Traditional headdress for festive and holidays - the golden bonnet in Hallstatt. - © Kraft

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The region around Lake Hallstatt – World Cultural Heritage

Since living memory it was the salt which provided the wealth for the Inner Salzkammergut. The salt is the basis for the typical ancient customs and interesting cultural peculiarities. Recently UNESCO determined a big part of this region as a World Heritage worth to be preserved. And you may visit this!

History of the World Heritage region around Hallstatt

A historical cultural landscape since thousands of years: The region around Lake Hallstatt appealed very early to humans looking for the vital salt. There are traces of salt mining on the Hallstatt Salzberg going back as early as 2000 B.C. Great prosperity was gained through the salt trade, the burial objects document extensive and wide spread trade relations. The climax of ancient mining was definitely from 800 until 400 B.C (older Iron Age), which is also referred as the Hallstatt-Period due to the numerous findings in Hallstatt.

The mine was affected by a part collapse later on. Around the time of Christ’s birth the area was ruled by the Romans who started to settle in the valley, while the local people continued their trade. During the 5th century with the end of the Roman dominance a cultural collapse took place. There is no sure evidence if there was any salt mining during the medieval times, except a few traces of possible salt production on the west side of the Sandling.

Obertraun history

© Kraft | Obertraun am Hallstättersee

Gosau and the Gosau Valley history

© Kraft | Geschichte von Gosau am Dachstein

Hallstatt history

©  Kraft | Urlaub in Hallstattim Salzkammergut Geschichte von Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee

Bad Goisern on Lake Hallstatt history

©  Kraft | Urlaub in Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee im Salzkammergut

Around the turn of the 14th century we have reliable sources since the Habsburgs took over this area as their private property. Hallstatt regained its status as an important production site. The alliance between Austria and Bohemia in the 16th century resulted in a real boom era, and at the same time the region became dominated by Lutherans. Soon the mining capacity of Hallstatt became exhausted; the forests looked like karst formations, therefore the production had to be increased in Ischl and later on in Ebensee. The Catholic counter-reformation was a disastrous era for the Inner Salzkammergut, resulting in the displacement of more than 700 Lutherans to Transylvania at its peak. Only in 1781 the long awaited religious toleration became a reality. Around 1800 tourism slowly developed in this region, and the first travellers wrote in their guidebooks about travelling through the “Austrian Switzerland”. Tourism really took off with the construction of the railway, making the area more accessible. Since then the Inner Salzkammergut is a most popular tourist destination, which also was internationally appreciated with the World Cultural Heritage nomination by the UNESCO. © Dr. Michael Kurz, Dez. 2002

Excursion planner

© Kraft | Ausflugsplaner für die Ferienregion Dachstein Salzkammergut

Guided Tours with the Salzkammergut Guides

Discover the most beautiful features of Austria with the Salzkammergut Guides. Whether a walk through the historical village of Hallstatt, a culinary sightseeing tour or a stroll through the natural and cultural landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage Region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut, there’s something for everyone. The opportunities are as varied and numerous as the many lakes in the heart of Austria. Certified guides from throughout the Salzkammergut are available year-round in every season. Guests will find an extensive programme with a wide variety of offers on the guides’ homepage. Make your plans for an unforgettable adventure in the Salzkammergut! Click now for more information.

Holidays around Lake Hallstatt

Hotels and accommodation providers in Hallstatt, Bad Goisern, Gosau and Obertraun offer the ideal room or apartment for your holidays, no matter what your tastes. Aside from establishments rated according to the international "star" scale, you will also find around Lake Hallstatt in Austria businesses that have been awarded two to four "edelweiss". The more flowers, the greater comforts you can expect. Whether you eventually find your cozy nest in an elegant 5-star luxury hotel, at comfortable guesthouse, a family-friendly apartment, or on a traditional farm, the choice is always entirely up to you.

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