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|District||St. Johann im Pongau|
|• Mayor||Gerhard Steinbauer (ÖVP)|
|• Total||170.6 km2 (65.9 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,002 m (3,287 ft)|
|• Density||23/km2 (60/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Bad Gastein (formerly Badgastein; Southern Bavarian: Bod Goschdei) is a spa town in the district of St. Johann im Pongau, in the Austrian state of Salzburg. Picturesquely situated in a high valley of the Hohe Tauern mountain range, it is known for the Gastein Waterfall and a variety of Belle Époque hotel buildings.
Bad Gastein is located in the historic Pongau region, the municipal area of about 171 square kilometres (66 sq mi) is the largest in St. Johann im Pongau District. It stretches along the upper Gastein Valley following the course of the Gastein Ache creek, a right tributary of the Salzach river. The valley separates the Hohe Tauern Ankogel Group in the east from the Goldberg Group in the west.
The town centre is located at the Gastein Falls, about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level. It is characterised by numerous historic multi-storey hotel buildings erected on the steep slopes.
The Gastein municipality comprises the cadastral communities of Badgastein, Böckstein, and Remsach. Its southern parts belong to the Hohe Tauern national park.
The Gastein valley is accessible by the Tauern Railway, a major railroad running from Schwarzach-Sankt Veit in the north across the Alpine crest through the Tauern Tunnel to Spittal an der Drau, Carinthia in the south. Frequent EuroCity and InterCity trains going along this route connect Bad Gastein with many Austrian cities like Vienna, Linz, Salzburg and Graz along a single circuit.
The B167 Gasteiner Straße highway also passes right through the Gastein valley. Through traffic from the northern branch-off at Lend in the Salzach valley passes the lower municipalities of Dorfgastein and Bad Hofgastein before reaching the Bad Gastein centre. However, in Böckstein at the head of the valley, the continuation southwards to Mallnitz in Carinthia requires cars to roll onto a shuttle train (Autoverladung) for a short trip through the Tauern Tunnel.
The name "Bad" means "spa", reflecting the town's history as a health resort. The local Heilstollen (literally 'healing tunnel') thermal spring water earned the town its early fame. Theophrastus Parcelsus (1493–1541) had studied the spring water to discover its secrets. Marie Curie (1867–1934) and Heinrich Mache (1876–1954) helped to discover that it contained radon and as a result radon therapy began in the town.
Radon inhalation therapy at the Gasteiner Heilstollen began as a result of further investigation into the anecdotal experiences of silver miners who noticed improvements in symptoms from various ailments including arthritis.[ citation needed ] Ankylosing spondylitis (also known as Bekhterev's disease), in particular, has seen positive results from treatment at the Heilstollen.[ citation needed ] However, there is very little empirical evidence of any benefit to inhaling radon. For example, one of the few studies to test the efficacy of spa treatments for Ankylosing spondylitis found no statistically significant difference between a group that spent three weeks at Bad Gastein and a group that spent three weeks at a different spa without radon inhalation therapy.
The remote valley was settled by Bavarian peasants in the 9th century; field names in the highest-lying southern parts also denote a Carantanian (Slavic) colonization. Gastein is first mentioned as Gastuna in a 963 deed, when the area belonged to the German stem duchy of Bavaria. It was originally an alpine farming and gold mining area and the site of an ancient trade route crossing the main ridge of the Central Eastern Alps. In 1297 Duke Otto III and his brother Stephen I, both highly indebted, sold it to the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. Already about 1230, the minnesinger Neidhart von Reuental had referred to the hot springs in his Middle High German poem Die Graserin in der Gastein; the spas were visited by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III as well as by the Renaissance physician Paracelsus.
