Settled In: Hallstatt is older than Rome and even older than the pyramids in Egypt as salt mining in here has been confirmed as early 5,000 BC (oldest in the world). The early settlement in the upper valley (Hochtal) grew to be one of the largest in Europe outside of Greece by the Bronze Age. The influence of the Hallstatt salt mining and Celtic traditions led to a large period of pre-Roman time to be known as the Hallstatt Era (800-400 BC). The settlement slowly expanded down to the lakefront with evidence of Roman roads, buildings, and graves from 200 AD.
Officially Founded: Market rights and a village charter were granted in 1311 by Queen Elisabeth of Austria, although the settlement is officially thousands of years older.
Meaning Of Name: Hallstatt means “the place of the salt”, which is a mashup of German, and the word “Hal(l) which is salt in ancient Celtic.
Current Population: 800
Suggested Stay: 1-2 Full Days
Overview Of Hallstatt:
Sustained by the richness of local salt deposits, there was a Hallstatt for thousands of years before there was even a Rome. The first recorded settlement in Hallstatt is from 5,000 BC while Rome wasn’t until 731 BC! While much of Hallstatt has obviously changed some over 7000 years, they have started to unearth pottery and artifacts, such as an ancient wooden staircase, that are shedding new light on the village’s early days.
Today, old-world charm doesn’t just come from Hallstatt’s small Alpine setting or its terraced 500 to 600-year-old homes, but instead mainly comes from the laid-back, easy-going vibe, and friendly locals. Aside from strolling the quaint streets, our favorite activities in Hallstatt include visits to the local salt mine, the Bone Chapel, through giant Ice Caves, and boat trips onto the imposing lake. Enjoy our Hallstatt Austria travel guide!
Our FREE Hallstatt Tours:
We have put together three very helpful do it yourself tours for visiting Hallstatt. The main tour is a stroll through the village to see the lakefront, main square, and bone chapel. We have also created two special guides including how to visit both the Ice Cave and Salt Mine with a great collection of other sites to see nearby as you tour them.