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Salzkammergut (Austria)
The Salzkammergut
Western Salzkammergut with (from right / east) Attersee, Wolfgangsee and Mondsee. The mountain in the middle is the Schafberg

The Salzkammergut is a scenic and historical cultural area in Austria , on the northern edge of the Alps .

The Habsburg private property in Upper Austria around Bad Ischl and Hallstatt , in particular the property that was administered by the Salzoberamt Gmunden , was called "Salzkammergut" and included the region of the Inner Salzkammergut . Salzburg had nothing to do with the historic Salzkammergut because it was not Habsburg.

Today the term Salzkammergut is synonymous with a region that stretches from the Fuschlsee , Wolfgangsee and Mondsee in the Almtal , from the Vöckla valley to the Dachstein and the Grimming . The communities that make up today's Salzkammergut tourist region even extend to the east of Salzburg in the west . Geologically it is shaped by the limestone Alps , morphologically by a low mountain range in which there are numerous lakes.


View from the Vorderen Gosausee towards Dachstein
Dachstein south face
View from the Hochleckenhaus on the Attersee

The landscape of the Salzkammergut is shaped by the river system of the Traun with a total of 76 larger and smaller lakes, the Salzkammergut Mountains and the surrounding mountains ( Dachstein , Totes Gebirge , Osterhorngruppe , Traunstein and Höllengebirge ).

The landscape is one of the most beautiful parts of the German Alps , with lovely, laughing areas, friendly towns and castles, great mountain basins with dark green lakes, roaring brooks, towering mountain giants from which glaciers descend. "

- Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 1888

Due to its location on the edge of the Alps, the Salzkammergut has a share in three different types of landscape: the largely flat Alpine foothills in the north, the low mountain range of the Flysch zone and the northern limestone Alps in the Alpine area.

The Upper Austrian and Styrian part of the Salzkammergut is characterized by the Ice Age Dachstein Glacier , the largest part of which extended beyond its northern borders to the Hausruck . When he withdrew to its current size ( Dachstein Glacier ), he left the many lakes standing as glacier edge lakes , as well as many a high moor (such as the Löckermoos in Gosau, which is part of the World Heritage Hallstatt, Dachstein and Salzkammergut ).

The mountain ranges made up of different limestone and dolomite rocks ( Wetterstein limestone , Dachstein limestone , red Lias limestone , main dolomite ) tend to form distinct cave systems due to their high degree of karstification . In the Dachstein massif you will not only find the longest cave in Austria ( Hirlatzhöhle ), but also the most stalactite- rich cave in the Northern Limestone Alps ( Gassel stalactite cave , show cave ).

Neighboring regions

Adjacent regions are:

Flachgau with the Salzburg lake area
Tennengau with Lammertal Neighboring communities Region Pyhrn-Eisenwurzen
Ennspongau Upper Ennstal with the Schladming – Dachstein region


Early history

The settlement of the varied landscape of the Salzkammergut can be traced back to the Paleolithic . Paleolithic hunting stations have been found in the salt furnace cave in the Totes Gebirge and in the Lieglloch near Tauplitz . One of the most important cultures in the following Neolithic is the Moon Sea culture of the late Neolithic between 3600 and 3300 BC. With its pile dwellings near the lake shore .

The name of important places is derived from the pronounced salt deposits in the region. The word “Hall” in Hallstatt goes back to the Germanic word for salt, a term that can also be found in the word “Salzkammergut”. Even the Illyrians and earlier peoples settled after 3000 BC. Salty springs and so won salt. This trade took off around 2000 BC. An early industrial character. Around 1500 BC Mining salt mining began with the bronze pick, Hallstatt is probably the oldest salt mine in the world. Mining reached after 1300 BC. In the northern group of the Hallstatt salt mines considerable depths and testified to high geological and technical knowledge. A whole epoch is named after the salt mining in Hallstatt on Lake Hallstatt : the Celtic Hallstatt period (800 to 450 BC). The settlements in the region have always been characterized by the wealth of salt.


