The city of Gmunden stood in earlier days as the gate to the Salzkammergut and to its rich salt resoures. The Gmundner Lake Traunsee port - today's city hall square - was the heart and reloading point for Hallstaetter salt. Strictly overseen by the Salzbehörde, the salt authorities, the transport routes separated here into land and sea routes. The horse-drawn railroad to Bohemia and the treacherous Traun river in the direction of the Danube were both unique examples of such routes. Salt-bearers, salt traders, and Küfel producers (a Kuefel was a cask or basket-like container to carry salt in) left behind their traces. Works of art like Thomas Schwanthaler's Three King's Alter decorate the city.
Why is Gmunden called a "ceramic city?" Is the Gmundner ceramic really always green and white? The city museum in Kammerhof does its best to give an answer to that question and many others, as well.
In the middle of the lake stands the majestic castle Schloss Ort. One can even see how the castle was made over years into a hotel for the TV series Schlosshotel Orth.
Tourism itself has a history in Gmunden, whether as a summer resort, a spa town, or as a place to rest. Today's oldest paddle steamer in the world, the "Gisela," brought many crowned and uncrowned heads over the lake on their way to the Kaiserstadt ("imperial city") Ischl.