Attersee (Kammersee)



Location: Salzkammergut   Map

Area: 45.9 km²

Depth: 171 m

Official site


The Attersee (also Kammersee) is a lake in the Upper Austrian part of the Salzkammergut in the district of Vöcklabruck and is 469 m above sea level. A. The outlet of the Attersee is the Ager, which drains into the Danube via the Traun. The nutrient-poor lake, with its diverse banks, offers habitats for many animal and plant species and has been a Natura 2000 area since 2006. With a water surface of more than 46 km², it is the largest lake in Austria. At 169 meters, it is the third deepest lake in and on Austria after Lake Constance and Lake Traun and is only surpassed by the (entire) Lake Constance with a water volume of almost 4 billion cubic meters. The Attersee, owned by the Austrian Federal Forests, is an important tourist destination in Upper Austria and a popular bathing lake as well as a diving and sailing area. On the shore of the Attersee are the remains of Neolithic pile dwellings, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Prehistoric Pile Dwellings Around the Alps.



The Attersee is located in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut in the district of Vöcklabruck. Larger towns on the shore are Seewalchen and Schörfling in the north, Weyregg and Steinbach in the east and Unterach, Nußdorf and Attersee in the west. In addition to these communities, the community of Berg im Attergau has a share in the lake area.

Stretching from north to south, the lake has a length of 18.9 km and a maximum width of 3.3 km. The surface is about 46.2 km², the average depth 85 m. The deepest point is given in the ÖK 50 with 169 m. In 2014, divers claimed to have discovered a spot with a depth of 172.6 m. The water volume is 3943 million cubic meters.

The shore length of the Attersee is 48.5 km. All banks are heavily built up and most of the stretches of bank are privately owned and not open to the public. Many communities on Lake Attersee have their core settlements on or near the shore. There are church hamlets like Weyregg am Attersee, but also scheduled church towns like Unterach or Steinbach. Scattered between the settlement centers are individual farms, small hamlets and settlements with residential and weekend houses. The shore areas were massively built up in the 1970s and 1980s. Shops, restaurants, residential buildings and second homes are lined up next to each other. The result was the building up of the bank edge with footbridges, boathouses, boat slips, stairs, walls, block sets or riprap. In those bank areas that are too steep for development, there are usually roads with bank reinforcements that have replaced the natural bank. About 87% of the shore of the Attersee is clearly impaired. The east bank, the north bank and the northern part of the west bank and the section between Misling and Unterach are particularly affected. Only 13% can be classified as near-natural or natural. The longest contiguous natural sections are between Dexelbach and Parschallen, between Aufham and Dickau, near Schwend and in Burgbachau.

On the southern shore are the foothills of the Schafberg, on the southeastern shore up to Steinbach am Attersee, the western end of the Höllengebirge. The mountains there reach 900 m above sea level. A. up to 1100 m above sea level A. and drop steeply down to the lake. Most of the eastern shore and all of the western shore are framed by forested, rolling mountains and hills that end at the northern edge.

The lake basin is divided into three sub-basins: a southern basin, a central basin and a northern basin. In the southern basin, the deepest point is 169 m, about 1 km north of Weißenbach am Attersee. It extends to the Stockwinkel – Seefeld line. The central basin, which is a maximum of 164 m deep, extends to the Nußdorf am Attersee – Alexenau line. The underwater morphology is determined by the surrounding rocks. Occasionally there are hardlings that have not been completely eroded. There are three prominent elevations in the central basin: an underwater mountain that reaches up to a depth of about 12 m, the A. Müller peak and the Laichberg. The latter is located in the middle of the lake near the village of Nußdorf, in the middle of a basin 120 m deep and extends to 49 m below the water surface. The banks are much steeper on the east side than on the west side, as the Höllengebirge continue their rock faces under water, as at the Black Bridge near Seeleiten. The maximum 131 m deep northern basin is mainly characterized by gently sloping banks. The bay of Litzlberg is separated from the rest of the lake basin by a large wall. On this wall there is a small island with Litzlberg Castle.

The area can be reached via the West Autobahn with the Seewalchen and St. Georgen junctions. Seeleiten Strasse runs along the east bank, while Attersee Strasse runs along the west bank. The Attersee is connected to the Western Railway by two branch lines. The standard-gauge branch line "Kammerer Hansl" built in 1881 runs from Vöcklabruck to Kammer am Attersee. The narrow-gauge Atterseebahn, opened in 1913, connects the town of Attersee with Vöcklamarkt. From 1907 to 1949, the Unterach–See electric local railway connected the shipping piers of Attersee and Mondsee.



