In the mountains of the Salzkammergut, the Wolfgangsee is one of the most romantic lakes in Austria. St. Wolfgang, a little holiday resort on the northeastern side of the lake below the Schafberg, is set among all this natural beauty. In summer, the resort is overrun with visitors.
Since the 12th century, long before it was a vacation resort, St. Wolfgang was a renowned pilgrimage center. This church is said to stand on the same rocky spur of land above the lake where St. Wolfgang built a hermitage. The church contains a magnificent Michael Pacher altarpiece (1481), pictured in many Gothic art books. Pacher’s altarpiece is luxuriantly adorned with panel paintings and masterfully carved figures. The main panel depicts the Coronation of the Virgin.
If you drive here, there are two parking lots at the entrance to the town. You can park your car and then explore the town on foot. Late spring to early fall, it’s better to go to St. Wolfgang by boat, leaving from the landing stage at Gschwendt, on the southern rim of the lake. Departures from mid-May to mid-October are usually hourly.