Aschau 81, 6234 Brandenberg.
MAY to OCT daily.
Closed during storms and heavy rain.
Kaiserhaus closed on Tue.
Parking at the Kaiserhaus: Half Day EUR 3, Full Day EUR 5, Bus EUR 10.
|Dimension:||L=1 km, A=710 m asl.|
|Guided tours:||self guided, D=60 min, L=2 km.|
Kaiserklamm, Aschau 81, 6234 Brandenberg.
Gasthaus Kaiserhaus, Fam. Larch, Aschau 81, 6234 Brandenberg, Tel: +43-5331-5271.
„Sport Ossi“ Mei-Maria Stock, Wittberg 105, A-6233 Kramsach, Tel: +43-5337-63300, Fax: +43-5337-64967, Cell: +43-664-2330321. E-mail: E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Kaiserklamm (Emperor Gorge) was named after Royal visitors: Sisi and Franzl, Emperor Franz Josef I (*1830-✝1916) and his wife Elisabeth once stayed overnight at the Gasthaus Kaiserhaus at the entrance to the gorge. The room has been preserved in its original state to this day for Habsburg fans. According to local lore the emperor loved to observe the work of the lumberjacks from the trail, and the gorge was also the starting point for hunting.
Once upon a time, the wood was drifted down into the valley with great effort and danger for the woodworkers. The once unsecured footpaths, which were mostly hewn out of the rock for the drifting, are still accessible today. They were used until the early 20th century. The timbers were 4 to 4.5 m long, and in the narrow section there was always the risc of them blocking. It was essential to loosen them with long sticks as fast as possible, to prevent them from accumulating and forming a massive dam, which was called Fuchs (fox). If this happened, they dammed the water above and tried to flush the wood out, which often worked, when the wood started to float in the deep water. If it did not work they placed explosives and solved the problem this way. A walk through the gorge actually makes you realise how hard the work of the lumberjacks once was.
The gorge was formed by the Brandenberger Ache river. As almost any river is named Ache in Tirol, a rather common name in the area, this one is attributed with the name of the nearby town Brandenberg. The trails were originally narrow trails used by the lumberjacks, manually widened at some points and very dangerous. They were widened using drilling machines and explosives under the supervision of engineer Hermann Veith. This work took decades to complete and even some short tunnels were necessary. Originally there were no railings, because they would be in the way to losen the timber. After the drifting ended and the gorge was developed for tourism, the trails were secured with railings.
The house at the entrance of the gorge was owned by the Österreichische Bundesforste (Austrian forestry authority) and was the home of the local forest ranger and his family. It was tradition that the wife operated the inn. The building is still owned by the forestry authority today. It offers a restaurant, catering, festivities, has 10 beds and 30 dormitory places. It is popular with families as it has a playground with a large trampoline and a petting zoo.
The gorge is an easy walk and quite safe. It is suitable for children, but they may only be taken along if they wear a safety harness. Safety harnesses for children are offered free of charge at the Kaiserhaus. This is quite unique and funny, even for Austria. Halfway is the commemorative plaque for engineer Hermann Veith. About one kilometer long, it takes about 30 minutes of easy stroll, and the shortest way is to return on the same path.
There is also the possibility to return on the forest road which is a little longer. If you want to extend the tour, there is the Jausenstation Erzherzog-Johann-Klause, 2 km upstream where you can have a beer and a meal. If you see the dense forest in the upper valley, its easy to understand, why drifting was so important. At the Erzherzog-Johann-Klause is the dammed lake, where the trees were gathered to be drifted 20 km to Kramsach.
The gorge is also frequented by kayakers, is used for rafting and tubing tours, and the particularly brave also do white-water swimming. This seems to be some kind of extreme-canyoning, which is quite freaky, as canyoning is already an extreme sport. On the other hand children have to wear a harness. The activities are organised by Sport Ossi. The Brandenberger Ache it is the last unspoilt white water in Tyrol.