Kurort Bad Ischl im Oberösterreichischen Salzkammergut
Bad Ischl in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut was part of the Habsburg salt-mining area. The first salt-mines were opened up in the sixteenth century, but never produced the same quality or quantity as the mines in nearby Hallstatt or Altaussee. In the early ninetheenth century two medical doctors, Josef Goetz and Franz Wirer, developed a salt cure for suffering miners and founded a bath in Ischl. These salt-cures were highly successful and Ischl quickly drew a number of guests and developed into a spa resort. When the Habsburg Emperors decided to choose Ischl for their summer refuge, the small town became the centre of the Danube monarchy for each summer. Aristocrats, artists, rich bourgeois and elegant crooks followed and 'Ischl' changed its name not only into 'Bad Ischl' but transformed into an elegant and lively resort, with an esplanade, a theater, several grand-hotels, coffee houses and patisseries. Beside all this the Habsburg family valued the rich hunting grounds in the surrounding mountains. It was here that young Emperor Franz Joseph first met his very young distant cousin Elisabeth von Bayern, the famous 'Sisi' and instantly fell in love with her. It was also in Bad Ischl that the aging and widowed Emperor, following the assassination of the heir to the throne and his wife in Sarajewo, signed the declaration of war against Serbia on July 28th 1914 and thus set a final seal on the fate of the Danube Monarchy. Bad Ischl's grand times are over, but it is still an elegant town with a lively theater scene, the Kaiservilla to visit, 'Zauner' as one of the best patisseries in Austria and a wonderful place to sense the flair of the Habsburg monarchy.
Bad Ischl in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut for 'Salzkammergut' photo- text-book, Braumueller 2009 and 'Von Salzburg nach Bad Ischl' photo- text-book, Braumueller, 2012