Hallein is a city in the state of Salzburg with 19,000 inhabitants and the capital of the Tennengau. The area around the city (Dürrnberg) has been populated since around 2500 BC, and about 600 BC underground mining for salt began. The salt mine was in operation from then until 1989. Spa in Bad Dürrnberg.



Origin of name
The place can be documented for the first time in 1198, the salt mining already in 1191. The city elevation took place between 1218 and 1232.

In 1198 a salt pan was first mentioned in a document in "muelpach", a place in the area of ​​the abandoned Celtic valley settlement. The place name that refers to a mill stream is documented until 1246. In the course of the 13th century, this name was replaced by the name Salina and finally Hallein (= small brewing pan). The districts of Gamp (from "campus" for field) and Rif ("ripa", bank) are Roman names.

The name Hallein has been documented since the 1st half of the 13th century, a typical Hall name for salt production: Hallein is best known for its historical salt production (see salt works contract) and historical finds from the time of the Celts. In contrast to other Hall locations, the continuity of settlement from the Celtic and Roman times to the Bavarian conquest is assured.

Hallein is emphasized more on the first syllable, at least in terms of linguistic history and by locals.

Hallein Castle
The Veste Sulzeneck can be described as the castle of Hallein. The inner border fortifications in the Middle Ages were the Vesten Schoßrisen (Thürndl), Sulzeneck (Reckturm, Fuchsturm) and the Hallburg (Georgsberg 1262). The buildings were located in the area of ​​the Riesengut directly above the city, west of the former "Eisinger's Gasthaus zur Gemse". The Reckturm, in the 14th century. known as the citizen's tower, and the fox tower, known as the “large iron gate”, were part of the medieval fortifications, which fell into disrepair at the beginning of the 19th century. The Reckturm (or Röckturm) was rebuilt and can be seen from the city.

Salt mining
Due to special geological conditions, the salty rock on the Dürrnberg near Hallein sometimes extends up to the surface. Occasionally salty springs come to light, which were already used by Stone Age hunters around 2500 to 2000 BC. Were used.

Around 600 BC The mining of core salt in underground mining began. The salt trade provided the Celts with considerable prosperity, which can still be proven today in the extremely rich burial equipment. In prehistoric times, he made the Dürrnberg, together with the valley settlement on the left bank of the Salzach, a top-class economic and political center.

With the incorporation of the Celtic Kingdom of Norikum around 15 BC. In the Roman Empire, salt production on the Dürrnberg was probably stopped as a result of the importation of sea salt.

The manorial rule in the area of ​​the later city of Hallein was from Duke Tassilo III. Donated to the Church of Salzburg in the middle of the 8th century and has been in the possession of the St. Peter Monastery since 987. In a loop of the river Salzach there was settlement from the 7th century BC to the 5th century AD. The emergence of the medieval town of Hallein represents a new approach. There was only continuity of settlement in the towns of Rif and Gamp.

In 1198 a salt pan was first mentioned in "muelpach", a place in the area of ​​the abandoned Celtic valley settlement. Replaced in the course of the 13th century by the salt-related names Salina and finally Hallein (= small brewing pan).

After around 1,000 years of downtime, salt production was resumed by the Salzburg archbishops using a sink, the process of wet mining in the salt mine. Their targeted economic and price policy soon secured the Dürrnberg and the saltworks town of Hallein a dominant position in the entire Eastern Alpine region. For centuries, the archbishops earned more than half of their total income from the salt trade, which was mainly carried out via the Salzach transport route, which also formed the basis for the wealth and beauty of the royal city of Salzburg.

By gaining a large part of the Reichenhaller sales markets, Hallein became the most efficient saltworks in the Eastern Alps in the 16th century. The miners and saltworkers felt just as little of this salt yield as the city of Hallein as a whole.

With the loss of the sales markets in the Bohemian lands to Habsburg Austria and a lost salt war against Bavaria, there were severe economic losses and consequently the impoverishment of the miners and saltworkers. In the course of the evictions of Protestants in 1731/32, 780 miners from Dürrnberg left the country with their families.

