- HALLSTATT PART 1 -

Hallstatter See

LINKS to pages in the Hallstatt site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Hallstatter See
2 : Hallstatt Churches

3 : Hallstatt Town
4 : Hallstatt Funicular
HOME PAGE : AUSTRIA 2009
HOME PAGE : COLIN DAY'S LINKS

HallstattLakeTitle100.jpg Hallstätter Lake or Hallstätter See is situated in the Salzkammergut, Austria.Its surface is approximately 8.55 km² and its maximum depth is 125 metres. It is a popular destination for tourists, especially scuba divers. Hallstatt is situated on the south-western shore of the lake and lies on the national road linking Salzburg and Graz.

Salt is the 'White Gold' of Hallstatt. Human activity in this magnificent natural landscape began in prehistoric times, when its deposits of salt began to be exploited by the Celts. In antiquity, Hallstatt was a thriving salt-mining and trading centre that gave name to the Hallstatt Period, 750 - 450 BC, an early Iron Age culture.

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Until the late 19th century, it was only possible to reach Hallstatt by boat or via narrow trails. The land between the lake and mountains was sparse, and the town itself exhausted every free patch of it. Access between houses on the river bank was by boat or over the upper path, a small corridor passing through attics. The first road to Hallstatt was only built in 1890, along the west shore, partially by rock blasting.

However this secluded and inhospitable landscape nevertheless counts as one of the first places of human settlement because of the rich sources of natural salt, which have been mined for thousands of years, originally in the shape of hearts. Some of Hallstatt's oldest archaeological finds, such as a shoe-last celt, date back to around 5500 BC. In 1846 Johann Georg Ramsauer discovered a large prehistoric cemetery close by the current location of Hallstatt. Ramsauer's work at the Hallstatt cemeteries continued till 1863, unearthing more than 1000 burials.

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The following photographs depict a short tour by boat covering the southern end of lake and returning to Hallstatt town


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