Bad Gastein: A Perfect Place For Vacation

Bad Gastein is a famous spa and ski resort in alpine Austria. It enjoys a picturesque location nestled amidst the steep slopes of the Hohe Tauern Alps in the extremely picturesque Gastein valley (Gasteinertal), surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of snow-capped high mountain peaks. The town has a population of almost 6000 people. Its altitude is more than 1000 m. It is within the territory of Land Salzburg.

Bad Gastein is well connected to the rest of Austria via road and rail transport. Its train station (in the town centre, on Bahnhof Vorplatz) dates back to 1905, when the Tauern Railway (Tauernbahn) was completed. On the same square (Bahnhof Vorplatz) is the main bus terminal too.
The first historic document mentioning the Gastein Valley with the name “Gastuna” dates back to the 10th century. But it was known even longer ago for its gold ore. Gold mining developed here from ancient times. Another factor attracting people in this very picturesque but severe in the winter valley is its wealth of healing spring waters, containing radon. Bad Gastein has been visited by people seeking cure from various diseases in its hot and cold springs at least since Middle Ages. Among the prominent historic figures who have visited the town can be mentioned Emperor Frederick III, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Emperor Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck and Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. With the completion of the Tauern Railway in 1905 the town turned into a very popular resort for spa and ski tourists.

Besides its famous thermal springs, the town attracts many visitors for its excellent ski facilities. The World Championships of 1958 were held here. A well organized system of ski chairlifts and gondolas serves many kilometers of excellent ski slopes, suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

The main tourist attractions and points of visitors’ interest in this picturesque alpine resort include the renovated Congress Centre, the modernized Felsentherme spa centre, the amazing Gletschermühlen waterfall, the medieval Church of St Nicholas (Nikolauskirche) dating back to the late 14th century, the Gasteiner Museum with an interesting display related to the history and traditional culture of the town and the valley, the Gasteiner Heilstollen – a unique health centre in a natural cave gallery.

Bad Gastein is a town of the spa which lies in the district St. Johann im Pongau which is the district of Austrian state Salzburg. This lies in the region of the high valley of the mountain ranges called the Hohe Tauern. This city is very popular or their Gastein waterfall and Belle Epoque hotel buildings and architecture. 

Tourist Places

Bad Gastein Waterfall

This waterfall is full of different waterfalls that are crashing and mixing with each other. The way of mixing one waterfall to another is a bit traditional and as we all know that this town is very famous for his waters whether it is a thermal water spring or radon therapy. 

If you look into its historical terms then we get to know that this waterfall got established in the late 15th century. When the experiments started the researchers firstly work upon the thermality of the water like how this water got heated up. However, the whole town got popularity because of this waterfall. 

Mollater Gletscher

Mollater Gletscher is a ski resort which is situated in Molltal. There are a lot of slopes for skiing and there are some ski routes also available for the tourist. The nin lifts of the resort will help the people to get from one place to another. The whole winter sports area is spread from an altitude of 2108 meters to 3122 meters. It lies in the southern part of Hohe Tauern because of its high slopes. this place is also considered as the national skiing place of Bad Gastein. 

Ankogel

Ankogel is a part of the Ankogel group which lies in the High Tauern range of Austria. This mountain comes insecond place in the list of highest mountains. The highest mountain of this range is Hochalmspitze which is of 3,360 higher altitudes. For visiting this location, you need to take the support of the cable car. With the support of these cable cars, you can easily access this place. 

Graukogel

This is one of the most beautiful places of Bad Gastein because of its mountain peaks that are fully covered with fresh white snow but with the beauty, this snow becomes the challenge for most of the skiers. That`s why most of the skiers try to cover the distance through its forest areas because they are considered as more protected than the open area. 

But this place not only attracts the skiers it will also attract most of the non-skiers also. They mostly enjoy the beautiful weather and the cool surrounding which amaze them a lot. If you will visit here then you will get to know that there are a lot of people who are no skiers but they came here just for fun and enjoying the romantic weather with their families.  

Schreck

This mountain also belongs to the Goldberg Group of the High Tauern region which lies in Austria. The altitude of this mountain is 3,123 meters. The summit of this mountain lies on the main chain of the Alps. 

This region lies between the border of Carinthia and Salzburg. This mountain also comes in the list of highest mountain peaks and it holds second place on this list. It’s Southwest summit was popular with the name of Molltaler Gletscher.

