The museums in the Gesäuse are not just perfect rainy-day destinations. From Admont Abbey to the Silvanum Forest Museum in Großreifling – there’s so much waiting to be discovered. If you too want to experience the region’s exciting cultural treasures you should put on a Dirndl dress or Lederhosen and visit some of the festivals and events in the region.
They say that the eighth wonder of the world can be found in Admont. And indeed one feels tiny when standing on the checkered-pattern floor of the largest monastic library in the world, amidst – hold on now – 70,000 antiquarian books. The silence is only broken by murmurs of “wow” coming from the visitors. Many of the books have been preserved in their original state from the 18th century: covered in white chalk in order to make the space, designed by the likes of renowned artists Josef Hueber, Josef Stammel and Bartolomeo Altomonte, look even brighter. If you take a guided tour of the library you can spy out the secret passages leading to the first floor and what ‘The Four Last Things’ are all about.
And on we go to one of the four museum contained within the walls of the Benedictine Abbey. You’ll be spoilt for choice: natural history, art history or something contemporary? Or maybe the temporary exhibition, which focuses on a different topic every year? And don’t forget to stop by the national park room because, after all, the history of the Gesäuse and Admont Abbey are closely linked.
Apart from Admont Abbey there’s also the Silvanum Forest Museum in Großreifling, where you can find out everything you need to know about forestry. Interactive sleigh rides and rafting trips, as well as a replica of an old lumberjack lodge make for an exciting experience, where the uniqueness of man kind and wood in all its forms take centre stage.
Travel back to before the 19th century at the GeoZentrum Centre in the village of Gams. Here you will find yourself being transported back to a world from millions of years ago. Fossils along the Geopfad Trail await visitors, who they can search for different kinds of shells. A similar trip through time can be made at the National Park Pavillion in the village of Gstatterboden. As you can see, we have more than one time machine in the Gesäuse!
With beautiful dirndl dresses and lederhosen trousers being flaunted at the Gesäuse’s many festivals, it’s time to throw yourself into the local popular culture alongside them! It’s all about yodelling, delicious treats, music and a pure, unrestrained zest for life. Two must-sees: the Waldfest in Johnsbach and the internationally renowned St. Gallen festival.