The catholic parish church of Hallstatt - © Kraft

Catholic Church of Hallstatt

Church with exciting history

As if to hide, the Catholic parish church of Hallstatt nestles the mountain. Together with the world-famous Ossuary and the contemplative mountain cemetery, the historic pilgrimage church is one of the magnets for guests from all over the world on their visit to Lake Hallstatt. Well known far beyond the borders of Austria, is the late Gothic winged altar by master craftsman Leonhard Astl, which is regarded as the foundation of the miners and represents an art historical peculiarity. In addition, today's starting point of the colourful Corpus Christi procession was once a crime scene for one of the most spectacular art thefts.

Late historical footsteps

But let's go back a long way into the history of today's holiday resort at the foot of the local mountain, the “Plassen”. Renowned historians have discovered that in the temporal course of a more than 7,000-year settlement history around the Hallstatt Salt Mountain, the history of the Catholic Church only shares the last seventh. For the evidence of any form of Christianity among the Romans, who made their salt business here up to the time of the Migration Period, is not to be found in the existing finds.

Again and again, historians have delved deep into the history of this place of worship, but not always were the experts able to draw a complete historical picture of the parish church: Especially over the centuries of the Great Migration of Peoples lies deep uncertainties. After the first monastery foundations in Mondsee in 748 a.d. and Kremsmünster in 777 a.d., and especially then in Traunkirchen 1000 a.d., the valley of the Traun was increasingly developed and also


Historians assume that the first Christian community was formed around the year 1050 a.d. and who probably had a small Romanesque church no later than 1181 a.d. The mighty 12th century tower still bears witness to this.

Changing homeowners

The late Gothic then dared to build over the steeply sloping rocks and until 1505, the existing church was completed. Soon after, the two-nave church stood in the middle of the harsh religious wars and temporarily changed its ministry between Catholics and Protestants.

However, it always remained the darling of all salt manufacturers and the rich gentlemen on the Salzberg, in the market or the court. Since 1939, the concern for this gem lies entirely with the small parish and friends and visitors. In 2002, the Catholic parish church was completely renovated.

CSI Hallstatt: The Art theft thriller

In the 1980’s, the Catholic parish church became the scene of a spectacular criminal case, which puzzled investigators throughout Europe for more than thirty years: in 1987, an Italian couple tore out and took four Gothic paintings from the small altar of Mary in the Hallstatt parish church. Specialised art theft investigators suspect that after that, two of them were more than likely re-framed and privately owned. The other two probably spent the last decades in a warehouse and are therefore worse off than the others. During a raid in Italy in 2017, all images of this unique for Hallstatt crime story were secured. From the spring of 2018, the former abducted works of art will again be on view in one of the most beautiful churches in the Salzkammergut.

Our tip: If you are good on foot, why not combine a visit to the church estate with a short walk on the "Hallstätter Höhenweg". This begins at the back of the cemetery, leads up a few steps to a beautiful lookout point called "Marienruhe" and continues "over the roofs of Hallstatt" to the Salzberg cable car. Highly Recommended.

Hallstatt Charnel House

© Kraft | Beinhaus in Hallstatt

The cemetery of Hallstatt

© Kraft

Themed tour “Religion“

© Singer | Themenführung  “Religion“


Sun, Jul. 21, 2024 10:30 — 11:30 Catholic church Hallstatt, Kirchenweg 40 Hallstatt

Sun, Sep. 8, 2024 12:30 Simonyhütte, Lahnstraße 48 Hallstatt

Sat, Sep. 14, 2024 20:00 Catholic church Hallstatt, Kirchenweg 40 Hallstatt

Tue, Dec. 24, 2024 17:00 Catholic church Hallstatt, Kirchenweg 40 Hallstatt

Tue, Dec. 24, 2024 21:45 Catholic church Hallstatt, Kirchenweg 40 Hallstatt

Wed, Dec. 25, 2024 10:30 Catholic church Hallstatt, Kirchenweg 40 Hallstatt

Thu, Dec. 26, 2024 10:30 Catholic church Hallstatt, Kirchenweg 40 Hallstatt

Thu, Jun. 19, 2025 09:00 Hallstatt, Hallstatt

Always well-informed

When is the next cable car to the Dachstein Plateau in Obertraun? When does the next sightseeing ship depart from Hallstatt? With the four tourism platforms of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut // // // // // you will always stay up-to-date on current hours of operation, itineraries and more. If you’d like to use this information for during your stay in the holiday region of Dachstein Salzkammergut, then we would suggest that you save the appropriate website of your holiday destination in your favourites list on your smartphone or tablet. Then, you will always be informed during your holiday in the Salzkammergut. We hope to see you in Hallstatt, Gosau, Bad Goisern and Obertraun!

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