The region south and east of Salzburg was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997, both due to its indescribable beauty and its cultural-historical importance as a source of salt. The valuable mineral has been mined in the area for over 7,000 years. (Salzkammer & gut = saltroom & property). Many of today's most important eastern Alpine passes were used in the Middle Ages to transport salt from the city that still bears the word in its name (Salzburg = Salt Fortress). A tour of the Hallein Salt Mines, the oldest salt mines in the world, is one of the highlights of a visit to the region. The Salzkammergut is dotted with incredibly beautiful mountain lakes, which are enjoyed by many a tourist.
Austria as if from a picture book
The Salzkammergut at the foot of the Alps near Salzburg is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. Medium and high mountains, gorges, cliffs and over 40 lakes alternate with one another. There are also countless Baroque churches and abbeys, castles and picturesque towns such as St. Gilgen or Bad Ischl, which is why UNESCO declared the whole area a World Heritage Site. Lake Fuschl is located in the heart of the Salzkammergut region, only 30 kilometers away from Salzburg. With a length of ten kilometers it belongs to the smaller lakes and is therefore less well known than the Mondsee or the Attersee, though no less appealing.
Postcard idyll with 4 000 years of history
Chinese architects found the picturesque town on Lake Hallstatt so enchanting that they built a replica of it in the People's Republic. The settlement here owes its origin to salt. Mighty Salt chambers were discovered here more than 4,000 years ago. Even today the “white gold” is still mined in the oldest salt mine in the world above Hallstatt. Traces of a rich past can be discovered everywhere: The Celtic grave sites, the salt mine, the prehistoric museum, the houses nested in confined space one above the other, the churches, the cemetery with the ossuary and the “oldest pipeline in the world”.
Mozart's romantic birthplace
The city located at the northern boundary of the Alps is one the most beautiful in central Europe. The backdrop of the Alps to the south contrasts strongly with the rolling plains to the north. The closest Alpine peak – the 1,972 m Untersberg – is only a few kilometers from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by baroque towers and churches. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Salzburg's most famous son. The houses where he was born and also lived in are popular tourist attractions and there are many monuments remembering the “Wolferl” in the city. His family is buried in a small church graveyard in the old town.
Germany, Czech Republic & Austria: Gems of Central Europe