During the most recent Ice Age, enormous glaciers formed the Salzburger Saalachtal into the trough valley it is today. As the ice began to melt, the Weißbach carved its way through the rock forming a spectacular gorge. Thus, over millennia, this imposing natural monument, the Seisenbergklamm in Weißbach, came into being.
Directly from the centre of the idyllic mountain climber's village of Weißbach, the entrance to the Seisenbergklamm natural monument is found between the rock faces of the climbing park. The powerful force of water has been cutting through the hard limestone since the last Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago, creating this much-loved attraction.
Lumbermen's Transport Route
Around 1831, lumberjacks used the Seisenbergklamm to transport wood, which had been felled above the exit of the gorge, down the watercourse to the valley. All the way along the crooked and narrow watercourse, they used long poles in order to free trapped logs and let them float away with the water. They erected wooden walkways in the narrow gorge for this dangerous work. The foundations of this original lumber transport route are still visible from the new walkways.
Today, solid wooden walkways and steps lead the visitor 600 metres through this popular natural visitor attraction in the Salzburger Saalachtal. The route heads past whooshing waterfalls and high above the bubbling water into the gorge. The high humidity and the lack of sunlight has allowed special vegetation to thrive, bringing to mind a dark green jungle. The potholes which can be seen easily in the rock bed of the stream are unique. These circular potholes in the hard rock have been carved out over thousands of years by the boundless power of the water.
Where the „Gorge Spirit“ rumbles
After the first part of the walk, the rock walls appear to creep even closer together; the water seems to rage even louder and we enter the „Dark Gorge“. In order to pass through the rock passages, we must sometimes pull in our heads and shoulders. Here we can really understand how the old lumberjacks were frightened by the clattering of the „Root Spirit“ and how the legend of the „Gorge Spirit“ arose.
On the one hour walk through the Seisenbergklamm, the visitor will come across the friendly „Gorge Spirit“ on the information boards along the way. Several stations describe the history of the gorge, the unique vegetation and the background to the geology of the region. The Seisenbergklamm is also a starting point for many beautiful hikes in the Naturpark Weißbach, as the exit of the gorge leads to the wonderful alm area of Weißbach.
Opening Times of the Seisenbergklamm
From May until the end of October, the natural monument Seisenbergklamm is open daily from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm.
TIP: From the beginning of June until the middle of September, an eventful night walk takes place every Wednesday under the title, „Water and Sound“. Organized by the Naturpark Weißbach, a guide describes how the gorge was formed and used; describes the habitat of the ravine forest and tells the story of the legend of the „Gorge Spirit“. At dusk, torches are lit and the darkness of the gorge is bathed in a mysterious light. Small groups of brass musicians from the Weißbach village band perform traditional melodies, providing a musical accompaniment for the walk.