Hall in Tirol is a historic town in Tyrol with about 12.300 inhabitants.
- 1 Tourist Office (Tourismus Verband Hall Wattens), Unterer Stadtpl. 19 (next to Castle Hasegg), ☎ . M-F 09-18, Sa 09-13. Free.
The name Hall was first mentioned as salina (a salt making facility) near the Thaur castle in 1232, and its current name dates back to 1256. Like many other cities like Halle, Schwäbisch Hall, and Hallstatt, the name is derived from the Celtic word for 'salt'. Its salt mine has been in operation since the 13th century, and started in 1272 with the construction of a brine pool from which a 10 km long pipeline transported brine to an evaporation pond at Hall in Tirol. The fame of Hall in Tirol's salt spread far beyond Austrian borders, and salt was exported to Switzerland, the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley, among others. The economic importance of the salt trade remains symbolized in the town's coat of arms, depicting a pair of lions holding a cask of salt. Hall in Tirol was granted the status of town in 1303, and its development accelerated from the 14th century onward.
The flourishing new town saw misfortune in 1447 however, when a fire broke out that levelled large parts of the upper town. Income from the salt trade allowed for quick recovery, and the decision to move the Tyrolian mint from Meran to Hall in Tirol contributed an additional development boost. The mint of Hall in Tirol is best known for producing the largest silver coin in European history, the Guldengroschen. The world's first automated coining machine was deployed in Hall in Tirol in the 16th century, of which a replica can be seen in the Hall Mint Museum in the Burg Hasegg.
Hall in Tirol was one of the most important towns of the Habsburg Empire in the 15th and 16th century, and many of its churches, monasteries and convents date from this period. The appreciation of this architecture led Hall in Tirol to have its historic town centre preserved exceptionally well. The military garrison station in the town and its freight train station made Hall in Tirol a target for allied bombardments in World War II. Aside from the obliterated train station, the town survived almost unscathed, and now has the largest intact old town in western Austria for visitors to discover.
Hall in Tirol shares the Inn Valley with numerous other towns, among which the largest is the regional capital city Innsbruck ca. 5 km to its east. To the west, Hall in Tirol borders Wattens. The town has an elevation of 574 m, and is surrounded by the mountains of the Nordkette massif.
The easiest way to reach Hall in Tirol is by train, given its railway station on the Inn Valley railway line connecting Innsbruck to Wörgl (and further Kufstein and Munich). From Innsbruck main station (Hbf), 8 minutes away from Hall in Tirol, there are connections to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Feldkirch.
From Innsbruck there are direct connections to Italy over the 1 Brenner Pass, a very scenic and recommendable journey. Upon completion of the 2 Brenner Base Tunnel, Brixen will be reachable from Hall in Tirol under the hour.
- 3 Bahnhof Hall in Tirol (Hall in Tirol railway station), Bahnhofstraße 14a. To reach Hall in Tirol, take S1, S2 or S3 from Innsbruck Hbf.
Bus lines 4123, 4125, 4130, 4134, and 4169 traverse Hall in Tirol at 4 Unterer Stadtplatz, which is within 1 km radius of most tourist attractions. Bus 4125 offers a direct connection to Innsbruck Hbf eastbound, and to Wattens westbound.
- 1 Old Town (Altstadt). The historic city centre of Hall in Tirol is among the best preserved old towns on the west side of Austria, having survived the 2 World Wars nearly undamaged. Enjoy a walk through the medieval streets! For architecture lovers, there are ample historic buildings (in German) to be discovered in and around the old town.
- 2 Hasegg Castle (Burg Hasegg). Castle and mint, completed in 1300 at the height of Hall in Tirol's expansion as centre of commerce and salt trade in Tyrol. It originally served as a defensive structure to protect the nearby salt mines, along with the then critical bridge across the Inn near the old Roman Road. The Castle became universally famous the second half of the 18th century for minting silver coins, of which over 17 million were produced. It produced silver coins until the Napoleonic Wars in 1806 due to shortage of silver supply. The Castle is currently a museum, with demonstrations of historic minting processes given from time to time. It is also worth a visit for its early Gothic Tyrolean fortress architecture with a heavily tarnished copper roof on the mint tower.
