Hallstatt, Austria

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saturday morning we woke up to a good 6" of snow! What the what?!
Our hotel included a buffet breakfast so we went down to the restaurant area to eat our fill.
How did they dye these hardboiled eggs so vividly!?! They were beautiful!
Auf Weidersehen hotel!
We drove down the mountains about a half hour to Hallstatt. If we had done our research a little better we probably would have put off this trip for a month because most of the sights aren't open until April, including this..."What is that thing called again? Why can't I remember the word? (that was me about 17 times throughout the day)"... funicular train.
Cuz I love the blue paned windows.
So, why drive all this way for a tiny little Austrian lake town? This is why! Could it BE any more charming?

Lovable Hallstatt is a tiny town on a ledge between a steep mountain and a placid lake with a waterfall cutting down its middle. Salt veins in the mountain rock drew people here centuries before Christ. 
Apparently these trees grow so two-dimensional because they are attracted to the heat from the buildings.
Flower season is coming!
Historically, there was a Hallstatt before there was a Rome. In fact, because of the importance of salt mining here, an entire epoch - the Hallstatt Era from 800 to 400 B.C. - is named for this important spot. Through the centuries, salt was traded and people came and went by boat.
Today it is a tiny town that you can walk through in about 15 minutes. But I could spend 15 days here!
In 1750, Market Square was leveled by a fire. The buildings you see today are all from the late 18th century after the fire and built in stone rather than flammable wood. The statue was still in its winterized condition, but it features the Holy Trinity. 
Another two-dimensional tree. This one is a pear tree.

Ambience out the wazoo.
Looking between the buildings to the Protestant church. 
Although Austria remained a very strong Catholic country throughout the Reformation, there were pockets of Protestantism and in 1860 when Emperor Franz Josef finally allowed non-Catholic Christians to build churches, Hallstatt's miners pooled their resources and built this fine church.
The interior is subdued and emphasizes the pulpit and the organ.

Above the little boat dock is the Catholic church, St. Christopher's.
Coquettish ingenue? #themartian #booty
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Until 1875 this town was extremely remote. But then came a real road and the train. A little boat shuttles passengers from the town to the train station across the lake.
The view of Hallstatt.
Up behind the Catholic church is a well-tended cemetery.
The famous Beinhaus, or Bone Chapel, was still closed for the season. It opens, like everything else, in April. We were just a few days too early! A great excuse to come back though.

Swans have been in the lake since the 1860s when Emperor Franz Josef and his wife Empress Sisi made this region their holiday retreat. Sisi loved swans so the locals made sure to get some for her.
Back near the market square is the Dachstein Sport Shop. During a renovation project the builders dug down and found ancient Celtic and Roman ruins.
You can go downstairs in the shop and walk on Roman flagstones or look through glass panels outside under the portico and see some of the history.
This house dates from 1597 - you can see it inscribed on the right pane of the door. That's quite old!
Up on Dr. Morton Weg street a house has a collection of old tools decorating its side.
Little shrine.
The Evans family in Hallstatt, Austria on Saturday March 26th 2016.

I'd love to go back to Hallstatt for a family reunion in the summer and swim in the lake, tour the salt mines, ride the funicular, hike to the waterfalls, eat at the cute cafes, and so much more!


  1. Love your pics - we went to Hallstatt last summer and we did do the funicular (though not the salt mines b/c it was a looooong tour and we were toured out at that point in the trip). The bonus for going when you went is the lack of crowds (at least from what it looks like in your pics). It was sooooooo crowded when we were there that it was almost hard to walk the streets. Loving all of your travels!

  2. What an adorable little place! I live in a one stop-light town right now with wonderful neighbors and its own rich history/character. Your travels make me wish it were possible to assume the life of someone else just for a day or two to experience everyday life with their local family and friends in these stunning yet quaint places!


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