In the lower part of the mountain, there is a reservoir named Hochwurtenspeicher. There is another glacier which is named as Schareckkees. When the lifting system was installed in this region it will become more convenient for the visitors to go there and have fun.

Traditions

The tradition of Bad Gaisten is Pagan which is quite similar to Roman Catholic tradition. One example of Pre-Christian Alpine traditions are Krampus which is now adopted as the Companions of Saint Nicholas. The Krampus is basically a demonic and horned character that was reenacted by the male revelers in December and in every four years once when the Perchten event or Perchtenlauf will occur. The event Perchtenlauf will occur every four years and recently it will take place in 2014. 

Sports

Not only the water treatment but this city was also popular for its winter sports. This city hosted the World Championship in 1958 of Alpine Skiing and they also host some of the snowboarding and boardercross championships in every regular interval of time. The skies performed in Bad Gaistern and Bad Hofgaistern we’ve become the part of the Ski Amade network. This network includes moderate to good skills of snowboarding with the help of Chairlifts and gondolas. 

Whenever you try skiing there are some establishments that will offer you warm, drinks and food items. In 2007 Bad Gastein also hosted the Gastein Ladies tennis tournament. They also hosted an international event like WTA tour and attractive top players like Julia Gorges.

Geography

Bad Gastein lies in the historic Pongau region which covers near about 171 square kilometers and it is the largest town in St. Johann in Pongau District. It will get stretched from the upper Gastein valley along with Gastein Ache creek which is an important tributary of Salzach River. The Valley of Salzach River divides two groups the Hohe Tauern Ankogel Group which lies in the East region and the Goldberg group which lies in the west region. 

The center of the town lies at the Gastein valley which is near about 1000 meters above the sea level. This valley was all surrounded by the multi-storied unique architected hotel buildings which are built before many years ago. 

These hotel buildings are at every steep slope of the valley. The municipal corporation of Bad Gastein consists of various communities like the Bad Gastein community, the Bockstein community, and the Remsach community. The southern part of Bad Gastein belongs to the Hohe Tauern National Park.

Transport

You can easily reach to Gastein valley from Tauern railways which is a running railroad that usually runs from Schwarzach to Sankt Veit in the North region. Not only this rail but also the trains of Eurocity and Intercity also passes from the same route. These two routes will connect Bad Gastein with other cities of Austria like Vienna, Salzburg, Linz and Grab with the help of a single circuit. 

The B167 Gasteiner highways also pass through Bad Gastein valley. The traffic of the northern branch at lend which is in Salzach valley will pass through the municipalities of Dorfgastein and Bad Hofgastein in the lower region. It will pass before it reaches to the Bad Gastein valley. Bockstein which is at the head of the valley and the continuation of Mallnitz will require a car to roll onto a shuttle train. 

Spa and therapy

The spa is included already in the name of this city as the word Bad means spa and this name was constituted because of the history of this city as the health center. The first thing that will get popular at Bad Gastein is their Heilstollen which is actually hot spring water. 

The researcher named Theophrastus Paracelsus discovered this thermal spring water and they also performed a deep study on this and revealed a lot of new secrets about it. Marie Curie a Heinrich Mache also helped to discover the radon which later on helped in beginning the radon therapy in the town. 

Radon inhalation therapy also begins at Bad Gastein which was the result of Gasteiner Heilstollen and the miner tested this on themselves and this can even help them to cure their problems like Arthritis. The people of Bad Gastein also get positive results with the problems like Ankylosing spondylitis. 

Hence there is no such positive result will occur with Inhaling Radon. Let’s understand it with an example the results of Ankylosing Spondylitis will not show any major difference between the people who spent three weeks in the spa of Bad Gastein and the people who spent three weeks in any other different spa with the radon inhalation therapy.  

History

The whole valley of Bad Gastein was settled by the Bavarian peasants in the 9th century. The highest lying southern part is Carantanian colonization. The first name of this city was Gastuna and this name was given this area belongs to the German Stem duchy of Bavaria. 

Firstly this area was an alpine farming and gold mining area and the area of ancient trade route will cross the main ridge of Central Eastern Alps. Duke Otto III and his brother Stephen I once come into a very high debt and they sold this city to Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. 

In 1230 the poet minnesinger Neidhart von Reuental had mentioned this city in his poem called Die Graserin in der Gastein. The spa of this city got visited by the emperor of Habsburgs Frederick III and the physician renaissance Paracelsus.  

