Salzwelten Hallstatt

Useful Information

Location: Hallstatt, A1 (E55) exit 234 Gmunden, follow B145 through Gmunden, Bad Ischgl, and Bad Goisern. Behind Bad Goisern turn right onto 166 to Gosaumühle, turn left along Hallstatt lake to Hallstatt. Turn right 100 m after the second tunnel, immediatley right to the Salzbergbahn (Salzberg cable car).
(47°33'22.47"N, 13°38'41.45"E)
Open: 08-APR to 16-SEP-2007 9:30-16:30.
17-SEP to 30-SEP-2007 9:30-15:30.
01-OCT to 28-OCT-2007 9:30-15.
Fee: Mine with Salzbergbahn: Adults EUR 21, Children (7-18) EUR 12.60, Children (4-6) EUR 10.50, Family (2+1) EUR 44.10, Family (1+1) 29.40.
Salzbergbahn: Adults EUR 8.50, Children (7-18) EUR 5,10, Children (4-6) EUR 4.25,
Classification: MineSalt Mine ExplainOldest Mines
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=928 m asl, T=6 °C, L=24,000 m.
Guided tours: Zeitreise Salzwelten Hallstatt: D=3 h (70 min underground).
Prähistorische Expedition: D=3.5 h.
Sonderführung "Der Mann im Salz": D=80 min.
Bibliography: Gerhard Mayrhofer (1998): Die touristische Nutzung der österreichischen Salzbergwerke. Die Standorte Hallstatt, Hallein, Altaussee und Bad Ischl im Vergleich, Diplomarb. Univ. Salzburg 1998. 120 Bl. (maschinschr.)
Address: Salinen Tourismus GmbH, Salzbergstraße 21, A-4830 Hallstatt, Tel: +43-6132-200-2400, Fax: +43-6132-200-4400. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1719 Christina-Stollen started.
1734 Mann im Salz (man in salt) found.


The salt deposits at Hallstatt were formed by evaporation about 250 Ma ago. Later, during the Alpine orogeny the sedimentary rocks were folded and so the salt is now located inside the Haselgebirge (Hasel mountains).

The rock contains about 20% to 70% salt, the rest is clay, limestone and anhydrite. Some parts of the salt have an percentage 98%. They could be mined and used directly, but the rest of the salt must be processed, especially cleaned, to be usefull.


The salt mine Hallstatt is entered through the Christina-Stollen (Christina tunnel), which was named after the mother of Austrian Empress Kaiserin Maria Theresia, who's full name was Elisabeth Christina von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.

Probably the most important sight of this mine is the Mann im Salz (man in salt) who was discovered in 1734. The body of an Celtic salt miner, about 2,500 years old, was preserved by the salt and a scientific sensation. Unfortunately it cannot be seen, as it does not exist anymore. The body was preserved by the salt, but when it was brought to the church of Hallstatt, it starte to rot and smell. The people did not know what to do with the body, and so they buried it. Unfortunately they were very catholic, and so they thought it was impossible to bury him in the sacred cemetery, because he was a heathen. So they buried the corpse outside the cemetery and the extraordinary discovery is lost for science.

The mine has 12 levels, which are called Horizont (horizon) in the local miners' language. The tour shows horizon 6 and 7. A wooden chute, which was used by the miners to descend to lower levels very fast, is part of the tour. In a chamber called Edlersberg various specimen of salt are on display, showing the variety and beauty of the salt. Another stop shows various artworks, one is called Zeitspirale (time spiral) and explains the 7,000 years long mining history.

The Hörnerwerk is a huge chamber, where a salt lake with an area of 1,200 m² exists. This is the modern technology to mine the salt. Fresh spring water from outside is channeled into the mine. The water dissolves the salt, the dirt stays at the bottom of the salt lake. The dirt prevents the salt on the bottom of the lake from being dissolved, as a result the chambers have to be filled completely, and the solution of the salt takes place at the ceiling. When the water has 26% salt content, which is completely saturated at the temperature of 8 °C inside the mine, it is pumped out of the mine to a processing plant called Saline (salt refinery). Until 1964 this was in Hallstatt, then a pipeline was built and today the water is pumped to Ebensee.

The mine visit takes much longer than the time underground with this tour. The tours start at the lower station of the Salzbergbahn, a funicular starting at the southern end of Hallstatt. So mine visits include the ride on the funicular, the 20 minutes walk uphill to the mine entrance, the preparation for the tour with helmet and miners clothes, and the whole way back. You should allow three hours for the visit. The underground tour includes a 400 m long ride on a mine train out of the mine, and inside the ride on the wooden chute. It is also possible to buy just a ticket to the funicular and walk the saline trail which follows the pipeline with the salt water along the mountain side. If you are good on foot you can also walk down to the village Hallstatt instead of using the funicular. The trail is well maintained and has numerous great views.

For a few years there is now also a historical tour. It shows the part of the mine, where archaeologists found a 3,500 years old wooden staircase, leather, wood and bronze tools, and millions of kindlings, used by the Celtic miners for their lamps. The tour is very interesting but also strenuous, as it takes four hours and includes two long staircases which must be climbed up and down. Sturdy boots are essential, and some parts are very narrow. It is possible to mine some salt with bronze age tools and take it home. The tour is offered once a week and after appointment for groups. It may be completed by a visit to the excellent museum at Hallstatt, which shows the items found by the archaeologists, including hats, rucksacks for salt and bronze tools.