World Reviewer rating

Not yet rated

Pilgrimage Church of Maria-Hilf

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Styria, Austria.

Pin It

The small town of Halstatt and its adjoining lake, Halstattersee, derive their names from Hal, the old Celtic word for salt. For at least 2,800 years salt has been mined in the area, making the Halstatt mines among the oldest in the world. From 1000 to 500 BC the town flourished as a European trading center and this period of Celtic culture has become known as the Halstatt epoch of the early Iron Age. Following the Celts, the salt mines continued to be worked by the Romans and later the medieval Europeans; today the mines are an underground museum of prehistoric technology. Little is known of Celtic or Roman religious practices at Halstatt yet by the 1300's the hillside church of Maria-Hilf had become an important place of regional pilgrimage. Most scholars discuss Halstatt solely in terms of its commercial activities during the Iron Age but the beautiful lakeside town is more significant for its extraordinary atmosphere of peace. To meditate in the quiet shrine of Maria-Hilf, to walk amidst the forests and hills surrounding the town, or to glide by row boat across the placid waters of Halstattersee is to leave for awhile the hustle-bustle of the modern world and enter an inner realm of timeless serenity.

More on Halstaat from Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
Question
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?
 

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Angkor Wat

    There are two great complexes of ancient temples in Southeast Asia, one at Bagan in Burma, the other at Angkor in Cambodia. The…

  • The Great Pyramid

    The Great Pyramid is the most substantial structure of the ancient world, and one of the most mysterious. Constructed from appr…

  • The Parthenon

    The supreme expression of ancient Greek architectural genius, the Parthenon has enchanted painters and poets for two thousand y…

Nearby Experiences

  • Hallstatt-Dachstein

    'Human activity in the magnificent natural landscape of the Salzkammergut began in prehistoric times, with the salt deposits be…

  • Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

    Along with the Eisreisenwelt (also in Austria), the Dachstein-Rieseneishöhle (Dachstein Giant Ice Cave) is one of the best show…

  • Dachstein Massif

    In the heart of “Sound of Music” country towers the majestic Dachstein massif with its stunning views, sublime glacial valley l…

Related links

Contribute to this page