A few minutes by road east of Innsbruck is what many assert to be the most beautiful town in Tyrol—ancient Hall, wonderfully preserved and with a historic center actually larger than that of Innsbruck. The town has a history of great prosperity—salt mining in the Middle Ages made it the most important commercial hub in the region at the time (the High German word Hal meant salt mine). The town received its municipal charter in 1286, but even greater prestige was to come nearly 200 years later when the provincial mint was moved to the town. In 1486 a coin called the Thaler was minted here: say it quickly and you'll realize where the word dollar comes from. The U.S. currency originated in Hall.
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