May - November 2018
Hallstatt - a small town crouched on the shores of Hallstatt Lake in Upper Austria is considered a pearl of the alpine region of Salzkammergut. Its beauty gained it an inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Above the town, the Dachstein mountain range dominates, and the whole region is rich in charming valleys and picturesque mountain lakes and streams. The area around Hallstatt was inhabited already in the Bronze Age, when the rich deposits of "white gold", as salt was once called, were discovered here. It was very valuable in ancient times mainly because it was used for food preservation. The "white gold" of Hallstatt became one of the foundations of the material power of the Habsburgs. Salt mines contributed to the prosperity of the town, its architecture and the enrichment of its inhabitants. Hallstatt gained worldwide fame, to the extent that the Chinese, at the cost of nearly a billion dollars, built a copy of the town in Guangdong province. However, the Chinese counterfeit does not match the beauty of the original. Every year, the Austrian Hallstatt is visited by nearly a million tourists, mainly Austrians, Germans and ... Chinese.