The village of Hallstatt, in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, was an amazing day trip Chris and I took while we were in Austria. The village is built almost vertically onto the mountain, and seems as though it might almost slide into the lake.
Hallstatt has some amazing history, which explains the village’s precarious perch: “…this secluded and inhospitable landscape nevertheless counts as one of the first places of human settlement because of the rich sources of natural salt, which have been mined for thousands of years, originally in the shape of hearts owing to the use of an antler pick. Some of Hallstatt’s oldest archaeological finds, such as a shoe-last celt, date back to around 5500 BC. In 1846 Johann Georg Ramsauer discovered a large prehistoric cemetery close by the current location of Hallstatt. Ramsauer’s work at the Hallstatt cemeteries continued until 1863, unearthing more than 1000 burials…. In addition, one of the first blacksmith sites was excavated there. Active trade and thus wealth allowed for the development of a highly developed culture, which, after findings in the Salzberghochtal, was named the Hallstatt culture. This lasted from approximately 800 to 400 BC.” via Wikipedia
We arrived at the town via ferry
from the ferry
A view from the cemetery
Tiny cobbled paths lead you up the mountain
Like most good views, it’ll cost you a bit of a hike…but it’s worth it!
The Beinhaus (“Bone house”), Hallstatt, Austria – Because there is limited space in the town cemetery, people are only buried for 10-15 years. After that, they are removed from the grave, the skulls left out in the sun to bleach, were painted by the family and stacked in the bone house, therefore opening up space in the cemetery. Now that cremation is an accepted practice, the Beinhaus serves mainly as a tourist attraction and important piece of history.
It dates back to the twelfth century AC. There are over 1200 skulls in the chapel, of them 610 have been painted in flowery designs, they are neatly stacked in rows along with next of kin and have the date of death written on them. This tradition began in 1720 AD. The last skull to go into the Beinhaus was in 1995. It is directly beside the cross. The woman died 1983; it was her last request to be stored in the Beinhaus (Bone house).
Not a bad view, right?
As we leave the town via Ferry As always – thanks to my boyfriend Chris for these gorgeous photos.
Here’s that list again of all my posts from our travels that I’ve posted –
•Introduction to my European backpacking trip and a list of places we visited
• Galicia – Baiona and Isle de Cies
• Galicia – the coast, some charming vineyards, and Pontevedra
• Santiago de Compostela and gorgeous hidden beaches
• Gorgeous mountain lakes of Picos de Europa
• Stunning mountains – Picos de Europa
• Bilbao and San Sebastian
• Beautiful Barcelona
• The amazing Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona
• Art Nouveau dream house by Gaudi in Barcelona
• Not to miss – the gorgeous rocky coast of Italy’s Cinque Terre
• More from my summer traveling Europe – amazing Rome
• From my summer in Europe – amazing Pompeii
• Turquoise ocean and vineyards on cliffs – the amazingly stunning Amalfi coast
• My Summer in Europe: Pictures from lovely Florence, Italy
• Enchanting Siena
•Lake Como, Italy
• One of my favorite cities from my European backpacking trips – Ulm, Germany
• Lake Constance
• Cute HOUSE Overload – the charming medieval homes of Germany’s Romantic Road
• Regensburg, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria