In the year 2000, 200 years after the first climb of the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria, the Glocknerhaus Museum in Kals was established. The exhibition “Under the spell of the Grossglockner” is a modern display. Its many rooms explore the themes of nature and minerals, human life, and Austria’s highest mountain. The content ranges from the settlement of these remote valleys in the Eastern Alps in prehistoric times, to the history of ascent attempts of the Grossglockner, and the region’s emerging tourism industry.
The natural area of the region is shown on a walk-through map, accompanied by the presentation of wildlife such as groundhogs, ibex and other animals. Another room is dedicated to people who have been influenced by this landscape and the harsh mountain climate. The hard agricultural work in the steep mountain meadows, the extremely harsh winters and the long time of seclusion have produced a number of religious and secular customs, which are also mentioned. Selected objects, such as fine handicrafts and useful tools, are evidence of the ingenuity of the local population. “The black mountain”, as Austria’s highest peak is called due to its dark rocks, also features strongly in the exhibition – in particular its geography and a history of ascent attempts.
Part of the exhibition is dedicated to mountaineering in the Eastern Alps, which has its roots in Kals. Since the mid-19th century, Kals mountain guides have enjoyed world renown for guiding scientists from the National Geographic Society in the Himalayas and Caucasus. The region’s mountain guides, the technique of mountaineering, the development of mountaineering and the construction of refuges round off the very appealing exhibition about the Grossglockner.
In the final room, unique and attractive minerals and crystals of all shapes and sizes, recovered from the Glocknerwand, are presented in an appealing and informative way.