Hallein, about 10 km south of Salzburg, was already settled by the Celts, who came to significant wealth by salt production.
A Celtic Village next to the salt mines in Bad Dürrnberg, as well as a modern Celtic Museum in Hallein with significant finds give an insight into life at that time.
Under the Romans the salt mining was discontinued and about 1,000 years later resumed by the Salzburg prince archbishops. Through skillful market control the Salzburg archbishops derived more than half of their income from salt extraction thus securing their dominant economic position.
A peculiarity is the Bavarian-Austrian Salt Treaty of 1829, the oldest still valid State Treaty in Europe. Bavaria acquired the irrevocable right to chop wood for the Reichenhaller brewhouse on Austrian soil near Leogang. In return, the Hallein miners could win salt from a Bavarian field at the Dürrnberg.
Visitors should not miss a tour in the saltmine.
In Hallein you also find the tomb of Franz Xaver Gruber, the brilliant composer of the popular Christmas carol Silent Night.
The world-famous Christmas carol was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.
Please read on > Bad Gastein
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