The hydrological catchment area of ​​the Attersee has a total area of ​​464 km². The Attersee forms the final link in a chain of lakes that begins in the south-west with the Fuschlsee and in the north-west with the Irrsee. The water from both lakes flows into the Mondsee and from there via the 2.9 km long Seeache in the southwest near Unterach into the Attersee. The Seeache provides 58% of the total inflow. There are also a number of other tributaries such as the Weyregger Bach, the Alexenauer Bach, the Kienbach, the Äußere Weißenbach, the Loidlbach, the Burggrabenbach, the Par Schalenbach, the Dexelbach, the Nösstalbach and the Ackerlingbach as well as numerous smaller surface and underground tributaries. The outflow takes place at the northern end in the area of ​​the municipality of Seewalchen into the Ager. The water renewal time is 7 years and is the highest theoretical water exchange rate of all Upper Austrian lakes. The average water temperature is 13.7 °C. The minimum water temperature measured near the surface in the years 2007 to 2010 was 3.5 °C, the maximum 21.1 °C.

The water level is regulated by a weir at the outlet of the lake. As a result of this artificial intervention, the average level is 20 cm higher and the natural yearly water level is dampened. Nevertheless, there are regular strong spring floods. While maximum mean water levels used to be reached around April to May, they now occur around a month earlier (March to April). As in the past, the lowest water levels are mainly reached in autumn (October to November). According to records, the Attersee had a mean water level of 469.02 m above sea level from 1897 to 1913. A. maximum water level fluctuations of 137 cm and mean annual fluctuations of 69 cm. The range of the monthly mean values ​​was 27 cm. In the period 1976 to 2000, the corresponding values ​​are 469.22 m above sea level. A., 109 cm, 51 cm and 13 cm.



The Attersee lies in the area of ​​three large tectonic units. In the south it is the Limestone Alps, followed by the flysch zone with the Rhenodanubian flysch, which is occasionally interrupted by the Ultrahelvetic. The Northern Limestone Alps consist of the Staufen-Höllengebirge Nappe (Tyrolic Era), which is preceded by a narrow strip of the Langbath Zone (Bajuvarian Era). This area forms the south bank and extends on the east bank to about the village of the forest office. The majority of the Attersee area is occupied by Rhenodanubian flysch. In a narrow area between Nußdorf am Attersee in the west and Alexenau in the east, the Ultrahelvetic comes to light.

Former glaciation and formation
Like all lakes in the Salzkammergut, the Attersee is also a product of the work of Ice Age glaciers. During the ice ages, the Traungletscher flowed from the Dachstein plateau and the Dead Mountains via side branches through the Ischtal and Weißenbachtal into the Attersee area. The glacier dug up the deepened tongue basin of the Attersee. The ice spread in the Mindel was the strongest and the ice flow from the furrow of the Attersee flooded all adjacent valleys in the flysch zone and formed a far-reaching foreland glacier, from which the Buchberg near Attersee just protruded as a nunataker. The lake basin was given its current size and shape by the ice ages that followed. In the late glacial dead ice remnants in the south and the moraine wall in the north blocked the outflow, creating a lake with a level of about 550 m above sea level. A. emerged. The slow deepening of the Ager into the terminal moraine lowered the lake level to today's level. After the final disappearance of the ice and the formation of the Attersee, extensive delta deposits were accumulated at all major tributaries. The delta sediments of the Äußeres Weißenbach fill the entire Weißenbachtal with a thickness of around 100 m. But also at the mouths of the streams on the east side of the Attersee, extensive delta bodies have formed due to the high debris load. The silting up of the lake basin in the Attersee is slower than in the other large lakes in the Salzkammergut, since the Mondsee, the Fuschlsee and the Zeller See are upstream of it as sediment storage and sludge traps. The lake basin will be gone again in about 500,000 years.

Mass movements
In the postglacial period, there were large-scale mass movements on the southern and eastern flanks of the Hochplettspitz-Hollerberg ridge. These are characteristic of the landscape on the east flank due to their striking step-like formation from the ridge area to the bottom of the lake. Landslides still occur today and sometimes have significant effects on the bank areas. When the snow melts suddenly and as a result of long-lasting precipitation, slope areas and ditch sections are destabilized. In September 1959, excessive rainfall triggered a slide between Kammer and Weyregg. Even today you can find trees up to 20 m long in water depths of about 15 to 30 m. These trees form the "underwater forest" known to divers.



