The history of the Altaussee holiday region

History and stories from the Salzkammergut

The history of Altaussee in the Salzkammergut is closely connected with the salt mining and the “Summer Retreat” of Viennese aristocrats and members of the upper classes, which began during the 19th Century.

The salt mining in the Altaussee Salt Mine officially dates back to the Middle Ages, however even prehistoric salt mining of the “white gold” is being speculated. The first official mentioning of the salt mining in Altaussee in the Salzkammergut stems from the year 1147. In the year 1319 the winning of salt brine was started. Today the Altaussee Salt Mine is, with an annual salt production of approx. 550.000 tons, the largest salt winning location in the whole of Austria.

Salzkammergut history: Salt mines and summer retreats

When during the 19th Century the “Summer Retreat” became popular in the Salzkammergut Region, guests also started being interested in the salt mining. Even before World War One the first show rooms of the salt mines and a small museum were opened. Since 1935 the Barbara Chapel has been an additional attraction for visitors. The show salt mine has been open since 1952, and in 2005 an extensive modernisation took place.

Valuable pieces of art in Altaussee: Hidden Nazi treasures

The salt mine in Altaussee in the Salzkammergut became famous by becoming storage for cultural treasures and valuable pieces of art which were looted by the Nazis during World War Two. Art treasures from Germany, Austria and art loot from all over Europe were stored in several tunnels of the salt mine from 1943 – 1949. These master pieces were almost destroyed when the end of the Third Reich was nigh. From 1945 -1949 the Allied troops brought these treasures back into the day light – and as far as possible back to their lawful owners.

Altaussee during the 21st century

Altaussee in the Salzkammergut and the Ausseerland today are popular holiday regions. The proximity to the cultural city of Salzburg and to the many sites and attractions in the Salzkammergut Region ensure a varied, unforgettable holiday experience. Your most beautiful holiday home in the Ausseerland is the four star superior Hotel Seevilla located on the shores of Lake Altaussee. Send your no-obligation booking enquiry off now and look forward to your next holidays in Altaussee in the Salzkammergut.