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Bad Ischl

Bad Ischl

Bad Ischl or Ischl, city (1991 pop. 13,887), in Upper Austria prov., W Austria, in the center of the Salzkammergut. It is a famous spa. After 1822 it was the summer residence of the Austrian imperial family. Emperor Francis Joseph signed (1914) his declaration of war on Serbia there.

Bad Ischl is a spa town in Austria. It lies in the southern part of Upper Austria, at the Traun River in the centre of the Salzkammergut region. The town consists of the Katastralgemeinden Ahorn, Bad Ischl, Haiden, Jainzen, Kaltenbach, Lauffen, Lindau, Pfandl, Perneck, Reiterndorf and Rettenbach.

History

A settlement area since the Hallstatt culture Bad Ischl was first mentioned in a 1262 deed as Iselen. In 1419 Archduke Albert V of Austria established the local seat of the Salt Chamber (Salzkammer) at Wildenstein Castle and Ischl received the privileges of a market town in 1466 by Emperor Frederick III. A first salt mine was opened in 1563, a salt evaporation pond (Saline) followed in 1571.

When in the early 19th century the brine came into use for medical purposes, Ischl soon became a fashionable spa resort with notable guests like Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and Archduke Franz Karl of Austria. The Hotel Post opened in 1828 was the first one in the whole Salzkammergut area. In 1849 Franz Karl's son, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria chose the town for his summer residence.

On August 19, 1853 the engagement between Franz Joseph and Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi) took place at the Seeauerhaus, Esplanade No. 10, which since 1989 has been the location of the Museum der Stadt Bad Ischl.

In 1854, the Emperor's mother, Archduchess Sophie, gave him the Kaiservilla (Imperial Villa) as a wedding present. The villa became the imperial family's summer residence; Franz Joseph described it as "Heaven on Earth" . He also granted a nearby mansion to mistress Katharina Schratt, that could be easily reached via a hidden footpath. In the Kaiservilla Franz Joseph on 28 July 1914 signed the declaration of war against the Kingdom of Serbia, signalling the start of World War I. He left Bad Ischl on the next day and never returned. To this day, the villa is still an estate of the Habsburg-Lorraine family, although the grounds and parts of the residence are open to the public.

During World War II, a subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp was located in Bad Ischl.

Sights

Besides the Kaiservilla, the city offers several health spas and tourist attractions like the historic Kongresshaus opened in 1875, the new Kurhaus built by Clemens Holzmeister in 1932 as well as the former residence of Franz Lehár, that he acquired in 1912 and today serves as a museum. The Saint Nicholas parish church was first mentioned in a 1344 deed.

Bad Ischl is also known for the Konditorei Zauner pastry shop, former k.u.k. purveyor established in 1832, and the small Lehártheater built in 1827.

A gondola lift runs from the town up to the Katrin alpine pasture at 1415m (4643ft) which offers a panoramic view of the Salzkammergut mountains. The ruins of Wildenstein Castle, that burnt down in 1715, are nearby.

Notable people

References

External links

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