Hallstatt pin, showing cable car no. 6

Hallstatt pin, showing cable car no. 6

I visited Hallstatt one summer while on a tour of Austria. The tour began in Vienna, then Salzburg, and finally Hallstatt.

Hallstatt 1899

Hallstatt 1899

Hallstatt, Upper Austria, is a village in the Salzkammergut, a region in Austria. It is located near the Hallstätter See (a lake). At the 2001 census, it had 946 inhabitants.

Hallstatt is known for its production of salt in Greek (Hals)or (Halas)], dating back to prehistoric times, and gave its name to the Hallstatt culture, a culture often linked to Celtic, Proto-Celtic, and pre-Illyrian peoples in Early Iron Age Europe, c.800–450 BCE. There are definitely Roman ruins in Hallstatt, some of them excavated and on display beneath the floor of a sporting goods store.

Geography

Modern Hallstatt see from the North

Modern Hallstatt see from the North

Situated in the south-western shore of the Hallstätter Sea, the town lies in the geographical region of Salzkammergut, on the national road linking Salzburg and Graz.

Salt was a valuable resource, so the region was historically very wealthy. It is possible to tour the world’s first known salt mine, located above downtown Hallstatt.

The village also gave its name to the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture and is a World Heritage Site for Cultural Heritage. Hallstatt is a popular tourist attraction owing to its small-town appeal and can be toured on foot in ten minutes.

There are to date no recorded notable events that took place in Hallstatt during Roman rule or the early Middle Ages. In 1311, Hallstatt became a market town, a sign that it had not lost its economic value. Today, apart from salt production, which since 1595 is transported for 40 kilometres from Hallstatt to Ebensee via a brine pipeline, tourism plays a major factor in the town’s economic life. Tourists are told that Hallstatt is the site of “the world’s oldest pipeline”, which was constructed 400 years ago from 13,000 hollowed out trees. There is so little place for cemeteries that every ten years bones used to be exhumed and removed into an ossuary, to make room for new burials. A collection of elaborately decorated skulls with the owners’ names, professions, death dates inscribed on them is on display at the local chapel.

Nearby the village center is a salt mine museum. Visitors can slide down the ramp that miners used go to from the upper level to the lower level. In the mine there are many exhibits of salt mining from prehistoric times to the time the mine was closed.

Location: 4-F1

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