Theme path trough the Echern Valley in Hallstatt - © Kraft

A paradise for artists

The brook Waldbach

The most famous painters of the Austrian Romantic period set up their easels here. A stream with wild torrents of clear water, with numerous boulders in the stream bed, surrounded by trees. The colours of the stream change with the seasons, but they are always gloomy and the area constantly seems eerie, with a special attraction for painters in particular. It was the ideal spot for the Romantics of the 19th Century. Fiedrich Gauermann spent a whole week painting just in our area; Waldmüller painted 15 pictures of Hallstatt alone. They were sold at the Court in Vienna and contributed to making Hallstatt well known.

The Waldbachstrub waterfall

It grew dark, my cheerful thoughts all disappeared; I stood surrounded by tall, gloomy trees; A rumble of thunder shocked me out of my dreams, As there I stood in your jagged chasm. Many a person who has travelled far and wide, Has been forcefully shaken by the spaces of the Wildthal, And has stood to stare at the roaring foaming waters, Like the terrible beating of the waves on the shore. Your cliffs, which do not falter before human strength, You set no limits to the elements, And forged your great structure from the granite. A way was cut through your solid masses, Carving out the hollow where I am seized by shivers, As the spray of the waterfall seethes in the dark depths! Karl Adam Kaltenbrunner (1804 - 1867)

The Romantic painters who painted in our area included:

  • Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793 - 1865)
  • Jakob Alt (1789 - 1872)
  • Rudolf von Alt (1812 - 1905)
  • Anton Schrödl (1823 - 1908)
  • Johann Christoph Erhard (1795 - 1822)
  • Friedrich Gauermann (1807 - 1862)
  • Adalbert Stifter (1805 - 1868)
  • Friedrich Simony (1813 - 1896)
  • Franz Steinfeld (1787 - 1868)
  • Ferdinand Mühlbacher (1844 - 1921)
  • Anton Schiffer (1811 - 1876)
  • Franz Eybl (1806 - 1880)
  • Johann Fischbach (1797 - 1871)
  • Julius Schoppe d.Ä.
  • Thomas Ender
  • Ernst Wolf
  • Rudolf von Alt (1812 - 1905) "Waldbach at Hallstatt" 1845

Out and about on historical paths

During a holiday, you might want to see more than just the famous tourist sites. Sometimes it’s exciting to search out and discover the smaller and more subtle points of interests! A great example are the popular themed trails in Hallstatt. On these paths, you will discover the origins of the history-rich UNESCO World Heritage Region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. Follow in the footsteps of famous painters and acclaimed writers through the wild and romantic Echern Valley or take a historical walk—with or without an audio guide—through the picturesque lanes of Hallstatt. The many themed trails offer the opportunity to combine a long, enjoyable stroll with learning about the historical background of the region. Better yet, the trails can be explored regardless of the season and in most weather conditions. We look forward to seeing you on the popular themed trails throughout the World Heritage Region!

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