For some clean air and scenic views, you really can’t go wrong with the Austrian village of Hallstatt. I don’t have to tell you (the photos speaks for themselves), the scenery here is nothing short of stunning. Located along the shore of the lake known as the Hallstätter See, Hallstatt originally was a salt mining mining town. In fact, some of the world’s oldest (if not the oldest) salt mines are located within close proximity to the village. Probably due to this, Hallstatt is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mines are currently closed for business but open to tourists and explorers.
Things to See and Do in Hallstatt
For a village of less than 900 people, there’s surprisingly a good amount of things to see and do here. Boat rides, salt mines, beautiful buildings and more!
Hallstatt Market Square
This is pretty much where all the action happens. Located in the town center of Hallstatt, the square’s most prominent features are the statue of the Holy Trinity and the colorful buildings that surround it. In and around this area is where you’ll find the city’s best restaurants, cafes, hotels and souvenir shops. The best time to be here is in mid December for the town’s Christmas festivities. The square really lights up then.
Church of Christ
So you’re probably wondering what that beautiful building with the tall spire is in all of these Hallstat photos. That my friends is the Church of Christ. Honestly, I don’t know much about the history of this specific place, but apparently they still have services here. You can find out more by visiting the church’s official site. Of course if you’re like most people, you’ll probably just settle to get a photo of it surrounding by Hallstatt’s beautiful lake scenery.
Hallstatt MuseumOpened in 1888, the Hallstatt Museum was created to document and display the town’s impressive archaeological history. Exhibits start with the Stone Age and go through thousands of years of the region’s history. Here you can see a lot of the interesting things that were discovered in the salt mines as well as remnants of a burial ground dating from the Iron Age. There are also the remains of a salt mummy nearly 7,000 years old! You can learn more from the museum’s web site.
Hallstatt Salt MineRunning at least since the 15th century, the Hallstatt Salt Mine is possibly the oldest of its kind in the world. The golden years of the mine’s operation were from the 1600s up to the mid 20th century. Today they’re a popular tourist attraction for all those who desire to see what the daily life of an Austrian miner was like.
Michael’s ChapelHonestly, this would be a rather insignificant church if it wasn’t for the 1,200 skulls it contains. Yes, you read that right. Basically when the town’s cemeteries ran out of room, families brought the remains of their beloved deceased ones to this church. Without going into details, after about a decade or so, many of these bones were taken from the graves, cleaned and even painted. Today, the remains of the town’s deceased are cremated, thereby ending this peculiar practice. However, I must say that it was an interesting town tradition.
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