The waters of Bad Gaisten become fashionable resorts in the 19th century. These resorts are visited by the European Monarchies and the other rich and famous people. Some of the popular faces that showed their presence here are- Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi), the German Emperor Wilhelm I, the chancellor of German Otto von Bismarck, Subhas Chandra Bose who was a leading Indian nationalist, Tsar Ferdinand I who was from Bulgaria, King Faisal I who belongs to the royal family of Iraq, King Ibn Saud who is from Saudi Arabia and the last king of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Some of the popular industrialists also visited there like Wilhelm von Opel and some artists like Heinrich Mann, Robert Stolz, and W. Somerset Maugham. Bismark also signed the Gastein Convention in 1865 for the joint meetings on Schleswig and Holstein. This will occur after the second Schleswig war. 

The famous composer Franz Schubert also composed his Piano Sonata in D Major in this city. Some people also believe that he have sketched a Gmunden-Gastein Symphony here when he stayed in Bad Gastein from August to September in 1825. 

The number of tourist in this city was decreased after the Tauern railways got started in this city in 1905. After the resume of these railways most of the hotels in Bad Gastein lost their notoriety and many of them remain empty for a long time. 

So the government decided to increase the number of tourists in their city and for that had renovated the Felsentherme and the congress center. This thing works for them and now they will have a good amount of visitors every year. These two buildings then become the major attractions for most of the visitors.  

Popular faces

Some of the popular faces of this city are:

Thea Hochleitner

Thea Hochleitner was an Austrian Alpine skier who took part in the 1956 Winter Olympics. She was from Bad Gaisten and in 1956 she won the bronze medal in the giant slalom event. She holds the seventh position in the downhill competition and twelfth position in the Slalom contest. 

Hans Eder

He was an Austrian skier who took part in many competitions in 1950. He completed his ninth Nordic Combined event in the 1950 winter Olympics. His 31st cross country skiing event was of 18 km. 

Franz Xaver Franzmair

He was a successful builder of Austria and he was born in 1901 in Bad Gastein. He was this much popular that he was also called as the Freeman of Bad Gastein. 

Franz Schubert

He was a very famous composer of Austrian classical and romantic songs. He will have a very long vocal career in which he sang about 600 different types of secular songs. He also completed several symphonies, operas, sacred music, and chamber music. Some of his major projects like Piano Quintet in A Major, D.667 and Symphony No. 8 in B minor. He was born in Himmelpfortgrund which is in Vienna. He gifted several kinds of music to the early times.  He learned the piano skills from his brother who used to teach him about the piano.  

George Thomalla

He was a very famous German actor. He did near about 150 movies and give his contribution to about 150 televisions. He started his career in 1939 and ended up with 150 movies and television in 2000. He was a bit popular for the comedy roles that he will perform in the German movies. 

Not only the actor but he also worked as a voice-over artist and he dubbed a lot of comedy scenes. He dubbed the voice of policemen in the Pink Panther series. He also dubbed the voice of Jack Lemmon in 1998. He also dubbed the song of Lemmon and the name of the song is Some Like it Hot. He did the same role in Fanfares of Love. For his amazing work, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit. He received this award in 1985.

Eckart Witzigmann

He was a very famous chef of Austria and he also played the role of a chef in Hotel Straubinger which is in Bad Gastein. He got promoted to a lot of designation and position and he proved himself on every place and become one of the most popular chefs that every restaurant wants. He also teaches their students like he taught Paul Bocus who was from Lyon, France about cooking and make him a good chef. 

He started his work in 1970 and the first restaurant where he worked was Munich restaurant which is in Germany and this restaurant was designed by Justus Dahinden. He also achieved the position of the first chef who got three stars from Michelin Guide. He got this award when he was serving in the Munich restaurant. The name of the dish for which he got this award was Aubergine.

Franz Xaver Franzmair

He was a very famous building master and also the founder of a company. He was also an honorary citizen of the municipal corporations. He was born in Timelkam which is near to Vocklabruck but he passed all his childhood in Vocklabruck. 

He also got his studies in this city. He got passed out in 1920 from the school named State Trade School which is in Salzburg. He was firstly become a construction manager under the leadership of building master Josef Cwerczek but according to his work performance, he was promoted to the post of building master. Even after clearing the examination of building master he still worked as a builder in a construction company named Rumpel. 

Leo Fritz Gruber

He was a very famous publicist, collector, and specialist. He was also the founder of Photokina which he started with Bruno Uhl. He was a very brilliant type of student as he already pursued art history, newspaper studies, ethnology, German studies and much more. After he completed his studies he becomes the co-founder of the newspaper named Kolner Kurier. 

