Hallstatt – history-charged postcard idyll

A trip to Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut

One of Austria's most beautiful places is hidden all the way in the back of a valley in the Salzkammergut. Hallstatt somehow manages to “keep itself above the water” with its location directly on and above the lake. There is a very simple but important answer to the question: “Why would anyone build a village here?” - the answer is: salt! 

,,Salzwelten'' Hallstatt - Salt worlds at Hallstatt
Salt mining in the mountains around Hallstatt

In a time when things were valued by their utility and not by their appearance salt was more precious than gold because it cured food. Near Hallstatt salt was already found a couple of thousands of years ago, hence the population here. A whole era was dedicated to the wealth and the developing culture here: this specific Bronze Age period (800-450BC) is called Hallstatt age. The name dates back to 1846 when a cemetery was found on Lake Hallstatt.  

Salt Mines at Hallstatt with sildes
,,Salzwelten Hallstatt'' in the former salt mines at Hallstatt

The traces of the “White Gold” - in the Hallstatt Salt Mine 

During the summer you can find the salt's origins here high above Hallstatt. Walk to the Hallstatt Salt Mine or take the panorama cable car. The journey to the origins and the deepest tunnels leads you deep into the mountain, over slides and past salt lakes. A perfect excursion, especially for families, that you should no miss out on. 

From bones and mountains

Stroll through Hallstatt and along the picturesque lakeside and see all the lovely highlights along the way. The ossuary at the church is an absolute curiosity. More than 600 skulls and the corresponding bones are stacked up at this charnel house. But that's not all: the skulls are also dated and painted. Legend has it that this method was used because there was not enough room at the Hallstatt cemetery. Latest findings refute this assertion because only individual families were exhumed instead of random graves. Normally the corps had been buried for 20 to 30 years before their bones were exhumed. 

Only the best are copied – how Hallstatt came to China 

You most probably have never heard of Boluo in the Chinese province of Guangdong. After years of research a replica of Hallstatt was built over there. Sure, the wonderful mountain scenery and other details are missing but the official delegation of Upper Austria and Hallstatt, who got invited to the introduction, were quite impressed by the result. After all, it's only the best and most beautiful who get copied. 

From Seehof on Lake Mondsee to Hallstatt 

The road runs along Lake Mondsee and south of Lake Attersee to Bad Ischl. From there keep driving southbound through Bad Goisern and finally along Lake Hallstattt. Up until 130 year ago Hallstatt was only accessible by boat. Today it's a 1-hour drive tops and definitely worth the trip. Send us your no obligation holiday enquiry for further holiday tips and the perfect holiday accommodation at Seehof Hotel Mondsee