A charming town, with southern flair, a historical town centre with splendid town houses and facades dating from the 15th century to the 18th century. Gmunden is the former salt trading capital, with its renaissance town-hall which has the only ceramic chimes in Austria. The true emblem of the town is the "Seeschloss Ort", situated on a small island and purchased by archduke Johann Salvator Toscana, which was related to the House Habsburg-Lothringen. He also owned the "Landschloss Ort", which was built by Adam Count Herberstorff, brutal opponent of the peasants during the Upper Austrian peasant wars, in 1626. Johann Salvator also built the Villa Toscana, which was the exile residence of the family of the Grand Dukes of Toscana, for his mother, the Duchess of Toscana. Today, the "Schloss Ort" became even more famous because of the TV-series "Schlosshotel Orth".
The castle "Cumberland", the exile residence for the Royal House of Hannover, was built in 1878 in the English Tudor style for August of Cumberland , Royal Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Braunschweig Lüneburg. In 1923, the wedding of his son Prince Ernst August with the only daughter of the last German Emperor Wilhelm II, Princess Victoria Luise. All 5 children of the Duchess and the duke were born here. One of them was Friedericke, who later became Queen of Greece. Today, the castle is a provincial hospital.
Gmunden became the title of a "Convalescence-town" in the year 1862 and still is on of the most beautiful holiday resorts in Austria with two technical highlights: "Gisela", the world’s oldest driven paddle steamer, built in 1870/71, named after the daughter of Emperor Franc Joseph and the "Gmundner Strassenbahn", Europe's smallest and most steeply tramway with a length of only 2,5 km.
Even a chapter of world history was written in Gmunden: Important treaties that changed the shape of Europe were concluded in the Kammerhof (then the only seat of the Hapsburgs in the Salzkammergut).