A rainy, mild winter sea climate prevails at the Attersee. Due to its location on the northern edge of the Alps, precipitation is frequent. The lakeside climate is a special case because of the different heat transport of the water and the local land-sea wind systems.

The annual mean temperature in the lake area is between 7 and 9 °C. In comparison, those of the flysch hills are only between 5 and 7 °C. The lake acts as a heat store in the cold season. The western and northern shores of Lake Attersee are particularly warm. The January mean air temperature in the immediate vicinity of the bank is one of the warmest in Upper Austria and is between −1 and −3 °C. The annual number of frost days in the Attersee area is between 100 and 120. The summer temperatures do not differ as clearly from the surroundings as the winter values. The mean air temperature in July is between 16 and 18 °C. Spring temperatures are relatively cold as the lakes warm up slowly after winter. Late frosts are possible until mid-May.

Due to the northern dam location, the annual precipitation totals of 1000 to 1600 mm are relatively high compared to the rest of Upper Austria. Precipitation increases with increasing proximity to the mountains. The northern part of Lake Attersee has an annual rainfall of 1000 to 1200 mm. The southern end of the Attersee shows values ​​around 1400 to 1600 mm. The precipitation maxima occur in the summer months from June to August. Thunderstorms are very common at this time of year, which can be accompanied by heavy rains.

At the Weyregg measuring station, the north to north-easterly winds dominate during the day, which blow towards the sea as day winds. The north-easterly winds are mainly in the summer and the north winds are mainly in the winter months. At night and especially in summer, the southeast wind is strong. Wind peaks of around 3 m/s occur during the day and the wind calms down at night. Seen over the year, the strongest winds occur in January.

Due to the humid, warm air masses of the Attersee and the nearby lakes Mondsee and Irrsee, fog often forms in the cold season. In inversion weather conditions, this can last for weeks. The high fog layer in the Attersee-Mondsee basin usually extends to around 700 m above sea level. A. In contrast to the valley area, the higher-lying areas are then fog-free.



The Attersee is a dimictic lake and belongs to the type of deeply stratified alpine lakes. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, the wind can completely mix up the body of water due to the even temperature distribution. In summer and winter, the metalimnion separates the surface layer (epilimnion) from the deep, evenly tempered part (hypolimnion) of the lake. The highest temperatures measured in the open water in 2007 and 2008 were 20.2 and 21.0 °C in August, respectively. These values ​​ranged almost unchanged down to a depth of 8 m. Only below 12 m was there a clear decrease in temperature. Above ground, the temperature was very constant between 4.6 and 4.9 °C. The full autumnal circulation extends into January, the spring circulation until almost the end of April. Winter stagnation usually lasts only two to three weeks. A closed ice cover of the Attersee is very rare because of its wind-exposed location and its enormous heat capacity (e.g. 1928/29, 1939/40 and 1941/42), locally limited ice covers in bays protected from the wind arise in every severe winter.

The lake has a very low concentration of nutrients and is therefore oligotrophic. Even before the construction of the circular sewer system, which was built in the 1970s to 1980s, the Attersee was considered to be poor in nutrients. Nevertheless, in the period from 1974 to 1976 a eutrophication trend characterized by increasing phytoplankton biomass and decreasing transparency could be observed. This lasted until the early 1980s. In addition to slightly increasing concentrations of nutrients and algae in the lake water, some shallow bays and, above all, the area where the Seeache estuary showed signs of eutrophication. During this time, more than 50% of the phosphorus pollution reached the Attersee through the Seeache. In the course of the remediation measures, the nutrient inputs fell significantly from 1982 onwards. Changes in the agricultural sector, such as the stagnation in the number of livestock units and the ongoing conversion of arable land to grassland, also contributed to the relief. In 1986, the limit for ultra-oligotrophy was reached with an average phosphorus concentration of 4.9 μg/l. Since 1989, the average total phosphorus concentration in Lake Attersee has been between 2 and 3 μg/l. The concentration differences between the epilimnion and hypolimnion are very small overall, with the higher values ​​occurring in the epilimnion in Lake Attersee. The waste water from the surrounding communities flows into the Lenzing sewage treatment plant run by the Attersee Clean Keeping Association. This has the advantage that the sewage treatment plant is located outside the topographical catchment area of ​​the lake and the treated but nutrient-rich sewage does not pollute the lake.

