Thursday, 17. April 2014 - 06:04
05. 12. 12. - 09:45
Christmas with a difference is being offered to visitors to the Hallein Salt Mine in the province of Salzburg.
Instead of arriving on a sleigh Santa arrives on one of the giant wooden slides that leads into the massive Salzbergwerk Dürrnberg tunnel network, part of the underground salt mine located in the Dürrnberg plateau above Hallein, Austria.
The mine has been worked for over 7,000 years since the time of the Celtic tribes and earlier. It helped ensure nearby Salzburg would become a powerful trading community. Since World War I, it has served as a mining museum, known for its long wooden slides between levels.
And it is on one of these that Santa arrives to distribute gifts to visiting kids. There is also an underground nativity crib, and this year's special offers for people who want to enjoy a good "slide into the New Year" as Austrian tradition has it. More information can be found on www.salzwelten.at.
There are several named tunnels in the mine, including the Obersteinberg opened in 1450, the Untersteinberg, the Jackobberg, the Rupertsberg, the Wolf Deitrich tunnel and the Dr. Nusko tunnels. They descend all of the way to Hallein.
Early mining was done by hand and extracted salt rock crystals as a solid. To improve efficiency, fresh water would be pumped into a cavern. After several weeks of absorbing salt from the walls, the water was pumped out to a processing plant in Hallein.
An 1829 treaty between Austria and Bavaria was created since the mine actually crosses under the border into Bavaria. The treaty stipulates that up to ninety Bavarian farmers are allowed to work in the mine.
Former footballers charged over match-fixing
Austrian prosecutors have charged former footballer Dominique Taboga over allegations of match-fixing, nearly five months after his connection to the scandal was exposed.
Salzburg cheetahs great escape
For the third time in two years a cheetah has broken out from Salzburg Zoo this week.
NGOs calls for Salzburg to act against nitrogen oxide
A consortium of environmental NGOs angry at the excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide polluting the air in the Austrian state of Salzburg have said they will launch legal action against the state unless a change is made.
Nazi Gurlitt family may be hoarding more artwork
The trove of artworks stolen by the Nazis and allegedly hoarded away by art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt could be larger than previously thought after Austrian officials confirmed the discovery of a third house in Austria belonging to the family.
Further 180 Gurlitt paintings found in Salzburg
A further 180 paintings have been found in the Salzburg home of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a Nazi art dealer who made headlines in 2012 when a hoard of artwork was discovered by tax inspectors in his Munich flat.
Swedish woman fighting for life after being run over by snowmobile
A young Swedish waitress is fighting for her life after being run over by a 6.5 tonne snowmobile after deciding to ski down a closed off piste while it was being prepared at the Saalbach-Hinterglemm resort in Salzburg.
Salzburg win the Bundesliga with eight games still to go
Red Bull Salzburg have secured the top title in Austria' football league Bundesliga, the earliest point in the season the winner has ever been decided.
Austrian duped by fake Prince Harry on Facebook
An Austrian tradesman who thought Britain's Prince Harry had contracted him to provide parquet floors at Buckingham Palace is unlikely to have the 27,000 EUR he transfered to a conman returned, according to police.
Salzburg FC look to continue winning streak tonight
Red Bull Salzburg will be hoping to continue their impressive winning streak in the UEFA Europa League with a win tonight against Swiss side Basel.
Nigerian finds easy pickings with trusting Austrian
A Nigerian conman based in London had easy pickings when he purchased a laptop on eBay from a 23-year-old Austrian.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days