The yawning high valley seems to be far from any large metropolis, and yet it was densely populated millions of years ago. The imposingGosau Ridge-mountain ridge, whose rugged scenery dominates the valley, was once namely a coral reef which rose out of the primordial ocean Tethys. Well, so are Gosauers a reef or lagoon people?
This time lies far in the past, but it is still tangible today everywhere in this part of the Salzkammergut: countless fossils (ammonites, mussels, corals, etc.) form the foundation of the stone. The Stonecutter Gapp makes these fossils accessible to "unpracticed eyes" by working them into jewelry and household items.
There are, however, not just stonecutters but whetstone, as well: starting in the 16th century, the Gosauer whetstone quarries supplied the highest quality whetstone in the entire monarchy and experienced a renaissance at that time.
In the Gosau valley, one can find one of Austria's best-known and most-loved scenes: At the head of the valley, at the feet of the Gosau Ridge, lies Gosau Lake. By calm waters, the lake reveals the reflection of the Dachstein Glacier and the highest peak of Upper Austria (as a border mountain, also the highest mountain in Styria!), the Hoher Dachstein.
© Brigitte Leithner