With the invasion of the Romans in 15 BC The Celtic Latène period, a further development of the Hallstatt period, ended. Before that, there had already been intensive trade relations between the Celts and Romans. Under Roman rule, the Celtic territory became the Roman border province called Noricum . At that time, the mining of salt using the lye process and the construction of salt pans probably began . A Roman settlement is documented in Hallstatt around 100 AD. On the Altaussee Michlhallberg ( Sandling massif) there is also evidence of a late Roman settlement from the end of the 2nd century AD to the late 4th century. A Roman salt mining is also suspected there. After 180 AD, the Germanic tribes of the Marcomanni and Quadi invaded large parts of Noricum and devastated large areas. The Romanoceltic settlement of Hallstatt was also destroyed. The invasion of the Huns in Eastern Europe increased the pressure of Germanic peoples on the Roman Empire. In 488 the Ostrogoth Odoacer, the successor to the last Western Roman emperor, gave the order to evacuate the province of Ufernorikum.

middle Ages

Around 530 Bavarian tribes invaded the Eastern Alps region largely peacefully. The new Bavarian settlements spread out from the west, while Slavic settlement activity was carried out from the south via the Ennstal into the inner Salzkammergut. Together with the remnants of the Romano-Celtic cultures, a Bavarian-Slavic mixed culture soon emerged, which was not infrequently based on Romano-Celtic traditions. Archaeological evidence of this epoch has been preserved in the municipality of Bad Mitterndorf . It is an early medieval Slavic cemetery, which was used from the 8th to the 10th century.

There is no reliable evidence of the early medieval salt mining. Salt ships from the Traungau are only mentioned around 900 , which presumably shipped salt from Hallstatt. The salt trade flourished again around 1000 AD.

Regional principalities were formed around 1200. The long rule of the Babenbergs (976–1246) in this area led to stability and prosperity. In the south, the lords of Ort , feudal men of the Styrian margraves (from 1180 dukes) from the Traungau family , a branch of the Otakare , extended their territory to the inner Salzkammergut in the first half of the 12th century. The Babenbergs inherited the von Ort family in 1192, but the southern part of today's Salzkammergut remained Styrian.

After the death of the last Duke of Babenberg, Friedrich II. In 1246, the elected Archbishop of Salzburg, Philipp von Spanheim , occupied large parts of the Ennstal and thus also the Styrian Salzkammergut . To strengthen the new claim to power and to protect the nearby salt mines on the Sandling massif and the mule tracks, he built the small fortress of Pflindsberg on a hill west of Altaussee . Philipp von Spanheim had to withdraw again after the Treaty of Ofen in 1254. The independent rule of Pflindsberg developed from the castle (comprised around 90% of the goods in the Ausseerland ) and from then on it was the seat of the maintenance office of the local salt pans.

In 1278 the House of Habsburg inherited the Babenbergs with King Rudolf I. From 1291 to 1297 the salt war for supremacy in the salt trade was fought between Duke Albrecht the Habsburg and Archbishop Konrad IV of Fohnsdorf . In 1274 Albrecht married Elisabeth Countess of Gorizia and in 1298 gave her the Yschlland as an inheritance. So it came to the House of Habsburg as a private property.

Wildenstein Castle in Bad Ischl came to Habsburg in 1419 and became the custodian court of the properties from the southern end of the Traunsee to the Dachstein - this corresponds to today's judicial district of Bad Ischl , with the Wolfgangland ( St. Wolfgang am Wolfgangsee) still part of the Mondseeland , the possessions of the monastery Mondsee stayed; whose court were the lords of Wartenfels and Wildenegg . The Mondseeland acquired Emperor Maximilian I for Austria in 1506; it remained monastic until the secularization of Joseph II in 1791.

Modern times

Map of the Salzkammergut, around 1890

Kammergut refers to a region that was in the direct possession of the sovereign, in this case the archdukes of the House of Habsburg, i.e. since 1438 or 1452 the Roman-German emperor . In this sense, the region was first mentioned in a document in 1656. That is why the Salzkammergut celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2006. The connection of the Salzkammergut to the ruling house dates back to 1311 at the latest, when Elisabeth, widow of Albrecht I, formally renewed the legal basis for salt mining in the Kammergut, which made salt production a sovereign state - Salinen Austria remained state-run until 1998 .

In the late 17th and 18th centuries, the Habsburg family increasingly succeeded in ousting the Prince Archbishopric of Salzburg from the salt trade in the Salzkammergut, thereby contributing to its economic decline.

Until the 19th century, the region around Bad Ischl was then directly subordinate to the salt office of the Hofkammer in Vienna, which administered the state salt monopoly . During this time, other areas were incorporated into the Salzkammergut in order to meet the enormous demand for wood for the brewing pans in the salt pans - first in Bad Ischl, then in Ebensee .

