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Sights in Bad Ischl

Thanks to its rich history, the spa, cultural and imperial city has many sights to offer. Conveniently explore the historical and cultural highlights of Bad Ischl by foot and feel the history of the holiday region Salzkammergut. Choose among numerous museums, exhibitions and historical places of the city.

Take a walk through the historical city of Bad Ischl

Bad Ischl and its history

In 1262 Bad Ischl was mentioned for the very first time by the name “Ischelen Procincia“. Numerous historical finds point out that the city had been already populated in prehistoric times, the bloom of the Hallstatt period. The region name “Salzkammergut” has been used from 1656 and marks the surrounding area of Bad Ischl. Since then, due to salt mining, the region has always been in the economic interest of the Austrian imperial house of Habsburg.

Bad Ischl and the Habsburgs

The fact that Bad Ischl is perfectly suitable as a spa had been discovered in the 18th century. In 1821, the physician Dr. Josef Götz from Vienna came to Ischl and informed himself about the successes of the spa by physician Dr. Josef Götz, who had been testing the effect of brine baths on ill salt workers since 1807. In the following year the first (40) foreign spa guests came to the town. Because of Archduchess Sophie of Bavaria who had been successfully received brine baths because of infertility, the spa in Ischl gained a lot of attention. After those salt treatments in Bad Ischl, the childless imperial couple gave birth to three children, the so-called “salt princes”. One of them was Emperor Franz Joseph, who later announced the engagement with his “Sisi” here and spent many summers in Bad Ischl with the Empress and its court. By the way, the engagement was announced in today´s museum of the city “Hotel Austria”, which is directly opposite the Hotel Goldener Ochs at the Esplanada in Bad Ischl.

Imperial villa, hunting and summer retreat

As an engagement gift from his mother Archduchess Sophie, the young imperial couple received the imperial villa (link). The summer residence and the magnificent Kaiserpark can be visited today by visitors of the Salzkammergut city. The Habsburg summer residence is only a 10-minute walk from the Goldener Ochs.

Since the imperial family spent its summers in Bad Ischl, the court and many aristocrats also stayed here. Ischl became the place where people spend the warm season.The salon culture bloomed. Patrons and creatives met in the relaxed atmosphere of the Salzkammergut and made plans and projects together. Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauß, Johannes Brahms and Franz Lehár had been visiting the imperial city during summer on a regular basis. The idea of the summer retreat was born.

Operetta enjoyment and Franz Lehár as the star

There was another very important Ischl inhabitant by choice, the world-famous composer for operetta Franz Lehár back then. During his stay in Ischl, the world musician resided in the so-called Lehár villa (link), which is also open to the public today. The beautiful mansion is located three houses down the river from the Hotel Goldener Ochs.

Franz Lehár as a regular at the Hotel Goldener Ochs

By the way, the composer for operetta was a regular at the Hotel Goldener Ochs. He liked to dine with fellow artists in the very cozy rooms and     appreciated the authentic cuisine of the former guest house. In his honor, our beautiful wooden room has been named Lehár room.

The museum of the city Bad Ischl

The museum is directly located opposite the Hotel Goldener Ochs on the Traun River. Explore changing exhibitions and learn more about the history of Bad Ischl.

UNESCO World Heritage Hallstatt

The small town Hallstatt, directly on the shore of Lake Hallstatt and one of the most visited sights in the Salzkammergut, is only 20 minutes by car away from Bad Ischl. Due its prehistorical cemeteries and excavations, Hallstatt became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1997. The town is home to the world´s oldest salt mine, a prehistorical museum and other unique places, such as the Gebeinhaus (Charnel House).

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