"Hall in Tirol – the medieval treasure" Top 5 Page for this destination Hall in Tirol by desert_princess

Hall in Tirol Travel Guide: 93 reviews and 315 photos

The name of Hall originates from “hal” which was the old German word for salt. The town is situated at 574 m above sea level and covers an area of 5.54 km2. Its population is 12,517 habitants (1 January 2010) which gives a density of 2,259 habitants/km².

Website :http://www.hall-wattens.at/en/

Hall in Tirol is a town in the Innsbruck-Land district of Tyrol, Austria. It is situated in the Inn valley, about 5 km (3 mi) east of the state’s capital Innsbruck.


Hall in the County of Tyrol was first mentioned as a salina (saltern) near Thaur castle in a 1232 deed. The current name dates back to 1256, similar to Halle, Schwäbisch Hall or Hallstatt referring to the Celtic word for salt. In 1303 Hall became a town and in 1477 it got the right of coinage.

Since the 13th century the salt mine at Absam in the Hall Valley north of the town formed the main industry of the town and its surroundings. The first adit was laid out in 1272 at the behest of Count Meinhard II of Tyrol, with the brine led by a 10 km (6 mi) long pipeline to the evaporation pond at Hall. The importance of the salt is also displayed in the coat of arms showing two lions holding a cask of salt. The salt was exported to Switzerland and some regions in Germany.

The old town of Hall is one of the world’s largest preserved ensemble of historical buildings and the largest in Western Austria. It was here that salt was turned into gold.
10 Milions tons of salt were mined in the Hall valley. It was transported along the river Inn making Hall the center of medieval trade in early Europe. The sound of horseshoes and wheels clatter on cobblestones, wooden doors creak on their hinges, bells ring in the church towers and neighbors chat from window to window across narrow lanes.

Ships could go no further than Hall, and the “stacking law” forced merchants to unload their goods and offer them for sale in town. This produced good incomes , but also the trouble of dealing with currencies from near and far. In 1477 Arciduke Sisigmund,also known as “Sisigmund the Rich” moved the royal mint from Meran in South Tirol to Hall. His decision to have the first thaler – the Haller gulden, that was minted in 1486 was a real stroke of genius. The precious silver coin not only gave the dollar its name but was also the precursor of the euro. By introducing the coin, Sisigmund no longer depended on the expensive inport of gold. The silver mined in Schwaz was used to make coins which were in great demand well beyond the borders of the province.

This naturally led to economic uprising of the town and the province of Tyrol. The coins bearing the princes’ names and portraits travelled the world , promoting the public image of the rulers. They had great propaganda potential.

To improve security, Archduke Ferdinand II moved the mint from the Old Town to the fortified Hasegg castle in 1567, situated on the southern edge of the town. The mint tower , the highest tower in the castle could be seen from afar and became the symbol of power and riches – not only of the town of Hall but but also of the province Tyrol.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The biggest preserved medieval town center in western Austria
  • Cons:none
  • In a nutshell:Just fantastic!
  • Intro Updated Feb 1, 2013
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