Wagrain is a market town with 3121 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in the St. Johann im Pongau district in the Austrian state of Salzburg.



The name Wagrain is made up of the two Middle High German words wac (moving water, river) and rein (rain, meadow, slope). In 1243 Wakrein is mentioned for the first time in the Salzburg book of place names, Wachrain was written around 1350 and Wakchrain in 1382. Under the influence of the written language, the current spelling was finally used.

In the Middle Ages the area was a mining area.

Wagrain was the place in the archbishopric of Salzburg with the highest number of Protestant exiles. Over 80% of the locals preferred to be expelled (mostly to Prussia) rather than converting to Roman Catholicism.




The Waggerlhaus, officially Waggerl Haus, in Wagrain (Land Salzburg) was the home of the poet Karl Heinrich Waggerl (1897–1973) for over 50 years and has served as a museum since 1994. The building from the 18th century is a listed building.

Waggerl was born in poor conditions in Bad Gastein in 1897. Together with his wife Edith († 1990) he moved to Wagrain as a teacher in 1920. He lived in the Waggerl House until his death in 1973. It was first mentioned in a document as early as 1776 as the Aignerhaus. The couple initially lived in two attic chambers in the 1920s, but gradually acquired half the house by 1955. All of his literary works were created here.

A donation from Edith Waggerl enabled the market town of Wagrain to redesign the house in cooperation with the Wagrain cultural association Blue Window and scientists as a museum. The opening was celebrated in 1994.

Just as Waggerl left the most important rooms, they were preserved. His handicrafts were exhibited as bookbinders, painters, draftsmen, photographers and collectors. Critical and informative boards, showcases, audio stations and video films about the person and his work were set up in some rooms. The aim of the museum is to provide access to the poet and his work.

The majority of the exhibits come from the collection of the Waggerl Archive, founded in 1987. When the building was converted into a museum, the fabric of the building was changed as little as possible in order to preserve the original character while at the same time preserving the memory of traditional rural architecture.

Special exhibitions
2013: Watches from the Dolezal and Waggerl collection

Elisabeth Dolezal, who was born in Vienna and came to Wagrain as a teenager in the 1920s, spent every summer with her family in the Pflegeerschlössl from then on. Over the years she got to love Wagrain and so she maintained close contacts with the initiators of the local museum association Erwin Exner, Karl Heinrich Waggerl, Alois Doppler and Ursula Seiwald. Because of her ties to Wagrain, she left the valuable family collection consisting of clocks and other antique objects to the local museum association. The “Blaues Fenster” cultural association is now taking care of the estate and in 2013 presented the objects in a special exhibition.

2014/2015: “Letters to loved ones” - Waggerl, Wagrain and the First World War

“Letters to loved ones” primarily contains entries from Waggerl's war diary, in which the later poet describes his experiences. The exhibition links the descriptions with the events taking place in Wagrain at the same time. Using press releases, diaries, letters, postcards, souvenir pictures, private photos, posters and militaria, a picture of life at the front, everyday life in Wagrain and media life in the days of the First World War should be drawn. Loans from Wagrainers as well as from the museums in Bad Gastein, Bad Hofgastein and the Erick Eybl poster collection will be shown.

Silent night space
Since 2006, a room in the museum has been dedicated to the vicar and lyricist Joseph Mohr, who wrote the text for the Christmas carol "Silent Night, Holy Night" in 1816, which Franz Xaver Gruber set to music two years later. Joseph Mohr came to Wagrain in 1837. He remained in the historical memory of the place as the founder of a new school building and the depository system for the elderly.


Wagrain Castle

Wagrain Castle is the ruin of a hilltop castle at 840 m above sea level. A. on the so-called castle hill of the municipality Wagrain in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the state of Salzburg. The castle protected the transition over the Wagrainer Höhe from the Salzachtal to the Ennstal.

Two watchtowers stood in Wagrain as early as Roman times. One of them is likely to be the foundation of the parish church tower. The other stood on the castle hill.

Wagrain castle was built by the Lords of Goldegg around 1200; the exact dates are not known. The conveniently located complex was a bulwark against the Salzburg Archbishop, as the Goldeggers always opposed the expansion of sovereign power.

In the controversy over the royal throne between Ludwig IV. The Bavarian and Friedrich the fair, the Goldegger stood on the side of Ludwig, the Salzburg Archbishop Friedrich III. von Leibnitz but on Friedrich's side. Although Ludwig emerged victorious from the Battle of Mühldorf (1322), the Archbishop of Salzburg had, among other things, in the course of the fighting. Wagrain Castle destroyed.

This castle was not rebuilt, but the Hofmark Wagrain continued to exist. The Hofmark was incorporated into the Prince Archbishopric of Salzburg and given as a fief. In 1450 Wiguleius and Berhand Grabner received the Hofmark and Goldegg Castle from Tyrol. But they had to do without Goldegg as early as 1463. In 1593 the Welsers were raised to the nobility with the title of Wagrain. Abraham Welser von Labach zu Wagrain died in 1635. The last of the Welsers was his grandson Johann Melchior Welser von und zu Einödberg, Truchseß in Salzburg.

Wagrain castle ruins today
The castle grounds are located on a spur between the upper and lower sections of the market square, halfway up the church path. The place is protected on all sides by steep slopes. The Burgplatz is still 60 × 80 m in size and the courtyard is around 5000 m² in size. The 150 cm thick circular wall has been preserved on the southwest side up to a height of 3 m. Outside the remains of the curtain wall, there is a narrow path that circles the castle grounds. The lower part of a wall with a wall core is also present. The entrance gate was probably located in the eastern wall front. A square stone building, a former tower, was recognizable here at ground floor level. This tower stood on the foundations of a mighty, free-standing round tower with a wall thickness of about 2.7 m and a diameter of 11.5 m, which was probably the keep of the castle. During the renovation, the remains of the rectangular building that was later built on it were removed. The interior construction in the northwest of the castle plateau was presumably the palace hall of the castle with 22 × 13 m; Here you can see a square corner and two steps of an outside staircase. The remains of the castle have been restored and supplemented.

A castle house was built on the hill in the 19th century, but the owners moved away in 1939. The ruins were also badly damaged by massive stone theft (e.g. for the swimming pool construction in 1939), so that the castle disappeared from the consciousness of the population. From the castle there were three underground passages into the market: one to the cellar of the Steinerwirt (walled up in 1878), the second to the castle chapel (market church), the third was discovered in 1929 when the count's inn was being built, but bricked up because of its dilapidated condition.

Archaeological excavations have been carried out every year since 2006 on the initiative of the Blue Window cultural association. During the excavation work for the local art project 3 Hutschen for Wagrain, many finds came to light: ceramics, remains of walls and a previously unknown building floor plan that was not recognizable on the surface. Under the direction of Peter Höglinger (Department of Soil Monuments of the Federal Monuments Office and in cooperation with the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Salzburg) the facility was examined and measured with students in a three-week educational excavation; these archaeological investigations continued between 2006 and 2010. During excavations (2008) in the area of ​​the Zwinger between the hall and the surrounding wall, a dark, carbonaceous layer of earth was discovered; fragments of clay vessels, fragments of glass vessels, crossbow bolts, knives, belt buckles (all made of iron) and finger rings (non-ferrous metal) were found here; likewise three coins that refer to far-reaching trade connections based on their mints (Enns, Salzburg, Munich).

In the grounds of the former Wagrain Castle, boards now provide information about the history and importance of the facility and the special features of the round tower. An exhibition of art objects can also be viewed on a “cultural walk”.