Hallein Tourist Attractions
The old Celtic town of Hallein lies about 15km/9mi south of Salzburg on the River Salbach, which here emerges from the mountains into the Alpine foreland. It takes its name ("hall" is an old word for "Salz" = salt) from the ancient salt mines here. It is the chief town in the Tannengau and of industrial importance (chemicals, machinery, salt-mining in the Dürrnberg), with a college of woodworking and masonry. There were settlers on this site as early as 700 BC Hallein was granted its charter in 1230. Prehistoric inhabitants probably worked the Dürrnberg salt mines some 4,500 years ago. In 1938 the spa town of Dürrnberg to the south was made a part of Hallein.In this picturesque old town you will find numerous little streets, gateways and statues, as well as houses built in the typical Salzach style. Opposite the parish church (Gothic choir) stands the house of the organist Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863), composer of "Silent Night" (see Salzburg, Surroundings); in front of the house is his grave.
In Hallein, the old Orphanage (1654) is now the home of the Keltenmuseum (Celtic Museum); The reconstructed Celtic farmstead includes buildings and tools and equipment used by the Celts, and a burial chamber built on the lines of one found in Dürrnberg. It is open only in summer, but group tours can be arranged in advance at other times. The museum displays finds from the Hallstatt and La Tène (Iron Age) periods (800-15 B.C.), taken from the prehistoric graves found on the Dürrnberg. Documents illustrate the growth of the town and the development of its economy as a result of its salt resources, and there are exhibits portraying local customs and the history of the town guilds. There are separate rooms devoted to the composer F. R. Gruber, the exhibits in which include the original score of "Silent Night".
South of Dürrnberg, on the Zinkenkogel (1,330m/4,365ft; fine views) there is a skiing area with many facilities.
International Folk Festival
This annual festival takes place in late August.