Maintaining long-standing traditions
Rafting in Tölzer Land
Rafting has a long tradition in Tölzer Land and can be traced back to the 12th century.
The logs that arrived after “Triften” (= floating logs from alpine forests down brooks to the valley) were sorted for subsequent use by the various owners in the course of “Gantern” (stacking). Most of the logs were used to build rafts. The rafts themselves served to transport goods from the Isarwinkel far down the Danube river. Ultimately the rafts themselves were sources of wood. In general the supply of wood for construction, firewood and also the delivery of lime were the most important branches of trade within the rafting community.
The ancient rafting tradition continues to be kept alive along our rivers. In fact the town of Wolfratshausen calls itself the “International Rafters’ Town” and Lenggries since 2009 has borne the title “International Rafters’ Village”.
Saint Nicholas is seen on the guild banner of the Wolfratshauser Flößer rafting guild as far back as the year 1159. Even today, the banners showing Saint Nicholas are kept in museums and the rafter’s guild in the Isarwinkel. On the first Monday after Epiphany (January 6), a ceremonial mass was held as thanks for a successful year of rafting and to ask for protection against death in the coming year. The lasting reverence for Saint Nicholas is still revealed today by the statues of the saint on church altars and guild poles, and as frescoes on the houses in the rafting communities along the Isar and Loisach.
Saint John of Nepomuk, also known as the patron saint of bridges, is the second rafting saint. In the 19th century, it became customary among rafters on the Isar and Loisach to hold Johanni rafting in his honor. Today the Isar rafts float to Maria Thalkirchen church in Munich for a pilgrimage in June. A pilgrimage from Wolfratshausen to Munich was once again held after many years on 17 June 1990 to mark the 600-year anniversary of St. Maria in Thalkirchen church.
Long-standing Wolfratshausen rafting families revived the tradition and now make the rafting pilgrimage from Wolfratshausen to Munich-Thalkirchen every three years.
You can personally experience that rafting is alive and well in this day and age. Trips by raft are offered from Wolfratshausen to Munich and are highly popular, especially for company outings. The trip on the giant rafts, which lasts half a day, is one thing in particular for the passengers: a big party! On Europe’s largest rafts with a length of 18 meters that can transport around 60 passengers, a unique and often very lively experience is guaranteed with traditional refreshments and plenty of music.
Tölzer Land Tourismus
83646 Bad Tölz
Phone: 08041 - 505 206