Hallstatt Salt Mine: a mine of superlatives
The oldest salt mine in the world, Europe’s oldest wooden staircase and the free-floating Skywalk with its “World Heritage View”, 360 meters above the ground: Hallstatt Salt Mine is a mine of superlatives. Come with us on a journey of discovery, back to the very beginnings of salt mining some 7,000 years ago, and experience the history of Bronze Age mining, recounted today in spectacular fashion thanks to state-of-the-art multimedia technology, including a Bronze Age Cinema 400 meters below ground. Here, you will experience up-close the very breath of history. Welcome to Hallein Salt Mine!
Even as the doors of the Salzberg lift are closing, it’s something you can clearly sense. And when the gondolas are gently set into motion, the town of Hallstatt and the Hallstätter See in the background grow steadily smaller, and the high valley comes into view, your anticipation for the unique world you are about to enter can barely be contained: a world deep below ground.
The oldest staircase in Europe, in the Bronze Age Cinema
Did you know that the oldest wooden staircase ever found in Europe is right here inside Hallstatt Salt Mine? It was discovered in 2002 in the prehistoric section of the Salzberg outside Hallstatt. For years, this staircase was the object of scientific research, since when it has been given a place of honor inside Hallstatt Salt Mine. In collaboration with the Vienna Museum of Natural History and employees of Salinen Austria AG, a new “Bronze Age Cinema” was built in which visitors can also see the actual staircase. A film animation is then projected directly onto the staircase, showing what daily life was like for workers back in the Bronze Age. In the Bronze Age Cinema, high-tech goes hand-in-hand with millennia-old history to offer an experience that enthralls visitors of all ages
For adventurers: prehistoric expedition into the heart of the mountain
Talking of “enthralling”: If you love a bit of added adventure and you are really interested in the history of salt as well as of Hallstatt, Hallstatt Salt Mine has a quite extraordinary highlight to offer. By advance registration, you can book a prehistoric expedition that takes you to places most visitors don’t normally get to see. During this tour lasting several hours, you will feel even closer to the miners of much earlier times. Outfitted with overalls, a helmet and lamp, you will penetrate deep into the mountain and its heart of salt, to the site where the “Man in Salt” was found, and to many other treasures that generally lie hidden inside the dark tunnels. So, have we whet your appetite for adventure? Wonderful! We look forward to seeing you here!
Additional information about Hallstatt Salt Mine in the Salzkammergut region can be found in our Salt Mine Folder.
Also read more about our Salt Mine Shops - salt for wellness, comfort and enjoyment, to keep for yourself or share with others - just waiting for you.
Would you like to learn more about the oldest staircase in Europe? Fascinating and astonishing information about this project can be found in the so-called STAIRCASE BLOG of the Vienna Museum of Natural History.
Discover the compelling 7,000-year-old history of salt mining by joining a Prehistoric Expedition! Here you can find complete times, dates and details for this special guided tour.