses Romanesque frescoes. Close by is an archway of Carolingian times with a museum of the island painters. On this small island of fishermen and artists there are comfortable inns and a Christmas Market at the beginning of the Advent Season which is worth a visit.