Zell Am See

Five things you didn’t know…

Simon Oberrauner (AUT2) performing during the Red Bull X-Alps at Zell am See / Austria on 29-June-2021. In this endurance adventure race athletes from 18 nations have to fly with paragliders or hike from Salzburg along the alps towards France, around the Mont Blanc back to Zell am See.

Zell am See has been a very welcome sight to those athletes who have landed on the raft on its lake over the last couple of days, and it is the full focus for those still out on the course who are hoping to reach that raft before 11:30 tomorrow. It’s a great place for a holiday too, especially for outdoor lovers. Here are some interesting things we have discovered about Zell am See. 

1. Zell am See was founded by monks in Roman times. It is mentioned on a deed from 743 as ‘Cella in Bisonzio’.  The name Zelle refers to the cells the monks lived in; Bisonzio is a name for the Pinzgau region. 

2. Lake Zell, at 740m elevation, is 4 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide. In winter it completely freezes and opens up for winter sports including ice skating and curling. It also has an ice landing strip for light planes and hosts a GP Ice Race. 

3. The Schmittenhöhe (1,950m), the final Turnpoint in the race, has stunning views into the valley, across Lake Zell and to the 3,000m peaks of the Hohe Tauern National Park with the Grossglockner as its highest point. It has had a ski resort on top since 1902 and had its first winter downhill ski race in February 1906. It has expanded of course since then, and now has 138km of pistes. 

4. To its southwest is Kaprun, which has a medieval castle, originally built in the 12th century but rebuilt after a fire in 1600. A medieval festival is held there every summer. 

5. Episode 10 of 2001’s mini-series ‘Band of Brothers’ was set in Zell am See.

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