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Bad Gastein: spa center in southern Austria

Bad Gastein is an important holiday resort in south-central Austria, in the province of Salzburg, 80 km south of the capital. Located at 1,083 meters above sea level in the Gasteiner Tal, a narrow gorge in the Hohe Tauern crossed by the Ache river, which forms two waterfalls of 63 and 85 meters here, it is a renowned health and radio sports and winter sports station.

It is the most famous, elegant and worldly spa resort in Austria, one of the most famous in Europe, with a rich past. Here, in fact, the Habsburg nobility came to take spa treatments. Its thermal springs have been known since the Middle Ages. But Bad Gastein became particularly famous in the late 19th century when the town became one of the main spa destinations of European royal houses.

The town was also the scene of some important conferences. In 1865 it was the seat of the Convention between Austria, Denmark and Prussia at the end of the Ducati war. While in 1878 in Bad Gastein the “Dreibund” (Triple Alliance) was signed between Austria, Germany and Italy.

WHAT TO SEE: THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF BAD GASTEIN

Bad Gastein is located at the foot of the Graukogel (2,492 m) and Stubnerkogel (2,246 m) mountains, along the banks of the Gaistener Ache stream, which forms suggestive waterfalls in the center of the town. The 18 thermal springs that gush out from the foot of the Graukogel have been exploited since medieval times. These are the most radioactive waters in Europe that flow at a temperature of 30 ° C / 47 ° C and are particularly suitable for the treatment of rheumatism, injuries, circulatory disorders, senescence. In the town of Bad Gastein there are numerous spa complexes equipped with every comfort.

From the elegant town square, surrounded by mountains, begins the Kaiser Wilhelm-Promenade, a beautiful walk that allows panoramic views overhanging the right side of the stream. From the walk you can reach the church of St. Nikolaus, a Gothic building from the fifteenth century with frescoes from the early sixteenth century.

BOCKSTEIN

The last center of the valley is Bockstein (1,175 meters), reachable not only by car but also on foot from Badgastein via the Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Promenade, a 3 km walk through the green meadows. This satellite center in Badgastein is the base for mountaineering excursions in the Hohe Tauern and also an important spa resort. There is also a sweat gallery (41 ° C), which can be followed picturesquely by train. On a hill, there is a small Marian sanctuary with a central plan with an oval dome built in neoclassical style (1767).

A toll road heading south-west leads in 6 km to the well-equipped Sport Gastein ski center, located at 1,588 m. Those who want to travel by car to Carinthia must board it on one of the many shuttle trains that leave from Bockstein station. From here, by train, in about ten minutes, you cross the 8,552 m long Tauerntunnel and disembark on the other side of the mountains in Mallnitz in Carinthia.

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