The Archdiocese of Salzburg lost its independence to several sovereigns during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century and was finally assigned to the Habsburg Empire in 1816. In association with the Austrian saltworks, the Hallein saltworks were henceforth of subordinate importance.


A long overdue rationalization was initiated in 1854/62 with the construction of a powerful salt works on the Pernerinsel. In the second half of the 19th century, attempts were increasingly made to counteract the economy of the city of Hallein, which was one-sidedly geared towards salt, with new business establishments. There were z. B. a cement plant, a cigar and a paper mill.

In 1954/55, the Hallein saltworks site received a last innovation boost with the construction of a modern thermocompression system.

In 1989, with the closure of the salt works and the cessation of brine production on the Dürrnberg, an economic tradition that was over 2,500 years old died out. Art and culture now fill the abandoned industrial sites with life. The Pernerinsel in particular, as a location for extraordinary productions at the Salzburg Festival, has established itself as an important factor for economy, tourism and culture.

Jewish history of the city
Due to its salt mine, Hallein grew into an important and important trading center, beginning in the pre-Roman times, which was only gradually replaced as such by the city of Salzburg in the Middle Ages. The Jewish community living in Hallein was larger and more important than the one in Salzburg until its first extinction in 1349. When Archbishop Pilgrim again encouraged Jewish traders to settle in the archbishopric in the second half of the 14th century, a Jewish community was re-established, whose members (including women and children), however, as early as 1404 - just like those in Salzburg were burned at the stake. This cremation was preceded by a burglary in the Müllner church, which was wrongly accused of Jews. After that, in the 15th century, another Jewish community was founded in the saltworks town, but this came to an end with the expulsion of the now very few Jews from the Archdiocese of Salzburg by Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach in 1498.

Armaments and concentration camps in the Nazi era
The Eugen Grill works in Hallein became the largest armaments company in the country. Under the code name “Kiesel”, parts of the plant were relocated underground to protect against air attacks nearby. Production started there at the end of February 1945, and the underground factory was officially opened in mid-March. The successor in 1948 was the Halleiner Motorenwerke, the object of production was initially mopeds.

In 1943 the NSDAP (SS) protection squad set up a barrack camp as a concentration camp for 1,500 to 2,000 people. It was formally a satellite camp of the Dachau concentration camp. Most of the people deported there were political prisoners and had to do forced labor in a quarry / tunnel near Hallein, as a result of which many of the prisoners were killed as a result of the hard physical labor and the resulting malnutrition or when they were shot (in Nazi ideology: Destruction through labor).

The resistance fighter Agnes Primocic (1905–2007) succeeded towards the end of the Second World War, when the American army was already close to Salzburg, in saving 17 concentration camp prisoners from the execution that had already been ordered.

After the Second World War
After the Second World War, the city of Hallein became part of the American zone of occupation in occupied post-war Austria. In Hallein-Puch, the American military administration set up a reception center for displaced persons, as refugees and survivors of the Holocaust were called in the post-war period. The Hallein DP camp was given the name Beth Israel (also: Bejt Israel, Bejß Jissroel) by the predominantly Jewish camp inmates and remained in existence until the mid-1950s.

From 1950 to 1954 there was the Hakoah Hallein soccer club, whose team consisted exclusively of Jewish players from the Beth Israel camp. The team was trained by Heinrich Schönfeld, a former first division kicker from Hakoah Vienna, who emigrated to the United States in 1926 and returned to Austria for a few years after the war.

In 2001, Gerhard Cirlea, as a member of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) at the time, accused the honorary citizen of Agnes Primocic of falsifying history with his statement “There was no concentration camp in Hallein”. In the subtly narrow sense of the word, he was right to the extent that Hallein was a satellite camp of the Dachau concentration camp. What is common, however, is the short description of the Hallein satellite camp.