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What is the Salzkammergut?
The Salzkammergut is located in the very heart of Austria, in the north easternmost portion of the Alps. It stretches east of Salzburg across three Austrian states. The largest part of the Salzkammergut is located in the state of Upper Austria (72%), a smaller portion of 12 % in the state of Salzburg and the ‘Ausseerland’ including the area extending to Mount Grimming (16%) in the state of Styria. Nowadays, the Salzkammergut is more or less identical with the lake district encompassing 76 lakes of various sizes, 54 towns, the Traun River headwater and mountain ranges such as the ‘Tote Gebirge’ (Dead Mountains), the ‘Höllengebirge’ (Hell Mountains) and Dachstein/Gosaukamm. The Salzkammergut comprises the gentle foothills of the Alps as well as the lower Flysch mountain ranges and the high alpine Northern Limestone Alps featuring vast karst plateaus and extensive underground cave systems.
The Salzkammergut ranks among the most splendid, most multi-faceted and most complex regions worldwide and involves many micro-landscapes featuring their own specific particularities.
Clear lakes, dark forests and mountains – both sharp and gentle – are the basic components of this unique and splendid scenery, a scenery which, however, has been formed and shaped by human hand according to the economic requirements of salt mining and forestry. As a result, this harmonious cultural landscape features picturesque towns, local treasures & particularities of high cultural value and a still perceptible and tangible presence of the Habsburgs (the dynasty which dominated the destiny of the Austrian lands over almost 650 years).
A wealth of traditions, rituals and customs, bolstered
by the fact that the Salzkammergut was geographically isolated
throughout centuries, continues to be practiced to this day and many of
these traditions evolved exclusively in the Salzkammergut.
The most popular destinations are the towns of Bad
Aussee, Hallstatt, Bad Ischl, Gmunden, St. Wolfgang and Mondsee, Giant
Dachstein Ice Cave at Obertraun, the salt mine and the bone house at
Hallstatt, the Imperial Villa and very likely the Zauner pastry shop at
Bad Ischl, the gothic winged altar in the parish church of St.
Wolfgang, the erstwhile Benedictine abbey church of Mondsee and Castle
Schloss Ort at Gmunden.
Fotos © Barbara Kern; email@example.com, Homepage: www.barbarakern.at