Photos: The stunning views and unique beinhaus of Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is a scenic little Alpine village in one of the most beautiful places on earth I’ve ever seen. A big thanks to a friend for telling me about it.
- Hallstatt is a tiny town of less than 1,000 in the Upper Austrian Alps. When I rolled into town last week it had just snowed.
- Stereotypes of Alpine homes: confirmed.
- When you're high in the mountains, the weather changes quickly.
- The sun came out quickly and was quite warm.
- Next to the Catholic Church is a beinhaus -- bone house. Because the city is on a mountain there isn't a lot of room to bury people.
- So bodies would be buried for 15-20 years. Then the bones were dug up, bleached and painted in the beinhaus.
- Most people in Hallstatt are cremated now. The newest skull in the beinhaus is from a woman who died in 1986.
- I have to say, standing in this room was a very surreal feeling. It was extremely calm and peaceful. I think it's an extreme example of how different cultures deal with death. It's a part of life, and at the beinhaus you have a very striking visual reminder of that.
- The Alps were rockier than I expected. And yes, the Sound of Music provided my mental image of what to expect.
- Hallstätter See.
- Hallstatt at night.
- Hallstatt at dawn.
- Hallstätter See at dawn.
- Swans were everywhere in Hallstatt. Legend has it that they were brought to the area in the 1860s for the vacationing Austrian emperor and empress.
- Hallstatt has traditionally been rich because of the salt mines just up the hill. I highly recommend taking the mine tour, should you have the chance.
- A restaurant with a view.
- On an overlook in Hallstatt, Austria.
- What, your backyard doesn't have a mountain-climbing cable-car in it?
- Hallstatt, Austria.
- I walked around the Hallstätter See to a neighboring town, Obertraun.
- Obertraun village from above.
- Hallstatt is not short on narrow streets and churches. They have two (one Katholic, one Evangelische) for a population of less than 1,000.
- Walking through Hallstatt, you'll glance to your left or right and see a view like this.
- The train ride back to Vienna.
- Westbahnhof, Vienna.
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