This newspaper was dedicated to social socialism and nationalism. But because of a lot of controversies, this newspaper got banned in 1933 and the main thing behind the banning of this newspaper is one article that is published by one of its writers. After the ban of this newspaper, Gruber has to leave the city and shifted to London to complete his doctorate degrees. 

Karl Heinrich Waggerl

He was a very famous writer and wrote a lot of famous books. Not only the writer but he also worked as the translator and there are more than 5 million copies of his writer were sold all around the world. He was also considered one of the most reading authors who belong to Germany. 

There is a fact about his name that the middle name of him is only used when we talk about him as an author. He also attended a lot of seminars in Salzburg and he was also accompanied by Karl Springenschmid. When he is growing old he also started to paint and then he started to draw about his war experiences. 

Erwin Wexberg

He was a very famous psychiatrist and not only the psychiatrist but he was also worked as the neurologist. He was the youngest child who becomes the sales representative. He belongs to a very small village of Oberkurzwald. He completed his graduation in 1908 and after it, he joined the armed forces where he served for the nation for three years. When it takes up to his career there are two choices for him whether to become the doctor or to become the bus conductor. 

So he does not want to make his music as his source of income so he chose to study medicines and then he chose this as his career. He also applied for the Vienna Psychoanalytic association but his application got rejected. So he left the Freud association and applied for Society for Free Psychoanalytic Research of Alfred Adler where he got selected and not only the selection but also becomes one of the most important medical assistants of this organization.

Maria Zittraurer

She was a very famous Austrian writer. Not only the writer but she is also a lyricist. she is the first person to win Georg Trakl Prize for Poetry. She completed her studies from the boarding school of the Nonnberg Monastery. She also started her own café named Restaurateur and this café was in Gastein Valley. He was also a member of Lyrikfrendue and also have very good terms with Thomas Bernhard. 

She started his career with writing articles for the magazines and she also writes her own made poems. she got the award of Georg Trakl Prize for her amazing poetries. This is the first award that she received in his life. After it, she got several prizes for her amazing poetries and short stories.  

Conclusion

With the final words, we conclude that if you are planning for a vacation to this place then we will suggest you go ahead because this is a very beautiful place to visit and after reading this article there is nothing left that you don’t know about this place. So plan a long vacation to this place and enjoy the beauty of nature with your family. 

Featured hotels Bad Gastein, Austria

Hotel Alpenblick

Rooms from: € 46.00
Perched on a magnificent alpine slope, Hotel Alpenblick enjoys inspiring panoramic views over the Gastein Valley and the surrounding breathtaking Hohe Tauern Alps of Austria. The town centre of Bad Gastein and the romantic waterfall are both just a 10 minute stroll away from the porpety. The Graukogel lift is in the immediate vicinity too, providing easy and quick access to the area’s excellent ski slopes. Guests can take advantage of a fully equipped on-site spa and wellness centre, outdoor swimming pool with heated water and panoramic sunbathing lawn next to it, restaurant serving culinary delights from the local and international cuisine in its welcoming salon or on the open-air terrace overlooking the surrounding mountain peaks, Internet access, complimenatry private car park.

Hotel Europäischer Hof

Rooms from: € 91.00
Hotel Europäischer is a luxury golf and spa hotel with a large, modern and fully equipped wellness centre, enjoying a picturesque setting on a sunny slope right next to the local golf club, just 3 km from the town centre. On-site services include complimentary shuttle transport from/to the train station and all ski lifts in the area, private garage and parking, its own thermal baths, à la carte restaurants, Wi-Fi at no additional cost and business centre. The property’s traditional Austrian Schubert’s café is the right place to relax with a cup of professionally made aromatic coffee/tea and mouth-watering home-cooked pastries. Guestrooms are designed in an elegant individual style with ample interior space (from 35 m in size), cozy living areas, traditional alpine design and a full range of modern-day comforts guests may expect from a quality 4 star establishment.

Hotel Rader

Rooms from: € 33.00
Housed in a pretty historic building, Rader Hotel features a pleasant location directly on the picturesque central square of the romantic 17th-century village of Böckstein overlooking a nice old fountain, in the surroundings of the famous ski and spa resort of Bad Gastein and at the end of its splendid alpine valley with breathtaking panoramic mountain views. The establishment is in the hub of the local ski and holiday market, featuring a ski school and excellent ski slopes right outside of its doors. Amenities include a fully equipped spa and wellness centre, restaurant, garden, private car parking, swimming pool with salt water, fitness, Wi-Fi and lounge bar. The 25 en-suite rooms are furnished and decorated in a modern alpine style with many wooden elements for more warmth and coziness.

