Nature & Culture
Whether in summer or in winter, Gstadt-Gollenshausen suits all age groups who want to visit all year round. Anyone who would like simply just to rest, can find their longed-for tranquillity here, and for those looking for sporting activities, a wide palette of possibilities is available: nordic walking, cycling, nordic walking, hiking, swimming and water sports in summer and snow boarding, skiing, skating or sleigh riding on the lake or at the nearby winter sport centres in winter. Relax as if in paradise with the wide range of wellness treatments, pools and thermal springs: challenges are waiting for rock climbers, paragliders or surfers - and the hospitable locals, along with the huge choice of gastronomic and cultural offers, certainly contribute their part to the popularity of Chiemgau and its communities. Gstadt-Gollenshausen lies directly opposite Fraueninsel on the banks of Chiemsee and is made up of both the districts of Gstadt and Gollenshausen and a further thirteen little hamlets and villages.
The Chiemsee, measuring 84 km2, is the largest Bavarian lake and is popularly known as the "Bavarian Sea“. It is considered the most beautiful lake for swimming in Germany, gently embedded between the foothills of the Alps and with the wonderful panorama of the Chiemgau mountains behind it. Its islands, Fraueninsel and Herreninsel with the famous Herrenchiemsee Castle, are highlights for visitors. Both can be reached from Gstadt in 10 minutes, as part of a Chiemsee round trip by ferry, or with rental sailing, rowing or electric boats.
Fraueninsel is the smaller of the two islands and it takes about 20 minutes to walk around it. It is densely populated, with the "islanders" predominantly making a living from fishing, gastronomy, arts and crafts as well as rental properties. At the centre of Fraueninsel is the 1,200 year old Frauenwörth Abbey with its convent church and the Carolingian Torhalle (gatehouse), decorated with wall paintings, which serves as the museum of the famous Chiemsee painters. The convent is a popular location for seminars and workshops. In the "Convent Shop", home-made herbal products, the well-known convent liqueur, as well as marzipan and gingerbread and other souvenirs are available to take home. On Fraueninsel you’ll find a diverse range of places to eat: whether in one of the oldest inns of Bavaria or in one of the rustic fishermen’s gardens, there will be at least one lovely little place waiting for you on the island, there are definitely more than enough of them.
A highlight of any trip to the Chiemgau region is the Herreninsel, with its world-famous Schloss Herrenchiemsee, which Ludwig II, the King of Bavaria, had built at the end of the nineteenth century as a copy of the Palace of Versailles. Whether you arrive romantically with the coach from the pier, either choosing the romantic way to reach the castle by horse-drawn coach, or walking through the Augustinian monastery and the art galleries, or whether you “stride” through the alleys, there are enough enthralling reasons to capture your attention: regal parks with glittering fountains and baroque splendour, the Hall of Mirrors and magnificent rooms will carry you off into the world of the Fairy-tale King.
The Chiemgau mountains stretch out over the area between the valleys of the Traun and Prien rivers, with the peaks of the Hochfelln, Hochgern, Hochplatten and Kampenwand visible from a long distance and the ranges of the Geigelstein and the Kaiser behind them. For as long as can be remembered, as a contrast to the lakes and moors, the Chiemgau mountains have been considered especially exciting with varied landscape offering unspoilt mountain forests, romantically rushing ravines, gracefully rising mountain paths and free-standing peaks with superb views.
In Chiemgau, the traditional and modern go hand in hand, with crafts such as quilt embroidery, the manufacturing of traditional hats or even basket weaving are still practised here. Very close to Gstadt, in Frieberting, the Höfer weavers produce original designs of high-quality fabrics for traditional costumes and dirndls. The calendar of summer events around the lake for the Costumes and traditional Clubs is filled with dates of festivals, and the brass band and the Gstanzl (literally “stanza”) and dance groups of these clubs, is well worth seeing.
The earliest traces of settlement, such as basic commodities or remains of lake dwellings, go back to the Stone and Bronze Ages of 5000 - 500 B.C.. The findings can be seen at the BedaiumMuseum in Seebruck and at the Museum in Traunstein. During the Iron Age, as salt production and trading gained importance, the number of large farms increased and eventually the Chiemgau was integrated into the Roman province of Noricum. In the Middle Ages, the Bavarii, who came from the Elbe, colonised the territory and thanks to interesting grave findings, we have learnt more about their burial rituals. Gollenshausen ("Golduneshusa") was first mentioned in a document in 924 and Gstadt in 1168 – from the then "Gestadte“ the boats set off to cross over to Fraueninsel.Gollenshausen’s St. Simon and Judas church is from the 15th century, decorated with frescos on the southern outer wall. The first tourist guests arrived at the beginning of the 19th century with the stage coach from Munich and walked the last part from Weisham to Gstadt. It was mainly artists of the Munich School, such as Max Haushofer, who had discovered their "summer resort“, but there were poets and writers too, such as Felix Dahn, Steinheil or Eugen Ortner. Throughout the centuries Gstadt, Gollenshausen and above all the thirteen hamlets, which belong to the local authority’s area today, have remained true to agriculture and it has been possible to avoid larger industrial firms establishing themselves here – hopefully that will not change.