Hallstatt is a tiny picturesque village buried deep in the Austrian Alps on the shores of the Hallstätter See. Originally famous for its salt mines, Hallstatt was accessible solely by boat for a long time. Today Hallstatt can be reached via a narrow tunnel built primarily through rock blasting. For a small village of merely 946 inhabitants, Hallstatt certainly gets visited a lot. It is a place with stunning nature, beautifully decorated housing, friendly people and delicious food.
Cozied in among steep mountain slopes, Hallstatt gets barely an hour or so of real sunlight per day which, photographically speaking, is annoying, but does hone skills since compositions must be timed and executed quickly and efficiently with little margin for error. Misty fogs and low clouds cover the Hallstatt lake early in the morning and at dusk and make everything seem almost magical… Well, the magic wears off slightly when the night falls and one starts hearing World War II sirens echoing full blast throughout the valley (an unannounced practice drill), but hey, good photos require sacrifices. Because the village is so small, there is no physical space for a proper cemetery, so only part of its citizens are buried in standard graves. The rest have their bones and skulls (actual, real, human bones and skulls) neatly piled, stacked and stored in a nearby open for the general public crypt. Cute.
During the stay, talk among the locals revolved around the recent cloning of their beloved town. They say imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, but this has gone too far. The citizens of Hallstatt should receive royalties or some other form of compensation for having their town secretly blue-printed, especially when monuments, houses and statues which hold local significance are exploited as a touristic attraction without any real meaning.
Some of the images featured here will be used for wall prints and printing press in various European distributions.
Theory4 would like to thank Elisabeth Stadler for a marvellous stay in Obertraun.
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