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It doesn't always have to be Salzburg

Salzkammergut Festival Weeks in Gmunden

The scenery in the Salzkammergut tourist region
Culture and swimming fun by the Salzkammergut lakes

In the shadow of the Salzburg Festspiele, the Salzkammergut Festival Weeks in Gmunden have developed into a real secret tip for culture lovers. Top-notch events around the Traunsee lake impress their ever increasing audiences every year

Culture at Traunsee lake

A summer retreat and culture means: the highest standards and cultural enjoyment in one of Europe's most beautiful landscapes are offered by the Salzkammergut Festival Weeks in Gmunden in July and August.

The mixture in the programme design alongside its multi-genre focus has been typical of the festival since it was founded in 1987. Classical and modern music, dance, song recitals, theatre productions, performances, readings, films, exhibitions and discussions are offered in July and August in the town of Gmunden, the Salzkammergut tourist region and the area around Traunsee lake.

Famous great Austrian authors

Works by Thomas Bernhard, who lived in Gmunden for a while and who paid tribute to the Upper Austrian landscape in many references in his literature, have been a fixed programme item at the festival since 1999. In addition, one versatile developing area of the event is dedicated to one famous great Austrian author as a "festival within a festival" every year. Peter Handke, Christoph Ransmayr, Friederike Mayröcker, Ernst Jandl and Gerhard Rühm have been in the spotlight so far.

How did it all begin

Cultural enjoyment and a summer retreat – this congenial link has a good, long tradition in Austria. Town folk and big city dwellers have been coming to the Salzkammergut tourist region every year for generations when the days get hotter and the freshness of the mountains and lakes enticed them. The fact that the summer guests also did not want to do without their usual cultural enjoyment during this time already led in the late 19th century to the theatre director Joseph M. Kotzky from Salzburg having the town theatre built in Gmunden at his own expense. The opening performance took place on 22.06.1872 with the operetta "The Beautiful Galatea" by Franz von Suppé and the farce "Umsonst" or "Der Herr Vetter aus Regensburg" by Johann Nestroy. Gmunden Stadttheater made every effort to offer a variety-packed repertoire every year usually between July and September. To encourage the discerning international spa audience who often spent many weeks in Gmunden to go to the theatre, famous and popular actors mainly from Vienna's stages were employed every season for guest performances in Gmunden.

See for yourself what a cultural highlight the Festival Weeks have developed into. At the Goldener Ochs you are just a few minutes away by car from numerous cultural treats. Send us a non-binding enquiry straight away or book directly online for your holiday during the Festival Weeks.



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Holidays in the Salzkammergut all year round