visibility depth
With a depth of visibility of up to 20 m, it is the clearest lake in Upper Austria. The maxima are reached in winter. The lowest value was measured in August 2008 at 4.9 m. The low visibility and the milky-turquoise color of the lake, which can often be observed in summer, are a result of biogenic decalcification. However, a large part of the calcium carbonate precipitated in the epilimnion escapes redissolution through the hypolimnion during sedimentation and is deposited on the lake bed in the form of sea chalk. The total biogenic calcium carbonate production of the Attersee is estimated at 11,000 to 12,000 tons per year.

The stock development of phytoplankton in the Attersee shows two maxima over the course of the year. In the first half of the year, with a main bloom in April, diatoms (Bacillariophyta) dominate. Plankton growth during this period is low, deep and has been recorded down to 20 m depth. Typical species are Tabellaria fenestrata, Asterionella formosa, Fragilaria crotonensis, Cyclotella commensis and Cyclotella bodanica. Diatom populations collapse during the summer months and green algae blooms begin, with Geminella minor dominating. The reproduction rate of the green algae is very high, but only reaches a shallow depth. Dinoflagellates (Dinoflagellata) are a typical group of species for Lake Attersee, even if they occur in small numbers. A typical representative is Ceratium hirundinella. The crustacean plankton of the lake consists of 10 species, with copepods predominating with 75 to 80% biomass. Dominant species are Eudiaptomus gracilis and Cyclops abyssorum. Daphnia hyalina and Eubosmina longispina are the most common representatives of the clawed tails (Onychura). With an average number of 15 crustaceans per liter, the Attersee can be described as low in plankton.



The Attersee offers habitat for a large diversity of species and belongs to the fish-ecological lake type "Elritzensee". These are lakes with a large water surface, high water depth and an altitude of around 400 m above sea level. A. up to 1100 m above sea level A. m above sea level. The leading fish species is the minnow. Other species that occur are: European eel, eel rod, chub, bream, perch, ruff, dace, pike, carp, bullhead, pearlfish, roach, rudd, sooty nose, tench, loach, lake trout, lake arbor, lake char, catfish, zander. Representatives of the genus Coregonus are locally referred to as Reinanken. Due to the many different regional manifestations, a systematic classification of the individual populations of the genus Coregonus is difficult. However, the species Attersee Reinanke (Coregonus atterensis) has been described for the Attersee and Mondsee.

The most conspicuous bird species on the Attersee and on the other Salzkammergut lakes is the mute swan (Cygnus olor), which was settled in Nußdorf, Weyregg and Steinbach in 1932. The lake is a habitat for many ducks. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) are common. Tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula), goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula), eider ducks (Somateria mollissima) and pochards (Aythya ferina) are rarer. In addition to the common Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), the Common Gull (Larus canus) also occurs. Great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) and little grebes (Tochybaptus ruficollis) are also common. The stocks of many species are subject to strong seasonal fluctuations. The population of the coot (Fulica atra) peaks between January and March. Only the mute swan breeds at the Attersee, the remaining species leave the area during the breeding season or retreat to the streams.

Stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium) and noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) lived in Lake Attersee until the 1970s. The introduction of the signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) as a carrier of crayfish plague led to the extinction of the autochthonous population. The stone crab was only able to survive in small tributaries to the Attersee, which are isolated from the lake by pipes. These gradients protect against migrating signal crabs and lead to an interruption in the transmission chain.


Flora and vegetation

With its diverse banks and nutrient-poor, clear water, Lake Attersee offers a habitat for many plants. A total of 46 species (43 species plus 3 varieties) could be detected in 2009 as part of a macrophyte mapping. 37 of these are submerged plants, 7 are reed vegetation and 2 are floating leaf species. The diversity of stoneworts (Charophyceae) (14 taxa) and aquatic mosses (5 taxa) is particularly remarkable. With 83% relative plant mass, the stoneworts are by far the dominant species group. The most common species in Lake Attersee is the black luster algae (Nitella opaca). 22 species, i.e. about half of the species that occur, have an entry in the Red Lists of Austria.

