Austria (3,798 m) – Highest Peak in the Eastern Alps
The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria and the tallest in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. Like its counterparts to the west in Switzerland, the Grossglockner is an incredibly popular tourist destination, and visited by countless nature-lovers and skiiers alike. Its name is German for the “Great Bell”.
The Grossglockner stood guard between the “civilized” south and “barbaric” north in ancient and medieval times. During the colonial era, the mountain’s environs became a favorite playground for the ruling Hapsburg monarchy and the aristocracy of the Holy Roman Empire. The peak was first scaled in 1773.
Today Grossglockner is the most popular outdoor destination in Austria. Nearly a million visitors, more often hikers and skiiers, try its slopes every year. One of the highest roads in Europe climbs over the mountain, which is crowned with the “Summit Cross”, which was installed on the peak in 1880. The mountain is most closely accessible to the town of Lienz, about fifteen miles to the south, approximately sixty miles east of Inssbruck.