Hallstatt is located on the shores of a sleepy Austrian lake Hallstatter See , surrounded by high hills and the Dachstein Mountain Range. Similar to a fjord, Hallstatt Lake extends in front of the picturesque village that was one of the earliest and most unique settlements in this region.
Due to the early discovery of large salt deposits in the surrounding mountains, the village has a proud history that dates back a thousand years and archaeology has revealed that this area was inhabited from around 5000 BC. Long before Christianity came to Salzkammergut and prior to any churches being built, an independent prehistoric culture evolved.
The village contains a rich variety of historic buildings and its churches contain precious works of art such as a Late Gothic altar created by Leonhard Astl. The old marketplace and fountain is crowned by a trinity column that dates back to 1744. The welcoming facades of the dwellings have graced this atmospheric village since the 16th century and the market probably dates back to the 14th century.
In 1891, Lake Street played a vital role for the village’s busy commercial traffic and the impressive Countryside and Pre-History Museum displays the history of salt mining in the area and its importance to the village.
In 1846, the Salinen civil servant, Johann Georg Ramsauer, made a sensational discovery when he discovered a prehistoric burial ground in the village. During 17 years of excavation, a total of 20,000 objects were discovered in 980 graves. These discoveries subsequently led to the establishment of Hallstatt’s intriguing and fascinating culture.
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