Exploring a little closer to home.
We are staying in Neumarkt am Wallersee, a town in the district of Salzburg-Umgebung in the state of Salzburg in Austria. The town was established in 1240 and has a population of about 5,700. It’s located about 25 km northeast of Salzburg near the northern tip of the Wallersee (Lake Waller). The area is a mix of bedroom communities and family farms, all amid rolling hills and small lakes. We have spent a fair amount of time wandering along small country roads.
The Little Chapel on the Hill
If memory serves me, when I was little we used to sing a hymn about the Little Chapel on the Hill. An Austrian must have written it because every hill seems to have a small chapel or devotional altar on it. Even working in the fields you’re never far from a quick prayer.
A Little Further Afield
We spent a rainy day in Sankt Gilgen, a picturesque village by the Wolfgangsee in Upper Austria.
St. Gilgen is also designated as a “Mozart Village” which is a bit of a stretch as the Big Guy never even visited, although Mozart’s grandfather did work in the town, his mother was born here, and his sister Nannerl moved here after her marriage.
The Parish Church of St. Giles has a very old cemetery behind it with some interesting art. I’m not big on religious art, but this stuff is pretty surreal.
St. Giles was founded in 1376, but it wasn’t until 1873 when shipping on the Wolfgangsee started that tourism took hold and many rich Viennese began to build summer villas here including the surgeon Theodor Billroth.
Theodor was a pretty interesting guy whose first love was music, but his parents forced him into the medical profession. He is generally regarded as the founding father of modern abdominal surgery. Although legend has it that Billroth was nearly stoned to death in the streets of Vienna when his first gastrectomy patient died after the new procedure. It’s all trial and error, right?