There is hardly any reed vegetation on Lake Attersee and it is not dominated by common reed (Phragmites australis), but by common bulrush (Schoenoplectus lacustris). Nutrient-poor lakes like the Attersee naturally only have sparse, low-growing reed beds. On the other hand, due to the morphology of the lake, there is hardly any room for extensive reed beds. The eastern and southern shores of the lake offer hardly any habitat for reed vegetation due to the steep embankments and the rocky substrate. The west bank is mainly affected by massive bank construction. There is no closed reed belt, only small, island-like occurrences. Denser stands also exist between Buchberg and Litzlberg.

The floating leaf vegetation of the Attersee is only marginally developed. Of the two species that occur, the white water lily (Nymphaea alba) dominates ahead of the yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea). Both Red List species are among the rarest plants in Lake Attersee. Small occurrences at the Attersee are for example in the Mühlleitner bay.

The submerged vegetation at Lake Attersee is dominated by stoneworts and, due to the clear water, reaches a depth of 22 m. The vegetation there follows a typical depth zoning. Shallow-water characeae, such as Chara aspera, grow in the Attersee down to a depth of 2 to 4 m. This is followed by the zone of medium-depth characeae (such as Chara contraria), which can be found up to a maximum water depth of 10 m, but mostly up to 7 m enough. This zone is replaced by deep Characeae with an average extent of up to 10 to 11 m. Extensive Nitella corridors extend to the vegetation line, which is on average 15.6 m, but can also be significantly more (maximum 22 m).


Natural reserve

The Attersee is part of the European protected area Mondsee and Attersee (AT3117000) according to the Habitats Directive as part of the Natura 2000 network. The protected area is 6134.4 hectares and includes the Mondsee, the Attersee, the Seeache and the lower reaches of the Zeller Ache, Fuschler Ache and Outer Weißenbach. With the decision of the European Commission of December 22, 2003, the area was included in the list of sites of Community importance for the Alpine geographical region. The protected assets that led to the designation of this area as a European protected area (Natura 2000 area) are the habitat type oligo- to mesotrophic calcareous waters with benthic vegetation of stoneworts and the two fish species pearlfish (Rutilus meidingeri) and sea arbor (Chalcalburnus chalcoides). With the ordinance of the Upper Austria. According to the state government of December 20, 2006, the area was converted into national law as a so-called European protected area in accordance with the Habitats Directive. In 2015, a fish ladder was built at the Klauswehr des Ausrinns to enable the continuity of the fish migration.

On the western shore of Lake Attersee between Aufham and Altenberg there is a last remnant of a near-natural red beech forest. The long and narrow strip of shore has an area of ​​1.8 hectares and the area has been a nature reserve since 1987 (Aufhamer Uferwald, N150). The mightiest trees there have a trunk circumference of 6.40 m and a trunk height of 30 m. The water area in front of the riparian forest is classified as a spawning sanctuary by ordinance and, with the exception of a small section, the setting of buoys is prohibited in this zone.




Commercial Attersee shipping was founded in 1869. Today, the company Stern Schifffahrt GmbH, based in Gmunden, operates shipping on the lake. There are regular boats on two circuits. The north circuit stretches between Seewalchen and Weyregg, the south circuit between Weyregg and Unterach.

Due to its good water quality and its temperatures, which are suitable for swimming, especially in protected areas of the shore, and the good sailing conditions due to the open location with a relatively constant and predictable wind situation, the Attersee is of great tourist importance and summer tourism is an important source of added value for the economy in the region. A third of the guests come from Germany and two thirds come from abroad. Winter tourism plays only a minor role. After the summer season, which lasts from May to September, many businesses close for the winter. Since tourism is heavily dependent on the weather and there are no bad or all-weather programmes, the number of overnight stays in the entire region has fallen sharply in recent years. The number of day visitors coming from the central areas of Linz and Salzburg to go swimming is increasing. On nice summer days and especially at weekends, the pools and parking lots are often overloaded.

As early as 1892, an association was founded to promote summer resorts at the Attersee. In 1926/27 it was re-established as a tourism association for the Attersee and Mondsee area. The Attersee Association was founded in 1952, and in 1999 the local associations of the Attersee communities merged to form the multi-part tourism association (tourism region) Ferienregion Attersee, which was also a founding member of Salzkammergut Tourismus GmbH in 2001 (since then Ferienregion Attersee-Salzkammergut). In 2019, the tourism associations Attersee and Attergau as well as Frankenmarkt and Vöcklamarkt merged to form a large association and today operate under the name Tourismusverband Attersee-Attergau.