- 3 Mint Hall (Münze Hall), Burg Hasegg 6 Münze Hall, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Su 10:00-17:00. Since 2003 hosting the Mint Museum, with a history of minting technology in Europe on display. Visitors can mint their own copper, gilded copper or silver coins for a fee of €2.50 (copper) to €18 (silver). Adults €8, children €6, students and elderly €6.50. Combi tickets are available for Mint Hall and Mint Tower from €8..
- 4 Mint Tower (Münzerturm), Burg Hasegg 6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. M-Su 10:00-17:00. Built under Archduke Sigmund's rule between 1490 and 1500, this 45 m tall tower can be visited by anyone willing to climb the 204 steps to its top. The shape of the tower is fairly unusual with a round five-storey substructure ca. 10 m diameter. On top of it rests a three-storey dodecagon. It served as a watchtower guarding access to the salt mines and evaporation ponds. Two Baroque sundials and a mechanical clock decorate the tower and provided salt workers with a notion of time. Adults €5.50, children €4.50, students and elderly €5. Combi tickets are available for Mint Hall and Mint Tower from €8..
- 5 Thöml Castle (Thöml-Schlössl), Mitterweg 8. A castle with unusual architecture dating back to 1710 when it was called Buggerhof. It was used as the base of operations for Jesuits, who founded a branch in Hall in Tirol in 1569 at the behest of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol and his sisters Magdalena and Helena. When the Order was disbanded in 1773, the residence transferred to the Bliem family who opened an inn. The entrance gate is still decorated with a fresco of a Jesuit priest, accented by a cross. The exterior of the castle has been renovated numerous times, but most of its original interior is preserved.
- 6 St. Nicholas Parish Church (Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus), Pfarrplatz. One of the most impressive Roman Catholic churches in the Inn Valley. The church was founded in 1281 and dedicated to St. Nicholas, but was soon too small to accommodate the growing salt mining city's population. It was rebuilt and expanded in 1352 and throughout the 15th century to cope with the continuously expanding city population. The church was severely damaged by an earthquake on the evening of 17 July 1670, which caused the tower to collapse. It was replaced with a Baroque style tower in 1676. Throughout the 20th century the ceiling paintings were renovated. The painting of the high altar is from Flemish painter Jan Erasmus Quellinus dated 1657, and portraying angels together with the church patron Nicholas. Notable is also the organ, built in 1689 by Franz Köck and renovated in 1999 according to the original build plans. Another curious story is the history of the bells in the tower. The originals were cast in 1570 by Christoph Löffler, but melted down during the Second World War to be used for military purposes. Bell foundry Grassmayr, which can be visited in Innsbruck, casted 3 new bells in 1951 to fill the void in the tower. Free.
- 7 Herz-Jesu-Basilika.
- 8 Mining Museum (Bergbaumuseum), Fürstengasse 2, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The museum focuses on the history of salt extraction in Hall in Tirol, its most important economic activity dating back to the 13th century. On display are galleries, shafts, tools, and salt minerals like halite and sylvite, that give visitors an insight in how the situation used to be underground. The museum opened in 1928 and can be found in the historic city centre. There are regular tours on Monday, Thursday and Saturday starting from 11:30 and lasting ca. 1 hour. Adults €5, children, students and elderly €3.
- 1 Innsbruck — regional capital of Tyrol and largest city in the Inn valley, 5 km east of Hall in Tirol
- 2 Igls — between Innsbruck and the 1 Patscherkofel mountain
- 3 Eng — the largest alm in Europe and one of the most remote settlements in the Alps
- 4 Wattens — home of the Swarovski Crystal Company
- 5 Schwaz — commercial centre in the Inn valley