Salt mining has left its mark in numerous parts of the Halltal valley, for salt was mined from tunnels for more than 700 years. Way back in the late 13th century, the mountain was flooded with water from the highest shaft, the ‘Wasserberg’ at an elevation of 1,635 metres (5,365 ft.), to dissolve the salt. Once maximum salt saturation had been achieved in the chambers, the salt solution or brine was transported downhill via a timber pipeline or conduit to the saltworks in Hall nine kilometres (five miles away). It was boiled in large pans in pan houses until it evaporated, leaving behind only salt crystals. Hike along the salt trail and follow the tracks of salt mining from Maximilian’s Fountain to the ‘Herrenhaus’ (Officers Headquarters), where you can venture into one of the main eight shafts which were cut into the mountain from 1272 to 1808.
Stops on the „Historic salt trail"
1 Maximilian’s Fountain 2 Miners’ Chapel 3 Storage shelters 4 Weir 5 Bettelwurf bend 6 Little Beech Wood 7 Sun Bridge 8 Saint Mary Magdalene 9 Ferdinand Tunnel 10 Officers Headquarters 11 King Max Tunnel (1492)
Details to the historic salt trail:
Start: Absam Maximilian’s Fountain Finish: King Max Tunnel Distance: 7 km Times: 1,5 – 2,5 hours Metres in altitude: 620
Mountain Guesthouse: Alpengasthaus St. Magdalena, Hüttenwirt Werner Krajnc, Halltal 23, Absam, Telefon 0664 2204659