Some seaside resorts that are owned by the federal forests, the state of Upper Austria or the neighboring communities are available to the general public. In the south and south-east there are also some narrow, publicly accessible shore strips, which, however, lie directly on the main thoroughfares.

Fishing is hardly ever practiced as a full-time job on the Attersee. Most of them are part-time farms or inns with their own fish farm. Fishing rights are property of the owner and can be sold or leased. It is the task of the fishing districts to issue the licences, to regulate the species-appropriate annual stocking and to determine catch quantities. The Attersee is divided into 56 fishing rights (large and small fishing rights), which are combined to form the Attersee fishing area. The fish population in 1997 was 1.5 million whitefish, 0.5 million pike and 350,000 vendace. The estimated total catch per year is around 5 - 7 kg/ha.



Due to the good wind situation, the Attersee is a popular sailing and surfing area. There are eight sailing clubs on the lake. The Union Yacht Club Attersee, based in Attersee am Attersee, was founded in 1886 and is the largest club on the lake. The Attersee is known for the so-called rose wind, a typical thermal that can develop due to the topographical situation. If the weather is stable in the late morning, the warming of the mountain massif to the south creates a vertical flow, which is fed by cool incoming air from the northern outflow of the Ager to the mountainous basin to the south. This creates a constant fresh breeze even when the high pressure is stable. The second main wind direction is the west wind, which is known for its strong and unpredictable gusts.

In July and August there is a ban on internal combustion engines on ships and boats. Excluded are commercial fishing, liner shipping and rescue and fire brigade vehicles.

Due to the mostly excellent visibility and the submarine cliffs on the east bank, the Attersee is a popular diving area. Because of numerous accidents, especially in the area of ​​the so-called Black Bridge, the Attersee has gained notoriety among fans of diving. According to rescue service statistics, 13 divers who died in an accident were recovered there between 1971 and February 2009. On September 18, 2005, Hans Brandstätter reached a depth of 165 meters, setting a new Austrian record.

To go biking
Once a year, usually at the beginning of May, a car-free cycling adventure day is held, during which a 48 km stretch around the lake via Attersee Strasse (B 151) and Seeleiten Strasse (B 152) is closed to car traffic. This event is very popular and in 2018 more than 50,000 cyclists and skaters took part.

Since 2011, the "King of the Lake" has been held annually in September on the same route. Anyone can take part in the last 47.2 km long team and individual time trial around Lake Attersee. The race attracted about 1200 riders from all over Europe in 2018. Start and finish are at the marina in the village of Kammer, which belongs to Schörfling am Attersee.



The name Attersee was first mentioned in 798 as super lacum Aterse, the surrounding region, the Attergau, as early as 748 (intra atergauui). The Old High German Atara is primarily the modifier of the compounds Attersee and Attergau. As a pre-Germanic water body name, Atara is usually traced back to the Indo-European adra (watercourse), although Atara is not documented as a water body name and the Attersee is a large lake and not a flowing water body. Another possible interpretation of the name is that the outflow of the Attersee rhymes the Ager (Agria) with Adra and that Attersee and Mondsee together form a system. Mondsee is a comparatively young name and the original naming of the parts of the Mondsee-Attersee system is conceivable: The upper, rear part (Mondsee and Seeache) bore the name Adra, the lower, front part, especially its outflow, the name Agra ( Agria). By renaming the upper part as Mondsee, the scope of the name Adra is displaced downstream to the Attersee. Kammersee refers to the Kammer Castle in Schörfling am Attersee and thus to the Kammergut as a dominion and the Salzkammergut itself.

The place names of Seewalchen and Ainwalchen refer to the presence of the Romans, who were called Walchen by the Germans. Most of the place names on Lake Attersee date back to the early Middle Ages. Above all, place names ending in -ing indicate a very early Bavarian settlement.



Settlement history
The first traces of settlement are documented by Neolithic remains of pile dwellings on the banks of the Attersee. The oldest dating from Seewalchen dates back to around 3900 BC and is attributed to the Mondsee culture. The pile dwelling settlements were mainly located on the flatter shore areas on the west bank from Unterach to the north end in Schörfling and on the east bank in Weyregg. The remains that are now submerged were originally on the shore, as the lake level was lower then. A rise in the lake level in the late Chalcolithic period ended settlement activity on the shore. This could have been caused by climatic changes with increased precipitation, such as occurred in the older Atlantic period. In 2011, the sites of Abtsdorf I and III and Litzlberg Süd were included in the transboundary UNESCO World Heritage Site Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps. Other finds on the shore prove a settlement continuity up to the beginning of the Bronze Age. Finds of national importance from the Copper Age and the later Bronze Age, such as a razor or a bronze dagger, come from Seewalchen. Both objects can be viewed in the Natural History Museum in Vienna.

