Seisenbergklamm


Useful Information

Location: Weißbach bei Lofer
Open: MAY to OCT daily.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 6, Children (5-15) EUR 4, Children (0-4) free, Gästekarte EUR 5,40.
Groups (+): Adults EUR 5.40, Children (5-15) EUR 3.50.
[2020]
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=600 m.
Guided tours: L=500 m, D=60 m, self guided.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Seisenbergklamm, Unterweißbach 36, 5093 Weißbach bei Lofer, Tel: +43-6582-8242-4. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1831 first developed by woodcutters for drifting wood.
1912 trail to the gorge and in the gorge renovated.
1916 trails destroyed almost completely by a flood.
1924 Sektion Dresden takes over stewardship of the Klamm and started to renovate the trails.
26-JUL-1925 trail opened to the public.
1940 trails again destroyed by a storm.
1953 begin of restauration.
1954 trail opened to the public.
1974 gorge declared a Natural Monument.

Description

photography
Seisenbergklamm. Public Domain.
photography
Seisenbergklamm. Public Domain.

Seisenbergklamm was formed by melting water. The huge glaciers on top of the Alps were melting some 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. But the glaciers had changed the course of valleys by cutting deep into the rocks, and there were a lot of areas which were not connected to the next valley any more. Such areas filed with water, then the overflow started at one point and cut deep into the blocking rocks. This erosional deepening was extremely fast and took only a few thousand years, in geology an extremely fast development. The reson was the steep slope which gave the water a high energy.

Since the dammed water behind can now flow through the gorge, the process has slowed down. The narrow gorge is crossed by a small river which continues to deepen it, but with a much smaller rate than during its formation. But every year during snow melt, the old times are revoked for a short period. Thats the reason why the gorge is opened in May, its necessary to check the trails before, and repair them if necessary.

This gorge was first developed by woodcutters, who were cutting trees on the steep mountainside high above the gorge and looked for a good way to transport the tress into the valley. Good meant obviously fast and with as little work as possible, and unfortunately did not include helicopers 100 years ago. So they used the gorge as a Triftweg, for drifting wood. It was necessary to built a trail which allowed to check for congestions, but which obviously was much less comfortable than the wooden path of today. But it was already made of wood, because that was what they had in abundance.

The legend of the Wurzelgeist (root spirit) of the Seisenbergklamm

A very long time ago, more than a hundred years ago, a lot of uncanny things happened in the Seisenbergklamm! At times, to the roaring and thundering of the water, a muffled voice could be heard shouting: "Fetch me, fetch me!" Then a loud rolling and rumbling could be heard, and for a while afterwards the water roared thunderously from the gorge. At that time people said: "The ghost of the gorge is going around again!".

At that time the Seisenbergklamm was not yet accessible to visitors. Only drifters worked in the Seisenbergklamm. The drifters took care that the driftwood which was transported through the gorge into the valley did not block. At that time the wood was transported into the valley with the help of water.

Something very strange happened then: In the "Dunkelklamm", as this part is called today, in the wildest part of the Seisenbergklamm, a big tree stump got caught. For days the drifters had to work to reach it so that they could remove it. However, none of the lumberjacks knew the kind of tree they finally found. The tree root had arm-thick, curved roots that resembled a living being, not a tree root.

Finally it was done, the tree root was rolled to the shore. But at the next flood something strange happened. The root was washed away to the vicarage, the priest sprinkled the root with holy water and ordered his farmhand to crush the rootstock. But no matter how hard he worked. he could not even get wedges into the hard wood. The next day the farmhand came back with several men to try again, but the root had disappeared.

People said that this root was the ghost of the Seisenberg Gorge, and that the holy water with which the priest sprinkled the root had finally redeemed the ghost.