Change of the term in the 20th century

Almsee in the Almtal (recently included in the Salzkammergut)

Inner Salzkammergut means the region around Lake Hallstatt, the Gosau Valley, the Ausseerland and the Ischler area to Ebensee, i.e. those areas on the Upper Traun where salt was mined and processed. Outer Salzkammergut means the regions around to the north. This term began to expand after the end of the lordly status, due to the ever increasing supply of wood for the salt pans and the emergence of tourism from the 1840s / 50s ( Salzkammergutbahn 1877, Lokalbahn 1893) - also because the Salzkammergut region was early on the epitome of summer vacation ("Kaiser" -stadt Bad Ischl) and the name formed the basis of the increasing tourism of the entire lake region.

In the middle of the 19th century, the Attersee area was counted as part of the Salzkammergut, around 1900 also the Mondseeland with Mondsee and Irrsee and the actual Attergau . Since the middle of the 20th century, the Salzkammergut has been seen within limits that range from Grimming via Dachstein , Gamsfeld , Fuschlsee , Schober , St. Georgen , Vorchdorf , the Almtal and the Großer Priel , i.e. almost the entire alpine catchment area of ​​the Traun.

The core settlement region of the early modern era, i.e. the upper Traun valley up from Gmunden, is now the Salzkammergut-Talungen spatial unit , while the Salzkammergut Pre-Alps extend eastward from Attersee over the Almtal and even the Steyr ( Pyhrn-Eisenwurzen region).

Most of the inner Salzkammergut - especially Hallstatt - as well as the Dachsteinstock (with parts of the communities of Gröbming , Haus im Ennstal and Ramsau am Dachstein and Filzmoos , which are also outside of today's Salzkammergut) and part of the Styrian Salzkammergut (parts of the communities of Altaussee , Bad Aussee , Pichl-Kainisch and Bad Mitterndorf ) has been part of the Hallstatt-Dachstein Salzkammergut UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 . In the context of the Unesco declaration, most of the Inner Salzkammergut (the communities of Ebensee, Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern, Hallstatt, Obertraun, Gosau, St. Wolfgang since 1994, Strobl and St. Gilgen since 2001) are named under the Salzkammergut cultural heritage as LEADER + - Region organizes and since INTERERG II (1995) forms the association regional development Inneres Salzkammergut REGIS.

In any case, the Salzburger Seenland around the Trumer Lakes does not belong to the Salzkammergut .

Salzkammergut tourist region

Salzkammergut Tourism Marketing GmbH
legal form GmbH
founding 2002
Seat Bad Ischl
management Michael Spechtenhauser
Branch Tourism marketing for the Salzkammergut region

The Salzkammergut tourist region today counts 58 municipalities as shares in three Austrian federal states. The largest part (over 70%) belongs to Upper Austria ( Upper Austrian Salzkammergut , shares in the Gmunden and Vöcklabruck districts ), the Styrian Salzkammergut ( Ausseerland and Hinterberger Tal , around 15%) belongs to Styria ( Liezen district ). The smallest part ( Salzburger Salzkammergut , a little over 10%) belongs to the federal state of Salzburg ( Salzburg-Umgebung district ).

The tourist region is made up of ten regions:

This tourism region has been marketed since 2002 by Salzkammergut Tourismus-Marketing GmbH , a holding company for the municipalities and tourism associations in the Salzkammergut, which are allowed to use the name "Salzkammergut" as a brand according to the tourism laws of the three federal states. In addition, a joint regional tourism conference (in accordance with Section 25a Upper Austrian Tourism Act) has been set up for the ten tourism regions .


The Salzkammergut is mainly characterized by tourism . It has a more than a century-old tradition as a tourist area, which developed from the tradition of summer vacation . Emperor Franz Joseph I already had his summer domicile in Bad Ischl in the local imperial villa , from where he ruled the entire empire in the warmer seasons and where he also signed the declaration of war on Serbia in July 1914, which triggered the First World War .

The region is one of the best developed tourist areas in Austria. The recreational opportunities include swimming and water sports on the many lakes, mountain tourism (see the article on the Salzkammergut Mountains ), cycling and riding holidays , winter sports , cultural events and local and upscale gastronomy . The region owes its good reputation as a recreational area not only to its attractive Landscape with some climatically favored areas, but also many spas .

The mining of table salt , which gives it its name , is no longer of great importance today, but the timber industry is .

