Hallstatt

Hallstatt , Upper Austria is a village in the Salzkammergut, a region in Austria. It is located near the Hallstätter See (a lake). At the 2001 census it had 946 inhabitants. Alexander Scheutz has been mayor of Hallstatt since 2009.

In a 1956 book titled Panorama of Austria, James Reynolds wrote: Halstatt is set on piles in one of the Gosau lakes, the Halstättersee. An intricate system of intersecting timber ramps, butresses and ascending terraces like hanging gardens creates an air of mystery, the eerie beauty of mirage, a village lost in the middle-mist of fable. The mountain flanks rise sheer from the lake, leaving no room for a road.

Prehistoric remains found on this site have given the name of the Hallstatt Culture to the Iron Age. Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, the salt deposits in Hallstatt brought tribes across the mountains to this improbably remote spot from points as far away as the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. From that early time, until the close of the 19th Century, the mines have been a bone of contention for every helmeted dog in Europe to snap at, as the 19th-century Count Rudolf of Habsburg is supposed to have shouted to the Archbishop of Bern.

More recently, guidebook author and TV travel host Rick Steves wrote this description of Halstatt: The minute it popped into view, I knew Hallstatt was my Alpine Oz. ItΆs just the right size (1,200 people), wonderfully remote, and almost traffic-free. A tiny ferry takes you from the nearest train station across the fjord-like lake and drops you off on the townΆs storybook square.

Bullied onto its lakeside ledge by a selfish mountain, Hallstatt seems tinier than it is. Its pint-sized square is surrounded by ivy-covered guest houses and cobbled lanes. ItΆs a toy town. You can tour it on foot in about 10 minutes.
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