The Salzkammergut Region
The Salzkammergut is an Austrian resort area. The Salzkammergut stretches from City of Salzburg to the Dachstein mountain range, spanning the federal states of Upper Austria (80%), Salzburg (7%), and Styria (13%). The main river of the region is the Traun, a tributary of the Danube. The name Salzkammergut means “Estate of the Salt Chamber” and derives from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority charged with running the precious salt mines in the Habsburg empire.
With its numerous lakes and mountains, the Salzkammergut offers many opportunities to take part in water sports, bathing, hiking, cycling and golf as well as relaxing around lakes such as the Grundlsee or Toplitzsee. The Katrinalm, an alpine pasture, is found near Bad Ischl. Typical Salzkammergut culinary specialities include dishes such as Kaiserschmarrn (cut-up and sugared pancake with raisins), Krapfen (similar to doughnuts) or Lebkuchen (gingerbread).
Large parts of the region were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997, with the description: “Human activity in the magnificent natural landscape of the Salzkammergut began in prehistoric times, with the salt deposits being exploited as early as the 2nd millennium B.C. This resource formed the basis of the area’s prosperity up to the middle of the 20th century, a prosperity that is reflected in the fine architecture of the town of Hallstatt.”
Bad Aussee – the Local Market Town
Bad Aussee is the local market town and 4km away from the village of Altaussee. Bad Aussee is located at the confluence of the three sources of the Traun River in the Ausseerland region, the Altausseer Traun, the Grundlseer Traun, and the Kainisch Traun.
Bad Aussee serves as the economic and cultural center of the Styrian part of the Salzkammergut lakes region (“Ausseerland”). With a population of close to 6,000, the town is about three times larger than Altaussee. Interestingly, it is also the geographical mid-point of Austria, symbolized by a stone monument in the centre of town.
The village of Altaussee
The small Austrian alpine village of Altaussee is nestled on the shores of the Altaussee lake, beneath the Loser Plateau. Occupying an area of 92 km², the village is home to about 1,900 people. Altaussee is within the Salzkammergut region, in the state of Styria.