The “Kaiser Promenade” presents itself from its best side through all four seasons!
The easy circular walk was created in 1898 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kaiser Franz Joseph’s rule and is one of the most scenic walks and hiking trails Radstadt has to offer. It is situated on the northern edge of the forest near Radstadt – the starting point is easily accessible from the town centre.
The path is a very special treat at any time of year, today we’ll take you on our autumn walk along the Kaiser Promenade. We, Niki and our son Tobias start off at the Radstadt Sports Centre heading in a westerly direction past the Schloss Lerchen: by the way, this building also houses the town’s Local Heritage Museum, where you’ll find lots of exhibits focusing on the themes of geology, history, sacred art as well as handicrafts.
The fog is still somewhat persistent and we can see dew drops from the slightly cold night on the leaves on the trees next to us. On our backs we can feel how the sun’s rays are struggling to get through. After a few minutes’ walk there is a small chapel to be seen below the path – the so-called Loreto Church. This Pilgrimage Church is also part of the Radstadt Christmas walks, which take place annually in December. But more of those later.
“Favourite spot“ with view of the town
We follow the path whilst rustling up the fallen leaves with our feet. Above us the bent branches create an arch through which we walk, until we cross the Bürgerbergstrasse and afterwards dip back into the forest. We are now on my favourite part of the circular walk, as from here you get an unforgettable view over Radstadt with its towering church steeple, of Altenmarkt, into the Taurach valley towards Obertauren and of the ski area opposite. Our son declares full of pride: “Hopefully there’ll soon be enough snow over there to go skiing!”. We consciously slow down our pace and savour the picturesque scenery lying in front of us. Thereby, we pass on old wooden hut, which lies right next to the path and as a “scent house“ constitutes another part of the popular Christmas Walk.
The path leads us further on over a bridge, behind which there’s an imposing rock. Tobias already starts running – he knows exactly what’s coming! We make a small detour down to the right. Here there’s a shallow well, plastered with little grey stones from the former “foot trail” (which is currently being newly designed). As you surely know, water magically attracts children – our “little one” is no exception. After he has thrown a few stones in with dad, to see who can make the water splash the highest, we sit down on a brown wooden bench and make a short refreshment stop.
And exactly HERE is my personal “favourite spot“ along the circular walk. Almost as if we had ordered it, to our joy the sun makes an appearance and the autumnal early mist has risen. Here I can enjoy the fabulous view best of all. Together with the tranquillity of nature and the scent of the forest I regularly charge my batteries here and treat myself to a short timeout from my hectic everyday life – on my own or like today with my family. Behind me the burbling of the well – next to me, Tobias, who‘s happily munching his biscuits. As Niki places his arm around my shoulder, he tells us that as a child, and in his youth he spent innumerably many hours here: at first with his parents to collect natural materials for making arts & crafts, then later with the school to learn interesting facts about the forest and animals and finally to chat with his friends about girls.
Fascination of the forest
Happy & refreshed we set off on the path back to the promenade. The path leads us over a bridge or two, somewhat deeper into the forest and past some little “streams“, where we stop for a moment to listen to the gushing of the water – I love it! If we’re lucky, we might meet a squirrel – Tobias is always completely fascinated and stands as if turned to stone so as not to scare it. His dark eyes sparkle each time like diamonds, when a cute little squirrel with his fluffy, brown tail crosses the path in front of his feet.
Before we know it, we’re already back at the Rossbrandstrasse. Those wishing to can take the forest path further down towards Mandling as far as Dörfl. But we’ve had enough. We stroll happily back along the footpath to the car park, before Tobias begins to beg: “Mum, carry me, please.” 😊
My tip – The Radstadt Christmas Walks
As already promised, I’ll now tell you a little bit about the popular Christmas Walks. These definitely belong on your TO-DO list in Advent: these reflective walks along the Kaiser Promenade take place in Dezember. (In 2020 the Christmas hike will unfortunately be cancelled due to current Covid measures) In 2021 it will take place on 18 and 26 December from 5 to 7 pm. Take a little time out from the generally hectic Advent hustle and bustle and step into a romantic winter world: the Kaiser Promenade is romantically lit by torchlight on these 2 evenings. Along the path there are 24 illuminated Advent showcases with Christmas motives to wonder at – Europe’s longest Advent calendar! Plus, you pass a variety of stations: carol singing in the Loreto Church, storyteller, punch stand, scent house, brass music and much more! Come and see for yourselves.
Entlang des Weges sind 24 beleuchtete Adventkästchen mit weihnachtlichen Motiven zu bewundern – Europas längster Adventkalender! Außerdem gelangt ihr an vielen verschiedenen Stationen vorbei: Chorgesang in der Loretokirche, Märchenerzähler, Punschstand, Dufthäuschen, Bläsergruppe und vieles mehr. Lasst euch verzaubern!
Bildnachweis: Julia Scharfetter, TVB Radstadt