The last stop on our whirlwind Upper Austria trip was Hallstadt (we went through Bad Ischl) on the way. The town is known, amongst other things, for salt. I bought all of three containers of special Austrian salt there.
The main attraction that we were shown was the “bone house” next to a church there—it had over a thousand skulls and bones. The skulls were painted with symbolic imagery (roses for love, ivy for life, snakes to represent man’s sin), and the name and years of the people the skulls had belonged to. Apparently it was once customary for people to have their skulls dried out and painted and put in the bone house.
Let me just say that I do not want to end up in a bone house, and that although I took pictures, I don’t really want to put images of painted skulls on my blog, so let’s have some photos of the town itself instead.
It was truly a beautiful little town, although due to time restraints we were shooed back onto the bus very shortly. I would have liked a little more time to look around and take advantage of the many souvenir shops; as much as I try to blend in with the locals (and judging by all the times I’ve been asked for directions, I might have succeeded) I’m a sucker for souvenir stores. I did make it out with the aforementioned three containers of salt and a package of delicious peach gummy candies.
The priory features a stunning library that is so reminiscent of the library from “Beauty and the Beast” that I couldn’t help but wonder if this was its inspiration. None of the photos I took capture the grandeur of this library; everyone gasped audibly when they walked in, it was that breathtaking. The ceiling featured an amazing fresco of the sciences and virtues in the heavens.