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'The Sound of Music' is still alive in the hills of Hallein, Salzburg, Austria

Welcome to Hallein, Austria
Welcome to Hallein, Austria
Heidi Kaiser

Hallein, a quaint little town located 10 miles from the world renowned City of Salzburg, lays nestled between the hills best known in the filming of ‘The Sound of Music’, and the historic salt mines which used to be called ‘white gold’ for many centuries.

Welcome to Hallein, Austria
Heidi Kaiser

Hallein was already ancient before this settlement was recognized as a city in the documents. History records the sophisticated culture of the Celts, who settled in this region more than 2,500 years ago.

Hallein, founded in the 12th century and chartered in 1230, is located on the Salzach River. This historic gem features old landmarks like the Classical Parish Church (15th century), the Town Hall (1601), the Pilgrimage Church (1594–1612) of Dürrnberg, and parts of a medieval town wall. All medieval architecture, this historic city is a historian's dream and it certainly touches a romantic’s heart. The town is kept spotless. Dreamy streets and renovated buildings in the original styles warrant the title of historic landmark for the entire area.

Since the 13th century Hallein profited from the salt production of Dürrnberg saltworks. The town’s museum shows relics from Celtic and Roman times, tools of wood-carvers and stonemasons.

Today the town manufactures salt, shoes, cosmetics, tobacco products, chemicals, cellulose, paper, and motors and is becoming increasingly known as a health and winter-sports resort. However, in the past the development of the town and the well-being of the inhabitants depended on salt.

The underground salt mines are a major tourist attraction and educational fun for adults and teenagers alike. It includes a train ride, boat ride, and a cross border trek (you are actually walking from Salzburg to the German border in a 7,000 year old mine shaft—all underground!) Long, polished wooden slides are another highlight. Great fun, especially if you are with a small group of friends or family. As long as you’re not claustrophobic!

Other areas like the Salzkammergut with its lakes and beautiful landscapes, the Salzburg Festung and Mozart’s birth house, Munich October Fest and many other castles and lakes are easily accessible.

Let’s not forget one of the most beautiful songs that all of us are familiar with. 'Silent Night! Holy Night!' was written by Franz Xaver Gruber, a native, whose former dwelling house is also available for your photo opportunity.

Contact: Tourism Bureau