Industrial locations are Ebensee , Gmunden , Laakirchen and Steyrermühl . In addition, the Salzkammergut also benefits from its old tradition of small businesses and trade (which developed in the context of the division of labor in salt mining) and, with numerous small and medium-sized businesses, is part of one of the most economically active areas in Central Europe.
The unemployment rate is around 4.8% (districts of Gmunden and Vöcklabruck, 2005, Austria: 7.3%).

In order to strengthen down-to-earth agriculture, traditional foods are increasingly emphasized in tourism. The production of local cheeses, which have been made since the 14th century, is also registered in the register of traditional foods . The Salzkammergut cheese region was also advertised under the umbrella brand Genussregion Österreich .


Wolfgangsee with St. Gilgen in the foreground

In addition to its scenic charm, the region is also known for its ancient customs and traditions that are only practiced there. It is precisely this folk-cultural independence that has earned the region the nickname “the tenth federal state of Austria”. Well-known major events in the Salzkammergut are, for example, the Glöckler runs and the annual Daffodil Festival in Ausseerland - this type of daffodil, the star daffodil ( Narcissus radiiflorus ), grows particularly abundantly in the high, moist flower meadows in the Salzkammergut. The traditional costume also has a high priority here, and that is why there are still old craft trades such as tailors , shoemakers and lederhosen makers in the Salzkammergut . The traditional Salzkammergut bird catching , once criticized and now strictly regulated, was included in the national register of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO in 2010 as an intangible cultural heritage , as declared by UNESCO .

The Salzkammergut has always had a special charm for artists with its romantic landscape. The area became a haven of urban hustle and bustle and offered an ideal subject for artists, including some of the greatest Austrian painters of the 19th and 20th centuries, e. B. Gustav Klimt between 1900 and 1916 on the Attersee or the " Zinkenbacher Malerkolonie " (among them the painters Ferdinand Kitt , Franz von Zülow , Ernst Huber etc.) from 1927 on the Wolfgangsee.

The Lehár Festival Bad Ischl , the Salzkammergut Mozart Festival , the Festwochen Salzkammergut and Heinrich Schiff's Mondsee Music Days are important today .

In the sports sector, ski flying on the Kulm in Tauplitz is worth mentioning.

See also

Portal: Salzkammergut  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of the Salzkammergut


  • Wilfried Heller : Tourism in the Salzkammergut. Study from a geographical point of view. Heidelberg 1970 (Heidelberg Geographical Works, Volume 29).
  • Julia Kospach: Off to the Salzkammergut - the hidden, the bizarre, the culinary . Folio Verlag, Vienna / Bozen 2011 ISBN 978-3-85256-550-7 .
  • Raimund Locicnik : The Salzkammergut . Series of archive images , Sutton 2006, ISBN 978-3-86680-015-1 .
  • Monika Oberhammer: Summer villas in the Salzkammergut. The specific summer resort architecture of the Salzkammergut in the period from 1830 to 1918 . Galerie Welz, Salzburg 1983, ISBN 3-85349-098-0 .
  • Herbert Pirker, Barbara Frischmuth : Fascination Salzkammergut. Styria Verlag, Vienna / Graz / Klagenfurt 2009, ISBN 978-3-222-13263-6
  • Carl Schraml: The Upper Austrian saltworks from the beginning of the 16th to the middle of the 18th century. Vienna 1932; Ders .: The Upper Austrian saltworks from 1750 to the time after the French Wars. Vienna 1934; Ders .: The Upper Austrian saltworks from 1818 until the end of the Salt Office in 1850. Vienna 1936.
  • Stephen Sokoloff: Golden Paths , Volume 1 Cultural and natural treasures from the Traunsee to Bad Ischl. Neu-Media 2005. ISBN 3-200-00436-3 ; Volume 2 Cultural and natural treasures in the interior and the Styrian Salzkammergut. New Media 2008. ISBN 978-3-200-01068-0
  • Kristian Sotriffer (ed.), Franz Carl Lipp, Karl Lukan (contrib.): Salzkammergut. Upper Austrian Provincial Publishing House Linz, 1969
  • Christian H. Stifter, Gerald Piffl; Christian Brandstätter (Ed.): Salzkammergut. Yesterday's world in color. Christian Brandstätter, Vienna / Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-85033-293-4

Web links

Wikivoyage: Salzkammergut  - travel guide
Wiktionary: Salzkammergut  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Salzkammergut  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Salzkammergut . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 14, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 246.
  2. ^ Karl Vocelka : History of Austria. Culture - society - politics . Heyne non-fiction book 19/827. Heyne, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-453-21622-9 , pp. 18 .
  3. David Stifter: Hallstatt - In Iron Age Tradition? (PDF; 352 kB) . In: Raimund Karl, Jutta Leskovar (Hrsg.): Interpretierte Eisenzeit. Case studies, methods, theory. Conference contributions to the 1st Linz Discussions on Interpretative Iron Age Archeology (= Studies on the Cultural History of Upper Austria 18). Upper Austrian State Museum, Linz 2005, pp. 229–240.
  4. Gerald Grabherr: Michlhallberg. The excavations in the Roman settlement 1997–1999 and the investigation of the associated road route (= series of publications of the Kammerhof Museum Bad Aussee, vol. 22). Association of Friends of the Kammerhof Museum , Bad Aussee 2001, ISBN 3-901370-22-6 , p. 103.
  5. Wolfgang Breibert: The Cemetery of Krungl (Styria, Austria) - Reflections on Early Medieval Chronology and Economy in the Eastern Alps . In: J. Macháček, Š. Ungerman (Hrsg.): Early historical central places in Central Europe . Studies on the Archeology of Europe 14. Bonn 2011, p. 561-574 . Articles online. Retrieved August 9, 2013 .
  6. Reinhard Lamer: The Ausseer Land. History and culture of a landscape . Styria, Graz 1998, ISBN 3-222-12613-5 , p. 31f.
  7. ^ Reformed order of the salt system. To Gmundten • Hallstatt • Ischl • and Ebensee . Vienna, 1656 - after Kunz
  8. a b c Michael Kurz: 350 years of the Salzkammergut . In: Salzburger Nachrichten . October 21, 2006, special supplement ( article archive ).
  9. “Almost like the Bernese Oberland filled with strangers in the summer .” Quoted in the Salzkammergut. In: Herders Conversations-Lexikon. Freiburg im Breisgau 1857, Volume 5, p. 33. ( )
  10. Salzkammergut . In: Heinrich August Pierer , Julius Löbe (Hrsg.): Universal Lexicon of the Present and the Past . 4th edition. tape 14 . Altenburg 1862, p. 826 ( - there Altersee ).
  11. Salzkammergut . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 17, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1909, p.  505 .
  12. Salzkammergut. In: Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon. Volume 2, 5th edition. Leipzig 1911, p. 599 ( )
  13. Attersee . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 2, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1905, p.  67 . - there the Attersee is counted as part of the Attergau; not yet to the Salzkammergut ("surrounded by [...] Salzgau") near Attergau ,
  14. Attergau . In: Heinrich August Pierer , Julius Löbe (Hrsg.): Universal Lexicon of the Present and the Past . 4th edition. tape 1 . Altenburg 1857, p. 908 ( ).
  15. 1997 Advisory Body Evaluation , UNESCO World Heritage Center (pdf, 1 MB)
  16. ^ Website: REGIS - Association for Regional Development Inneres Salzkammergut
  17. Information on the Salzkammergut ,
  18. ^ Salzkammergut Tourismus-Marketing GmbH .
  19. ^ AMS Upper Austria. After: Employment and Unemployment ( Memento of September 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) . Upper Austria. Technology and marketing company m. b. H. Location and Innovation Agency of the Province of Upper Austria. (November 26, 2006)
  20. Salzkammergut cheese . Entry no. 65 in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
    Salzkammergut cheese from the Association of Genuss Region Österreich .
  21. Traditional Salzkammergut bird trapping ( memento from February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  22. ^ Artists 1927–1938. (No longer available online.) Museum Zinkenbacher Malerkolonie, archived from the original on October 4, 2013 ; Retrieved October 2, 2013 .
  23. Festwochen Salzkammergut ( Memento from May 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Province of Upper Austria
  24. Review by Peter Krackowizer: Fascination Salzkammergut. In: Salzburgwiki. Salzburger Nachrichten , April 12, 2010, accessed on August 14, 2010 .
  25. Review by Peter Krackowizer: Salzkammergut Yesterday's world in color. In: Salzburgwiki. Salzburger Nachrichten, April 12, 2010, accessed on August 14, 2010 .

Coordinates: 47 ° 45 '  N , 13 ° 30'  E