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Walchsee Lake in Tyrol

The Walchsee Region Today

Lying at an altitude of 664 metres above sea level, the municipality of Walchsee is home to 2000 residents and covers a total surface area of 40 km². The municipality is located in the district of Kufstein in the Austrian Federal State of the Tyrol.

  • The lake covers a total surface area of 98 hectares and has a depth of up to 26 m.
  • The lake also contains areas of marshland and the water can reach 25° C in summer.
  • One of the lakes main features is the ‘Schwemm’, at 63 hectares the largest marsh area in the Tyrol and the largest transitional moor in the whole of the Alps.
  • The municipality’s economy is dominated by tourism. Thanks to its excellent location and the wide range of activities on offer, Walchsee is attractive to tourists both in summer and winter.

Story of the Walchsee Region

There is a myth surrounding the origins of the Walchsee Lake. According to legend, the lake was originally called Waldsee (the German word ‘Wald’ meaning ‘forest’) because a beautiful forest used to grow there. Yet, this forest was plagued by arguments and discontentment. One day this quarrelling reached its peak and the earth opened up and swallowed the forest; as the waters flowed over it, the squabbling was put to an end once and for all.

The first mention of Walchsee can found in a document from the nearby Rott monastery dating back to 1073. This document confirms that Walchsee was a ‘vicus romanicus’ (a Roman settlement) inhabited by Romans and their descendants, the Walchen. In 1749 a school was built together with a hermit dwelling at the Ölberg, where the Sedlmayr-Villa is today located. This hermitage remained in existence until 1853. The cave-like form of the grotto can still be seen today in the rocks behind the ‘Sedlmayr-Kapelle’ mountain chapel.

In 1972, the Walchsee region was officially made a municipality by the Tyrolean Regional Government. The municipality’s crest shows a wave breaking from left to right in front of a golden background. The wave on the crest indicates the region’s main feature, the Walchsee Lake, which also gave its name to the surrounding municipality.