Mondseeland is the designation for the area around Mondsee and Irrsee in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut. The name Mondsee (Moon-lake) seems to derive from Roman times when the lake, due to its peculiar form, was called "Lunae Lacus"; other sources name Duke Uthilo or Odilo designating the lake after being safed from an accident by upcoming moonshine and out of gratitude for his salvation in 748 AD founded the first Austrian monastery on its western shore, the present Markt Mondsee. Mondseeland belonged to Bavaria at that time and only in 1506 was it integrated into the Habsburg's Austrian empire. The monastery experienced its economic prime during the 15th century, the gothic Basilica in its present form was constructed in 1487 in lieu of a Romanesque church. The church is well known for its winged altar by the painter Michael Pacher. After a turbulent history the monastery was dissolved in 1791 by Empereur Joseph II. It was renamed into "Castle Mondsee" and in 1809 following the Napoleonic wars, through heritage by Duke Karl Philipp of Wrede, came into posession of the Portugese family of Almeida. Summer tourism started slowly in the Mondsee area, the Habsburgs were only interested in its abundance of timbre for their salt-production in the Inner Salzkammergut. But the situation changed with the decline of the salt-mines and the construction of the Salzkammergut-railway from Salzburg to Bad Ischl in 1893: the area became easily accessible and its indication 'Salzkammergut' changed from an economic to a scenic term. Lake Irrsee with its adjusting moor being situated north of Mondsee, is a nature reserve, while lake Mondsee itself is well known for its richness in fish. Saint Koloman's church, on mount Koloman right above lake Irrsee, was first mentioned in 1511 and is not only a place of pilgrimage but also the oldest wooden church in Austria. The open-air museum "Mondseer Rauchhaus" just above the village is the former farmstead "Unterer Bischofer" dating back to the 15th century. The farmhouse and its surrounding buildings were relocated from their original location during the construction of the highway in 1959. Two prominent mountains dominate the surroundings of lake Mondsee: on its eastern end rises Schafberg mountain with its peculiar peak and to the south the area is bordered by Drachenwand (Dragons-wall mountain) already mentioned as "Trackhenstain" in 1435.
original text by Sandra Vlasta, edited and translated by Yvonne Oswald
Mondsee for 'Salzkammergut', photo- text-book (Braumüller 2009) 'Reisen im Salzkammergut - Oberösterreichisches Seengebiet', photo- text-book (Braumüller 2012)