Attersee, also known as Kammersee, English sometimes Lake Atter, is the largest lake of the Salzkammergut region in the Austrian state of Upper Austria. It is Austria’s third largest lake by area, surpassed only by Lake Constance and Lake Neusiedl, which, however, both extend beyond national borders.

The name Atter, derived from ata meaning “water”, probably is of proto-Celtic origin. The shores were already settled in the Neolithic era. In August 1870, remains of prehistoric pile dwellings were found near Seewalchen at the northern end of the lake. The Mondsee group stilt houses since 2011 are part of the UNESCO Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps World Heritage Site. Other archaeological findings denote settlement activities in Roman times from the 2nd century BC onwards.

In the middle of the 19th century paddlesteamers were introduced on the lake to ferry mail and goods between the villages located around the Attersee. Today it is an important recreation site for people from the urban areas of Vienna and Linz.

From the Fin de siècle, Attersee became a popular destination for summer guests, apart from the bustle at the emperor’s sojourn in nearby Bad Ischl. Near the village of Litzlberg, part of Seewalchen, there is a small island castle, which Gustav Klimt frequently visited during the summer. Likewise, the German painter Albert Weisgerber was a summer visitor on Attersee.

Lake Attersee was a rallying point for several German divisions during World War II which had retreated during the Siege of Budapest. Among these were several foreign volunteer divisions of the Waffen-SS, which sought to reach Attersee where surrender to the Americans was preferable to capture by the Red Army


Attersee, Stadtgemeinde Vöcklabruck
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