On the Buchberg on the north-west bank, an approximately 550 by 200 meter ring wall, which encloses the flatter top of the Buchberg, was examined for the first time during an archaeological excavation in 1974. Several finds from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age were recovered. During the archaeological research and teaching excavations by the University of Vienna, it was found that the ramparts on the Buchberg were a Late Bronze Age (circa 1300-800 BC) hilltop settlement.

Celtic-Roman settlement activity is documented by a hoard find at the Kaiserbrunnen in Unterach. A Roman road ran along the east bank through the Weißenbach valley to Bad Ischl. In Weyregg there are remains of a villa rustica with well-preserved mosaics. In front of the villa there are stone walls in the lake, although it is unclear whether they are the remains of a port facility or a fish cold place (piscina).

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Bavarians conquered the country. In the early Middle Ages, the secular center was in what is now Attersee. There was a royal court on the Attersee Kirchberg, which was first mentioned in a document in 885 as "Atarnhova" (Atterhofen) and was visited several times by Frankish kings in the course of the 9th century. A visit by Arnolf of Carinthia is documented for 888.

For centuries, rafting was an important economic factor on Lake Attersee. With the construction of the saltworks in Ebensee on the Traunsee in 1604, the timber industry in the southern Attergau was geared towards the production of firewood for the brewhouse. Around 400 cubic meters of wood were needed per week to produce salt in the brewing pans. For the administration of the imperial forests of the monarchy, the forest office was set up in the municipal area of ​​Steinbach. Many valleys were opened up for timber transport; an elaborate system of hermitage was created. The transport of the wood from the Kienbach valley on the north side of the Höllengebirge turned out to be complicated. The wood was first drifted over the Kienbach (Kienklause) to the Attersee and brought to Weißenbach with Plätten. The onward transport was mostly in winter with sled wagons pulled by oxen. From the watershed (reversal tube) it was possible to drift again to the saltworks in Ebensee. In order to facilitate the work, a hydraulic elevator was built in 1722, which overcame a height difference of 50 meters, followed by a flume.

Also, wood, especially long ship-timber, was brought in the form of large wooden rafts equipped with several sails from the southern part of the lake to the outlet of the Ager. There the rafts were broken up into smaller parts and drifted over the Ager and Traun to the Danube. In 1877, the commissioning of the Salzkammergut Railway made it possible to transport cheap lignite from the Hausruck districts, which led to the cessation of timber transport to Ebensee. With the expansion of the road network and increasing motorization and the construction of power plants on the rivers, rafting was discontinued in the middle of the 20th century. On the lake promenade in Kammer, above the Ager Bridge, the raftsmen monument reminds of the former transshipment point of raftsmen and shippers.


The Attersee in art

In the Biedermeier period, landscape painters came to the Salzkammergut and the Attersee. Franz Steinfeld and Rudolf von Alt created works that show the Attersee and its surroundings. The appeal of the Attersee landscape became popular with Impressionism and attracted more and more artists. In the Belle Époque, the Attersee area was a summer resort and known for its artist colonies. From 1900 to 1916, Gustav Klimt spent the summer months at various locations on Lake Attersee. The most popular pictures that Klimt created on Lake Attersee include the views of Schloss Kammer, the Litzlberger Keller, the island of Litzlberg and Unterach. The late impressionist Albert Weisgerber also painted his best-known self-portrait there, Self-Portrait on Lake Attersee (1911). As a contemporary artist, Christian Ludwig Attersee came to Lake Attersee as a sailor and made the name his pseudonym.

Gustav Mahler spent the summer months from 1893 to 1896 in the inn "Zum Höllengebirge" in Seefeld in the municipality of Steinbach am Attersee and was inspired by the Attersee landscape in his compositions. On a wide meadow in front of the inn he had a composing house built on the lake shore, in which he completed the Second Symphony and in 1895/96 composed a symphony.

At the Bundesvision Song Contest 2009, Flowin Immo et les Freaqz sang about the Attersee with the song Urlaub am Attersee
The Austrian writer Hans Eichhorn was a professional fisherman on Lake Attersee.