Best reasons to visit Hallstatt

The beautiful Hallstatt

The beautiful town of Hallstatt ©kainet/Flick

In the middle of the mysterious region of Salzkammergut lies Hallstatt, the oldest city in Austria, whose culture dates back from the eighth century BC. Its prosperity since medieval times was based on salt mining, the word Hallstatt meaning “place of salt”, which stand testament to its primary function. Probably the most photographed Austrian city, Hallstatt is framed by the Lake Hallstättersee and the massive Dachstein mountain range, whose giant cliffs rise steeply from narrow valleys.

We would like to enumerate you the best reasons to visit Hallstatt including cultural sites, religious buildings and a salt mine.

Museum in Hallstadt

Once arrived, the Cultural Heritage Museum in Hallstadt offers a tour full of adventure that takes you 7,000 years back in history to learn about the Iron Age, known worldwide as the Hallstatt culture.

The beautiful Hallstatt

The beautiful Hallstatt ©kainet/Flick

Interesting religious buildings

After a short walk you can reach the Archangel Saint Michael Chapel dating from the twelfth century, where you will see some of the most unique items Hallstatt: hand painted skulls hanging in the “House of Bones “. Inside are over 1,200 human skulls, of which 610 were painted with floral designs and inscribed with the names and dates of birth and death. All this is because the cemetery is very small and there is no possibility of expansion, and before 1970 cremation was forbidden by the Catholic Church.

Skull room in Hallstatt

Skull room in Hallstatt ©Mihnea Stanciu/Flick

The Chapel of Saint Michael in Hallstadt has a precious Gothic stained glass that depicts the Archangel holding in his hand the “balance for weighing souls” and in the eastern part you find the baroque altar of St. Michael donated in 1612 by the salt finisher, Eysl.

Among the remarkable buildings that deserves a visit, there is the Ascension Lady Roman Catholic Parish Church, a beautiful pearl in the middle of the city. The small church was built in 1181, the tower dating from the twelfth century is a testimony to this fact. Built with great boldness on the high and steep rock in the late Gothic period, became in 1505 the church today, replacing the earlier Romanesque building. The church is distinguished by the bell in the top of the clock tower, whose roof looks like Chinese pagodas, with four overlapping eaves. Inside, the nave and the altar vaulted in star-shape are double, thus keeping the gothic fashion.

The Parish Church in Hallstatt

The Parish Church in Hallstatt ©weisserstier/Flick

Visiting the salt mine

One of the best reasons to visit Hallstadt is the local treasure, salt, which was for centuries the source of wealth for the city. We recommend you to visit the oldest salt mines in the world. Once inside the cave of “Hörnerwerk” you will find an underground salty lake and you will get familiar with the tragic fate of the prehistoric miner who became world famous as the “man preserved in salt.”

 

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