In the Austrian Salzkammergut lies one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites in our country, which even gave its name to a period of the older Iron Age (around 800 to 450 BC): Hallstatt on Lake Hallstatt. Basically, the town consists of only one street running parallel to the shore and a few alleys around the market square. There was no room for more between the steep mountain slope and the lake, so the houses crowd the narrow strip of shore and give the town its typical appearance.
This place was already sought out in the Neolithic period because of the rich natural salt deposits and the oldest finds date back to around 5,000 B.C. Iron was also forged here very early on and the lively trade in these goods and the resulting prosperity gave rise to a flourishing culture, which also gave its name to a period of the older Iron Age – the so-called Hallstatt period.
Worth seeing are not least the Hallstatt period burial ground, which was discovered by Johann Georg Ramsauer as early as 1846, and the salt tunnel with its salt mountain railway. This is also where the “famous” man in the salt was found, a miner who was trapped underground by an accident and preserved by the dehydrating effect of the salt (4th century BC). The Catholic parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary or Maria am Berg should also be visited. The church, completed in 1505, sits enthroned on a rock above the roofs of the village and houses, among other things, the Hallstatt Altar of Mary, a late Gothic convertible altar from Upper Austria.