Magical "Mountain of Treasures" Altaussee Salt Mine

The biggest still-active salt mine in Austria is truly magical: Tunnels hewn out of pure salt, the mystical St. Barbara's Chapel, the Mineral Chamber, a salt lake on whose shores you feel like you are in a whole other world, and an array of historical milestones. Welcome to the "Mountain of Treasures" – here in the Altaussee Salt Mine!

Inside the Altaussee Salt Mine, which is located in the Styrian section of the Salzkammergut region, you will experience something truly special: Mine tunnels extending deep into the mountain that have been carved out of pure rock salt. Kilometer upon kilometer of constant variety, fascination and beauty. Allow your fingers to run across the various glistening forms, iridescent colors and magnificent structures – in the truest sense of the word, this is history right at your fingertips.

Mystical St. Barbara's Chapel and a spectacular salt lake

During your subterranean tour, you will pass by mystical St. Barbara’s Chapel. The play of color here is impressive – the chapel shimmers in reds, yellows and oranges, and is made out of pure rock salt. Standing at an altar that was built by the miners back in 1935, to this day bridal couples continue to “tie the knot” – some 700 meters below ground. Two miners’ slides lead you into the depths of the mountain, to the shores of a salt lake. This spectacularly illuminated lake feels like a different world. As you have probably realized: In Altaussee Salt Mine, you are greeted by beauty in many different forms, wherever you look. 

Dramatic Rescue Mission: Recovering Hidden Art Treasures

Altaussee Salt Mine has also played an important role in more modern history. The dramatic recovery of hidden art treasures at the end of the Second World War has provided material for numerous exciting stories. And that is far from all that the “Mountain of Treasures” has to offer. But don’t just take our word for it: We invite you to see for yourself – whether in springtime, summer, autumn or winter, come rain or shine. With your family, with friends, in a group or alone - Altaussee Salt Mine is always well worth a visit. We look forward to seeing you soon at Altaussee Salt Mine!

Springerwerk: The Fortunes of Art

The exciting story of how countless European art treasures were saved from destruction is recounted in a new exhibition area entitled “The Fortunes of Art”. This original storage cavern spanning 270 m² underwent extensive renovations before being transformed by experts into a contemporary exhibition. A total of over € 400,000 has been invested in this LEADER Project, which has successfully preserved an important historical site from total decay.

Europe’s Art Treasures

Visitors to this new exhibition space are given an intriguing explanation of why the Altaussee salt mine was chosen to warehouse artworks back in 1943. On display in backlit cases are paintings by Jan Vermeer, Pieter Brueghel and Rembrandt. Highlights of the exhibition include a replica of the Tassilo Chalice of Kremsmünster, the giant Bible from St. Florian’s Monastery as well as the spectacularly staged Ghent Alterpiece. In the course of conducting research, two original oil paintings surfaced which had been stored in the mine during World War II. These were ultimately donated to the miners who had helped rescue the art treasures.

A Michelangelo Masterpiece

The most magnificent of the art treasures stored here was undoubtedly Michelangelo’s Madonna from the Church of Our Lady in Bruges. It was stolen from the church by German soldiers in 1944 and underwent an adventurous journey before it finally landed in Altaussee. After the war, it was returned undamaged by American art experts to Belgium. A cast of the statue in Bruges was made especially for the new exhibition at the salt mine here in Altaussee.

Click here to learn more about the history of Altaussee

Additional Information

Further information about the Altaussee salt mine can be found in our Salt Mine Folder.

Here you can learn more about our Salt Mine Shops – salt for wellness, enjoyment, and including some great gift ideas.
You can now purchase our products also in the new webshop!

Incidentally: If you show your Salt Mine tickets, you will also receive free admission to LITERARIUM Altaussee. Complete information about this beautiful book boutique can be found on the website of the Literarium.