Hüttschlag is a municipality with 909 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in the Salzburg region in the St. Johann im Pongau district in Austria. Hüttschlag has shares in the Hohe Tauern National Park and is a mountaineering village.
The Grossarl Valley was first mentioned in a document around 930
AD. Around the year 1000 the Archdiocese of Salzburg became the
landlord and, since the late 14th century, also the provincial ruler
of Salzburg. In 1672 the valley became an independent regional court
district. From 1805 to 1810 and since 1816 the place belonged to
400 to 800
According to tradition, Slavs from Carinthia and Lungau invaded the valley around this time. Several place names such as Klettn, Karteis, Schrambach, Tofern or Moritzen are of Slavic origin. The Bavarians, who later invaded, ousted the Slavs, and acts of war are said to have often occurred, especially in the Tappenkar and Bundschuh regions. After that the Bavarians got the upper hand.
The population of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, which at that time still belonged to Bavaria, grew steadily and the farmers were no longer able to feed the people. Archbishop Konrad therefore suggested clearing more land and making it usable.
Areas in the subalpine region have been used as alpine pastures since ancient times, the lower areas were often still heavily forested. Soon, however, the first settlers made their way into the valley. Initially, they were looking for the best and, above all, sunniest places to erect the so-called branches there and to protect their pets from bears and lynxes. One such branch was also branch huts.
On the left side of the gorge, the first climb into Grossarltal is said to have been built around 1330.
20th and 21st centuries
Hüttschlag has held shares in the Hohe Tauern National Park since 1991. The hiking offer attracts tourists to Hüttschlag. Alongside small and medium-sized businesses, tourism is developing into Hüttschlag's economic mainstay. Since 2008, Hüttschlag has been part of the Bergsteigerdörfer ÖAV initiative, which has set itself the goal of promoting sustainable tourism.
Copper and sulfur mining is said to have been carried out in Hüttschlag as early as the 14th and 15th centuries. Traces of wooden wedges, scratching irons and pickaxes can still be seen in the oldest tunnels. The ore was initially melted in the Hütteggalm. Larger processing and melting plants were located in Wolfau. A natural disaster in 1517 buried and completely destroyed these facilities (Hubalmbach). The mining, however, promised to be more productive and so it was decided to build larger plants in today's local area of Hüttschlag. The large copper smelter with five furnaces, eight sulfur furnaces and all the processing plants were built around 1520. In addition, many buildings were built around them, some of which are still preserved today in their original form. Mining brought an economic boom for Hüttschlag. It was often said in rural circles at the time that the miners had "tricky mouths".
In 1863, under the last mine administrator, Franz Guggenbichler, mining in Hüttschlag ended. Many miners emigrated with their families and looked for employment elsewhere. After mining ended, the valley became increasingly impoverished. The population sank from approx. 2000 to 470. The main occupation had to be switched to agriculture and forestry. The place owes its name to mining, it is derived from hut or smelter and fell, clearing.
With the mining, the Protestant faith came to Hüttschlag. Already in the 17th century it was brought to Grossarltal by foreign miners and spread very quickly. A total of 1,100 people had to leave the valley as a result of the evictions of Protestants. Most emigrated to East Prussia and Northern Germany. The cardholder at the time is said to have been the leader of the Protestants in the valley.
Mine functionaries who were able to read and write campaigned for the establishment of a school in this mining town. In 1755, lessons could be started in the sacristan's house for the first time. The first teacher was the sacristan Max Paumann at the time. Due to the increasing number of pupils in the initial Sunday classes, the sacristan's room had to be rebuilt and expanded several times until a classroom was added in 1831 and 1905. The highest number of pupils in this old school, which taught for 205 years, was 165. In the years 1958 to 1960, a new elementary school was finally built. In the period from 1940 to 1972 there was also the Maurach School.