Barely anybody could rob Hallstatt of its seemingly raw charm. Wedged between the Hallstaetter See and the steep, towering cliffs of the Salzberg, Hallstatt has been a part of theUNESCO Cultural Landscape "Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut".
Already more than 7000 years ago salt was extracted here, and in the Middle Ages the "white gold" lured the Hapsburgs into the region and helped to put them on the map.
Up to today, the salt and the salt mine in the upper valley belong to the defining characteristics of the small town. The salt laid the foundations for prosperity, which is reflected in the architecture typical of the region.
General lack of space between the lake and mountain left its mark on the small salt metropolis and made it famous. Like swallows' nests, some houses cling to the bluffs high above the lake. The beautiful late-gothic parish church is enthroned above on a mountain ledge which was artificially expanded to create room for the small cemetery. But not every resident of Hallstatt had room here, and so the ossuary hosts the colored skulls of many deceased down to present day.
© Brigitte Leithner