Hotel Villa Solitude

Rooms from: € 50.00
Villa Solitude is a charming small 4-star hotel, offering warm hospitality and comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation in a prime position right in the town centre with spectacular views over the scenic Gletschermühlen Falls and the romantic old town, just steps from the Congress Centre and the main train and bus stations on Bahnhof Vorplatz. It is within short and easy walking to the ski lifts, the medieval Nikolauskirche and the famous Felsentherme spa centre with its unique healing springs with radon water and cave galleries. The on-site Lutter & Wegner Restaurant boasts a private wine cellar and a lovely open-air terrace with sweeping views to the waterfall and the surrounding mountain peaks. Wi-Fi and parking space are offered free of charge.

Familienhotel Sonngastein

Rooms from: € 148.00
The charismatic Familienhotel Sonngastein enjoys a picturesque location in the spectacular Gasteinertal, right in the heart of the beautiful Hohe Tauern National Park, surrounded by one of the most picturesque alpine scenery in Austria. The establishment offers special facilities and services for a pleasant and restorative holiday for families with children and romantic couples. It boasts one of the largest and best equipped outdoor children’s play areas, excellent spa and wellness centre, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, luxury appointed en-suite guestrooms with scenic panoramic views to the Hohe Tauern Alps.

Hotel Elisabethpark

Rooms from: € 43.00
The exclusive Hotel Elisabethpark boasts a prime location in the town centre with spectacular panoramic views of the town and the surrounding magnificent mountain peaks. It is right next to the casino and just 50 metres from the splendid waterfall. Once inside this luxury, welcoming and cozy 4 star establishment, guests will discover a number of amenities designed for their utmost comfort. Accommodations are divided in two categories: “Modern Classic” and “Traditional”, situated in the two wings of the property’s building.

Alpine Spa Hotel Haus Hirt

Rooms from: € 100.00
Alpine Spa Hotel Haus Hirt enjoys a panoramic location on a picturesque mountain slope of Badberg, just 0.7 km from the central area of the town, 1.4 km from the Congress Centre and 2 km from the Hohe Tauern train station. Surrounded by one of Austria’s most scenic areas of natural beauty and peace, this welcoming hotel offers to its guests warm hospitality and top quality modern 4 star facilities, including a delightful panoramic indoor swimming pool with heated water and amazing mountain views. The hotel’s location is a perfect base for skiing, trekking and mountain-biking, being close to a stop of the ski bus and right next to the cross-country ski treks, as well as to several thrilling hiking paths. The establishment has a spa centre, restaurant with a lovely sunny terrace overlooking the surrounding Alps, lounge with open fireplace, free Wi-Fi, babysitting service and private parking space.

Hotel Village Grüner Baum

Rooms from: € 59.00
The Holiday Village Grüner Baum consists of five charming alpine houses with a total of 80 elegantly designed and fully equipped en-suite guest rooms, set amidst its private landscaped gardens. The complex enjoys a picturesque panoramic location in the tranquil, traffic-free area of the beautiful Kötschach Valley, surrounded by the magnificent peaks of the Gastein Mountains, just a short drive (2.5 km) from Bad Gastein town centre, 1.5 km from the local 18-hole golf course. Free shuttle service from the train station to the hotel is included in all room bookings. A stop of the local public bus can be found close to the property. Amenities include a panoramic outdoor swimming pool, private spa centre with natural thermal water, indoor swimming pool, restaurant and private car park.

Hotel Bayernhaus

Rooms from: € 39.00
Hotel Bayernhaus is housed in a pretty and elegant historic building situated right in the town centre, close to the late Gothic Nikolauskirche, a short walk from the base station of Graukogel ski lift, 15 minutes on foot (1.5 km) from both Felsenbad thermal baths and the train station, just meters from the starting point of the romantic Kaiser Wilhelm Promenade. This quality 3 star alpine hotel provides an excellent base for hiking tours in the mountains, a restorative spa vacation or an active ski holiday. Its range of service and facilities includes sauna, massages, breakfast buffet served in the property’s conservatory, paid parking and free Wi-Fi. Rooms and apartments are with spacious size, comfortable furnishing and soundproofed interiors. All accommodations have satellite TV, safe, heating, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. Some of them boast private terraces with inspiring mountain views too.

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