One of the most extraordinary attractions of the area are the salt mines in Hallein. This is the oldest salt mine in the world. The mining industry in the region around Hallstatt originates from the mid-Bronze Age. In the eighteenth century, mummies of killed prehistorical mine workers were found. There used to be an enormous lake at the location of the salt mines, approximately 250 million years ago, that has evaporated. The salt has dried up and was discovered and used later on. Many centuries ago, salt, for example, was used as means of payment. The Roman soldiers were paid in salt, for instance. The salt from this mine ensured the survival of the people.
The impressive salt mines in Hallein are definitely worth a visit. The visit to the mine is full of surprises. The tour through the salt mines starts with a train ride. From that point, you experience a very realistic journey back in time. A long, narrow train takes you inside with quite some speed. You will pass several spaces along the way where, among other things, a movie is played. During the tour you will get to the heart of the mine by means of an actually used slide. The long slides were used in the past by mine workers to move underground from one layer of salt to the other. At one slide you can even see the speed with which you whiz down. You will be guided by experienced mine workers who work as a tour guide and who will tell you more about the salt mountain. You also travel by raft across an underground salt lake. A visit to the salt mines in Hallein is an experience on its own.
During the excursion in the mine, it is mandatory to wear a mine worker suit. You must wear this suit to protect your clothes as it is extremely damp in the mine. By paying a visit to the impressive salt mines in Hallein you become a lot wiser as to the history of the salt and the bishops in Salzburg. Tip: it is only 10 degrees in the mines, so warm clothing is no unnecessary luxury.
From Resort Obertraun it is very easy to reach the salt mines in Hallein. The park reception can provide you with more information about the salt mines, the route to get there and the place to park your vehicle. Tip: also inquire at the reception about the fascinating ice caves in Dachstein.