© Photo: Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH./Robert Maybach: Enjoy the view in Upper Austria
Enjoy the view in Upper Austria

Memorial wedding cross

St. Gilgen, Salzburg, Österreich
  • All weather
  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for kids (all ages)

The Wedding Cross is located below the Falkenstein's slightly above the lake. Large wayside shrine from 1609, erected by the archbishop's keeper. Legend of a drowned wedding party.

The legend of the wedding cross:
In the Fürberg area, on the shores of Lake Wolfgangsee, stood the house of the "evil Marthe", as people from the neighbourhood generally called her.

Despite the woman's notorious treachery and malice, the Junker Stollhammer from St. Gilgen decided to ask for the hand of her only and beautiful daughter. The people of the village greatly admired him for his courage.

Since the squire's love for the beautiful Käthchen was above all else, he did not give up until a suitable day for the wedding was found and the wedding party could be ordered.
As if fate had willed it, a devastating fire broke out in the bride's mother's barn on the eve of the wedding.

Soon a crowd of people had formed around the scene of the fire and you could literally feel that the people present were begrudging the wicked Marthe this fate.

Cold-heartedly, they put forward the wildest theories; some saw the devil at work, whose revenge on her was long overdue, while others spoke maliciously behind closed doors about the fact that injustice does not prosper. Not a single one of them offered a single word of sympathy.

When the "evil Marthe" suddenly appeared, the crowd retreated in horror, not least because Marthe, with her sooty black face, had taken on the features of a witch. She stood on the meagre remains of her possessions, charred beyond recognition, and launched into the most terrible insults and curses against God and the world.

She pointedly ignored the pleas of some people for her to refrain from these terrible and blasphemous utterances.

After a while, she spoke up again:
"Now that nothing remains of what I once owned and therefore nothing exists in which or on which to hold the wedding celebration, I must endeavour another element. The wedding will take place on the ice of Lake Wolfgang. May it not be hostile to me!"

She did not hesitate for a moment to set the preparations for the celebration on the ice in motion. The wedding guests tried in vain to dissuade her from her plans. Even her future son-in-law, who was more than astonished that he was to celebrate his wedding outdoors and then over the bottom of Lake Wolfgangsee and who tried everything to change her mind, had to admit his failure.

Once all the preparations were complete, the party on the ice could begin. The guests danced the night away, forgetting all the dangers posed by the ice and even got into a jolly mood, especially the bride's mother herself.
Only the bride and groom kept a little more in the background than was usual for a wedding couple due to a bad premonition.

"Please listen, my husband, to what I have to tell you," she interrupted their silence, "Yesterday, when the mother stood cursing and nagging on the ruins of her property, I felt as if I had seen a tall, black figure rising from the lake. With her hand raised, she threatened the mother!"......Da! Look!"

When the squire turned round, he could already see the disaster. The ice began to crack incessantly under their feet.
Just before the first huge cracks formed in the ice and all the guests and old Marthe were swallowed up by the lake, the bridal couple saved themselves with a daring leap to the shore. From there, the terrified couple had to watch helplessly as the dramatic events unfolded.

After this, Käthchen fell into a long and serious illness. When she was finally able to stand up again after months, her husband took her to the church in St Gilgen where they had said "I do". As they sat in front of the beautiful wedding altar, Junker Stollhammer decided to erect a cross on a boulder jutting out of Lake Wolfgangsee not far from the site of the accident in gratitude for his and his wife's rescue.
The so-called wedding cross still stands on this small rock today.

  • opened daily
  • open to the public
  • Can only be viewed from outside

Travelling by public transport
Route planner for independent travellers
  • All weather
  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for schools
  • Suitable for kids (all ages)
  • Suitable for teenagers
  • Suitable for seniors
  • Suitable for single travelers
  • Suitable for friends
  • Suitable for couples
  • Suitable for children
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

Please get in touch for more information.


Memorial wedding cross
am Wolfgangsee
5360 St. Gilgen

Phone +43 6227 2348
E-Mail st.gilgen@wolfgangsee.at
Web www.wolfgangsee.at

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