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Why did Chinese make full size copy of Hallstatt?

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In the heart of the landscaped and historically shaped cultural region Salzkammergut, nestled between high Dachstein Mountains, on the shore of the glacier lake lies Hallstatt the most picturesque town in Austria. Together with the surrounding area it is listed as the UNESCO Heritage Site. For its beauty and history Hallstatt together with the area of Salzkammergut and Dachstein Mountain range is one of only 20 World Heritage Sites worldwide, which have also received the title of natural and cultural heritage. Because of it immanence beauty Chinese have decided to build the full size copy of the town. In China there is a trend to mimic buildings from other parts of the world, but this is the only example where a whole town layout has been replicated.

Hallstatt is the small town on the narrow strip of beach between the towering mountains and the fjord- like lake. Because of the land scarcity the houses are packed close together and some of them are even built with stakes in the lake. The town itself exhausted every free patch of land. Access between houses on the river bank was by boat or over the small path passing through attics. Hostile mountainous terrain isolated town for centuries; the first time in 1875 Hallstatt was connected by the road with the rest of the world, until then it was only possible to reach the town by boat or via mule tracks. 2 years later railway reached the lake opposite of the town and from there you have to use ships to get to the town. In extremely cold winters, when the lake is frozen snowmobiles are used instead. Nevertheless, the local population loves its isolation. The first referendum ever held in Austria was in Hallstatt where the locals have decided against building the coastal road through the town. In 1966 tunnels through the mountains behind the town were opened and the parking terrace as well. The visitors can walk from there in the town.

Despite inhospitable climate and terrain Hallstatt has been inhabited for millennia, the reason for this are the rich natural salt deposits that have been mined here since prehistoric times. Because the salt was a very valuable resource, the region was historically very wealthy. The oldest salt mine in the world named Salzwelten is located above the town and it is opened for visitors. Same as the oldest industrial pipeline in the world still in use. The town is unique for its world’s most famous charnel house, where human skeletal remains and over 600 painted sculls can be found, making it home to the largest collection of skulls. Because of its uniqueness and beauty the town is adored by the tourist making the tourism the main industry.


The author

Ogi Savic

Ogi Savic

I am Ogi. A journalist and economist, I live in Vienna and I am passionate about skiing, traveling, good food and drinks. I write about all these aspects (and more) of beautiful Austria.

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