I decide on a visit to the Local History Museum in St.Gilgen. It is located in the village centre, not far from the Parish church. On arrival, I stand and gaze intently at the little cottage garden, a beautiful showpiece, and let the sweet scent of assorted flowers and herbs delight my senses.
Then I step through the ancient wooden doorway into the interior of the museum. I’m greeted by a friendly assistant, buy a ticket for the museum, which, incidentally, is also valid for the other museums in St.Gilgen (the Mozart Museum; the Museum in Mozart’s Mother’s Birthplace; the Musical Instrument Museum and the Zinkenbach Artist’s Colony Museum).
I learn that the house was built in 1655 and owes its existence to the time after the 30-years’ war, when the cottage industry of bobbin lacemaking flourished in St.Gilgen. The Salzburg bobbin lacemaking collection is impressive and I begin to get an idea of how much painstaking work was involved in this handicraft.
I climb the gnarled wooden steps to the first floor of the building and am taken aback at just how many unique exhibits are to be found in this Museum. Totally absorbed in it all, I come across the so-called zoological cabinet. This contains a selection of things from the animal kingdom around Lake Wolfgang from the original collection of the great Zoologist, bee-researcher and Nobel Prize-winner, Prof. Dr. Karl von Frisch. I remember that yesterday, starting out on my walk up the Schafberg Mountain, I had passed his house in the idyllic Brunnwinkl on my way towards Fürberg.
Another room is devoted to glass produced by the oldest Salzburg glass kiln works, founded in 1701 in St.Gilgen/Aich, it existed until 1825. Innumerable precious glass items can be admired here, amongst which are glass rosaries once sold in the hermitage on the Falkenstein rock, the ancient Pilgrimage way to St.Wolfgang. I discover that there is another Museum in the tower of the Parish church in St.Wolfgang pertaining to the history around the pilgrimages to St. Wolfgang and the man himself.
Eventually my visit to the Museum comes to an end, but I am sure it won’t be the last time I look around this interesting place, steeped in history.
One day soon I shall visit the other museums in the village, but tomorrow, I intend to cycle along the lake via Abersee and Gschwendt to Strobl to see the Lipphaus local history museum, largely devoted to rural life in earlier centuries.
I am astounded just how amazing and diverse the collections in the local museums around Lake Wolfgang are, and at the treasures these little museums hold.