In the 19th century the waters of Bad Gastein became a fashionable resort, visited by European monarchs as well as the rich and famous. Some notable guests of the past included Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) and the German Emperor Wilhelm I with his chancellor Otto von Bismarck as well as Subhas Chandra Bose,a leading Indian nationalist, Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, King Faisal I of Iraq, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia and Iran's last king Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, industrialists like Wilhelm von Opel and artists like Heinrich Mann, Robert Stolz and W. Somerset Maugham. On 14 August 1865 Bismarck had signed the Gastein Convention with Austria concerning the joint administration of the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein after the Second Schleswig War.
The composer Franz Schubert composed his Piano Sonata in D Major in Bad Gastein, and was once believed to have sketched a Gmunden-Gastein Symphony (D. 849) during his stay in August and September 1825. Though no score appears to have survived for the latter, it is often identified with the Symphony No. 9 in C major (D. 944).
Mass tourism was pushed by the opening of the Tauern Railway station in 1905. From the 1960s on the resort lost some of its former notoriety and many former hotels sit empty. During the past few years,[ when? ] Bad Gastein renovated its Felsentherme and the Congress Center.
Bad Gastein has vibrant pagan traditions that have been slightly assimilated into Roman Catholic tradition. One example of the pre-Christian Alpine traditions is the Krampus, now adopted as one of the Companions of Saint Nicholas. The Krampus is an elemental, horned and demonic character, playfully re-enacted by bands of male revellers during December and also once every four years during a Perchten event or Perchtenlauf. The Perchtenlauf happens every four years at Bad Gastein. The most recent was in 2014.
Bad Gastein has a humid continental climate (Dfb) bordering on a subarctic climate (Dfc) due to the town's high elevation. Summers are mild, sometimes warm with cool, refreshing nights. Winters are moderately cold and snowy, with annual snowfall averaging 136 inches (345 cm).
|Climate data for Bad Gastein (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−23.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||51|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||58|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00)||70.7||57.5||52.2||47.2||46.6||50.9||51.8||53.6||54.2||55.7||68.8||77.0||57.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||52||89||110||123||159||153||176||155||126||114||58||30||1,344|
|Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics|
|Climate data for Bad Gastein (1971–2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||−23.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||49.7|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||41.5|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||7.7||8.4||10.9||11.6||13.5||16.1||16.3||14.6||11.2||9.5||9.7||9.4||138.9|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00)||67.6||56.9||50.7||47.4||46.1||50.4||51.3||52.3||52.9||55.0||67.0||73.6||55.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||56.4||83.0||108.6||112.3||157.7||142.0||166.0||157.2||128.4||109.1||58.9||37.5||1,317.1|
|Percent possible sunshine||44.6||47.2||46.8||40.6||46.5||39.1||48.8||52.8||52.8||52.1||40.5||43.1||46.2|
|Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics|
Beside its water treatments, the town is popular for winter sports. Bad Gastein hosted the 1958 World Championships in alpine skiing and regularly is a scene of the snowboarding and boardercross worldcup. The Bad Gastein and Bad Hofgastein ski resort is part of the larger Ski Amadé network, it contains moderate to good skiing/snowboarding, with plenty of chairlifts and gondolas. Many establishments on the slopes offer warmth, food and strong drinks.
Since 2007, the town also annually hosts the Gastein Ladies tennis tournament, an International event on the WTA Tour, attracting top players like Julia Görges.
Salzburg is a state (Land) of Austria. It is officially named Land Salzburg, colloquially Salzburgerland, to distinguish it from its eponymous capital Salzburg city and as such is the only state to be named after its capital. By its centuries-long history as an independent Prince-Bishopric, Salzburg's tradition differs from the other Austrian lands.
The Salzach is a river in Austria and Germany. It is a right tributary of the Inn and is 227 kilometres (141 mi) in length, its flow eventually joins the Danube. Its drainage basin of 6,829 km2 (2,637 sq mi) comprises large parts of the Northern Limestone and Central Eastern Alps. 83% of its drainage basin lies in Austria, the remainder in Germany (Bavaria). Its largest tributaries are Lammer, Berchtesgadener Ache, Saalach, Sur and Götzinger Achen.
