Just south of Salzburg, on the border between Austria and Germany, is the town of Bad Dürrnberg, centre of the old salt-mining industry and home to Salzwelten Hallein – The World of Salt.

White suits must be worn in the tunnels for protection

A subterranean adventure

As long as 2,500 years ago the Celts dug for salt in this mine. The enormous quantities of “white gold” enabled Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich of Raitenau to contribute to the expansion of the nearby city of Salzburg. People from inside and outside Austria have been visiting this underground world for around 450 years. This was the first mine where the tunnels were opened to the general public. The visit comprises two long chutes, a ride in the subterranean mineworkers’ train, and an underground boat trip across a ‘salt lake’. Located next to the mine is an archaeological open air museum: “Das Keltendorf” or Celtic Village.

The group visit is led by a guide.
Ancient Celts were preserved as salt mummies – a replica can be seen inside the mine
The mine-workers’ chute.
A boat trip across a salt lake.

Archeological open air museum

Go back in time about 2,600 years in the Celtic village of Salina and experience the daily life of the Celts. Wander through the village past houses, barns and much more. See demonstrations (using replicas) of how the archaeological objects were used. Experience what life was like here and learn about the mining activities.

The Keltendorf in winter.
The Keltendorf in winter.

In the summer you can also experience what it was like here during the Iron Age. By the entrance there is a good map showing all there is to see. Of special interest is the so-called prince’s grave (Das Fürstengrab)!

The entrance to the Celtic Village ‘Das Keltendorf.’
Map of Das Keltendorf.
Various reconstructions, each with its own function.
Das Fürstengrab – the prince’s grave

Location

Salzwelten Bad Dürrnberg
Ramsaustraße 3
5422 Bad Dürrnberg
Oostenrijk
https://www.salzwelten.at/en/hallein/

Translation Alun Harvey

 

 

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