Salzkammergut Sights

Michaelerkirche (St. Michael's)

  • Pfarre Hallstatt Map It
  • Hallstatt
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 04/07/2016

Fodor's Review

The Hallstatt market square, now a pedestrian area, is bordered by colorful 16th-century houses and this 16th-century Gothic church, which is picturesquely situated near the lake. Within, you'll find a beautiful winged altar, which opens to reveal nine 15th-century paintings. The Karner (charnel house) beside the church is a rather morbid but regularly visited spot. Because there was little space to bury the dead over the centuries in Hallstatt, the custom developed of digging up the bodies after 12 or 15 years, piling the bones in the sun, and painting the skulls. Ivy and oak-leaf wreaths were used for the men, alpine flowers for the women, plus names, dates, and often the cause of death. The myriad bones and skulls are now on view in the charnel house, also known as the "Beinhaus" (bone house), in the back of the cemetery, which has a stunning setting overlooking the lake. Each year at the end of May the summer season kicks off with the Fronleichnahm (Corpus Christi) procession, which concludes with hundreds of boats out on the lake.

Sight Information

Address:

Pfarre Hallstatt, Hallstatt, Upper Austria, A-4830, Austria

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Published 04/07/2016

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