The Austrian charming city Hallstatt became my last year’s opening. This tiny village is located in almost inaccessible Alps. And if sometimes you, the same like me, get tired of big cities and are dreaming of feeding swans on a crystal clear lake with incredible views, welcome to the city of Hallstatt.
In our article we will tell you what is so incredible about this city, that the Chinese spent more than $ 940 million to make the exact copy of Hallstatt on the territory of their homeland. That’s right; in 2012 the Minmetals Metallurgical Corporation has built in Guangdong province – the exact copy of Hallstatt. The interesting fact that nowadays the real estate there is worth from 250 to 600 thousand euros, which is even more expensive than in the medieval original Hallstatt town.
Hallstatt’s population is only 923 people as of 2005. The area is only 60 square kilometers. The fact is that on the one hand, the growth of the city is limited by the lake and the other by rocks. This explains a very strange and ancient local tradition. Since there was not much space for the cemetery, the ancients invented to dig up bones every 10-15 years, paint them and exhibit in the local chapel. It is not practiced now, but the painted remains can be seen in the chapel.
The well-known salt mines are located on the territory of Hallstatt. The salt caused the development of the city and its enrichment long before the Middle Ages. In prehistoric times, there was a sea in this place, where huge reserves of salt became from. Even by its name, Haltstatt owes its salts, because in Celtic “hall” means salt. Now the main source of the town enrichment is tourism. Not only European tourists dream to visit Hallstatt, but from all over the world. This August, The New Yorks Time newspaper dedicated an issue to this phenomenon called “The Problems and Opportunities of Highly Increased Tourism in Hallstatt”.
What will surprise you in Hallstatt and how to get there?
There are several options, but quite convenient is a train from Vienna or Salzburg and also a ferry to the town. Hallstatt is so far located from civilization that direct communication as roads did not exist here until the 19th century.
This is a picturesque town, where time has stopped. Speaking of Hallstatt landmarks, in fact, every home is a work of art. Roosters and roofs, carefully stocked with winter firewood, wooden benches and unrealistic lake views on the snow-capped mountains of the Alps in the summer.
Other highlighted places of interest to visit include the following:
1) Hallstatt Sky Walk – The World Heritage View;
2) Silent point observation deck – city view – business card and postcard of Hallstatt;
3) The Chapel of St. Michael (Michaelskapelle) is the ossuary we have already mentioned;
4) Hallstätter Marktplatz – the central square of the city, which has a lot of cafes and restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops.
What to do on Lake Hallstatt when you have visited all the sights and walked the picturesque streets of the town several times? Personally, I have planned to buy rose wine, delicious cheese and berries, and to enjoy a small picnic directly on the lake in the company of my friend. And I will say that it was one of the most magical days of my life. Incredible energy, the tranquility of the crystal lake and the midst of the picturesque Alps, the noise of waterfalls, birds singing and the reflection of the sun in all the colors of the rainbow. Isn’t every resident of a big city is dreaming of?!
I can only imagine how wonderful Hallstatt is during winter times.As each house seems to come to life and to breathe through its chimney.
How quiet and cozy here, so silent that you can hear the snow falling. If you are also fascinated by these beautiful views, then welcome to Hallstatt.