Eben am Achensee:
Tyrolean Alps with Lakeside Delights
Once upon a time, there was a picturesque little village by the shores of Lake Achensee in Tyrol. It was among the prettiest of all the pretty little villages in all of Tyrol, a province full of pretty little villages. Then the tourists arrived.
Eben am Achensee is among the most heavily visited villages in all of Austria - especially during the summer season, when ten thousands of people travel to Lake Achensee to engage in water sports, hiking, mountain biking and other trendy summer leisure. Needless to say, this did not add to the appeal of Eben; it did add to the village′s dimension, though.
In addition to the "main village" (downtown Eben?), there are satellite settlements called Maurach, Buchau and Pertisau that are more or less exclusively dedicated to hosting as many tourists as possible. All in all, almost one million of bed and breakfast arrangements are sold every year in Eben.
History of Eben am Achensee
It is easy to miss that Eben and the entire Achensee region in fact do have some history. The first to populate the area were probably the Bavarians in the 6th century. Eben was first mentioned in a document dating back to 1112. Back then. Most of the Achensee Valley belonged to the monastery of Georgenberg and the Counts of Schlitters. The area served as a route for merchants, but never gained much significance in this or any other respect.
In order to be able to accommodate the royal needs of Emperor Maximilian I, a "Fürstenhaus" (Prince′s House) was built in Pertisau in 1466. The popular Emperor liked to travel across Tyrol with hunting parties. Duke Ferdinand II of Tyrol extended the building, added new stables and pleasure house and celebrated lake festivals with decorated boats around 1570.
Touristic Development of Eben & the Achensee Region
Otherwise, little happened until the mid-19th century saw the rise of tourism. It became an increasingly big deal after 1887, when steamboats were introduced to Lake Achensee; and 1889, with the opening of a new railway line. People liked and still like Eben and the Achensee for its natural beauty - in terms of sightseeing in the classic sense of the word, possibilities are rather limited. The tomb of St. Notburga of Rattenberg can be found in Eben, supplemented with a Notburga-Museum.
The parish church of Eben has a long, but somewhat blurry history. The first church was mentioned in documents dating back to the 10th century; in 1515, a Gothic church was built and turned into Baroque between 1736 and 1738. Only choir stalls and the tower were preserved in their original Gothic appearance. The church is dedicated to St. Notburga.
During the winter season, skiing is the main attractant of Eben and the Achensee region. The skiing areas of Rofan and Zwölferkopf are particularly popular. Attractions nearby include the mining town of Schwaz; the small town of Rattenberg and the village Alpbach; the Zillertal Valley; the other mining town of Hall; and - with a bit more of driving involved - the Tyrolean capital Innsbruck and (other direction) Kufstein.
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