St. Johann im Pongau is a small city in the state of Salzburg in Austria. It is the administrative centre of the St. Johann im Pongau District.
The High Tauern are a mountain range on the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps, comprising the highest peaks east of the Brenner Pass. The crest forms the southern border of the Austrian states of Salzburg, Carinthia and East Tyrol, with a small part in the southwest belongs to the Italian province of South Tyrol. The range includes Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner at 3,798 metres (12,461 ft) above the Adriatic.
Kaprun is a municipality in the Zell am See District in the state of Salzburg, Austria. The town is a tourist destination known as "Zell am See-Kaprun" with the neighbouring Zell am See and known for the glacier Kitzsteinhorn.
The Radstadt Tauern are a subrange of the Central Eastern Alps in Austria. Together with the Schladming Tauern, the Rottenmann and Wölz Tauern and the Seckau Tauern the Radstadt Tauern form the major range of mountains known as the Low Tauern. The mountains are found in the southeast of the Austrian state of Salzburg, between the upper reaches of the Enns and Mur rivers.
The Ski Amadé region of Austria is a network of 28 ski areas and towns that combined, make up the second largest ski area in Europe. It is named after the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who was born in the city of Salzburg.
Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße is a municipality, at the foot of Grossglockner mountain, in the district of Zell am See, in the state of Salzburg in Austria. The Fusch valley lies north of the main chain of the Alps. The population is 697. Fusch has an elevation of 813 metres (2,667 ft), but the maximum elevation within the municipality is 3,564 metres (11,693 ft), rising up Grossglockner mountain.
Bad Hofgastein is a market town in the district of St. Johann im Pongau, in the Austrian state of Salzburg. The spa town is located in the Gastein Valley, a large ski resort belonging to the Ski Amadé network.
Radstadt is a historic town in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
Mallnitz is a municipality in the Spittal an der Drau District in Carinthia, Austria.
Vandans is a town located in the Bludenz district in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. Located 650 m (2133 ft) above sea level, it is known for its skiing and hiking activities.
Dorfgastein is a municipality in St. Johann im Pongau District, in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
Untertauern is a municipality in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
Schwarzach im Pongau is a market town in the St. Johann im Pongau District in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
Hüttschlag is a municipality in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
The Salzburg-Tyrol Railway is a main line railway in Austria. It runs through the states of Salzburg and Tyrol from the city of Salzburg to Wörgl and belongs to the core network (Kernnetz) of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). The section between Salzburg and Schwarzach-Sankt Veit is part of the Salzburg S-Bahn urban railway network.
The Tauern Railway is an Austrian railway line between Schwarzach-Sankt Veit in the state of Salzburg and Spittal an der Drau in Carinthia. It is part of one of the most important north-south trunk routes (Magistrale) in Europe and also carries tourist traffic for the Gastein Valley. The standard gauge railway line is 79 km (49 mi) long and climbs the High Tauern range of the Central Eastern Alps with a maximum incline of 2.5%, crossing the Alpine crest through the 8,371 m (27,464 ft) long Tauern Tunnel. It is one of the highest standard gauge railways in Europe and the third highest in Austria.
The Goldberg Group is a sub-group of the Hohe Tauern mountain range within the Central Eastern Alps. It is located in Austria, in the states of Salzburg and Carinthia. Its highest peak is the Hocharn, 3,254 m (AA). Other well known summits are the Hoher Sonnblick, with its observatory at 3,106 m above sea level (AA), and the Schareck at 3,123 m above sea level (AA)
The Hoher Sonnblick is a glaciated mountain, 3,106 m (AA) high, on the main Alpine chain in the Goldberg Group on the border between the Austrian states of Carinthia and Salzburg. At its summit is the Sonnblick Observatory and the Alpine refuge hut of Zittelhaus.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Wildbad-Gastein .|