Today I explore the Salzwelten Hallstatt Salt Mine, the oldest salt mine in the world! the beginnings of salt mining were about 7,000 years ago. Organized mining activity began later, in the Bronze Age, with prehistoric mining reaching its heyday during the so-called Hallstatt Period during the earlier Iron Age between 800 and ca. 400 BC. Even back then, people were penetrating as deep as 200 meters into the mountain, carving out tunnels by hand, battling meter by meter through the naked rock in order to reach a true treasure: the so-called “white gold”.
A small funicular, the Salzbergbahn, carries visitors to the historic high valley above Hallstatt. We suggest dedicating an all-day excursion to exploring the high valley with the help of an audio-guide app along with the salt mine. On the tour I enjoy breathtaking views from the Skywalk lookout platform out across the UNESCO World Heritage Region of Hallstatt. Picturesque Hallstättersee, a lake nestled in the midst of the Salzkammergut region, is guaranteed to thrill selfie addicts and professional photographers alike. Deep inside the world’s oldest salt mine, I learn fascinating facts about the development of salt mining as well as the famous “Man in Salt”, who was discovered by miners back in the year 1734.
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