Salzburg′s Apres-Ski Twin Capital - Part II
From just looking at today′s Saalbach-Hinterglemm, you might be surprised to hear that the area of the Pinzgau has a rather long history. Apart from Neolithic settling, most of the mountainous district turned Celtic from about 500 BC. With the mountains being a rather nasty place, neither the Romans nor the Bavarians that successively arrived in the Pinzgau in intervals of some 500 years left the river valleys.
People from the mountainous areas of the Pinzgau often pride themselves for being of Celtic descent - although this is mostly for folkloristic-romantic reasons. In any case, Saalbach-Hinterglemm was in a valley later populated by Bavarians and first mentioned in a document dating back to 1222. In 1350, one part of today′s twin-village was first referred to as "Salpach".
The community had a parish church at least since 1410, probably longer. In 1489, Saalbach was granted the privilege of holding markets. Nevertheless, the entire Pinzgau was a very poor area for most of its history. One mining ceased (in most areas, this was the case in the late 18th and early 19th century), agriculture was the main branch of the local economy. Guess how easy it is to breed cattle or grow plants on rocks in Alpine terrain - the farmers of the Pinzgau didn′t live very happy lives.
After the Advent of Skiing: Saalbach-Hinterglemm today
At least not until the advent of skiing after WWI. The development of skiing lifts happened relatively late in Saalbach-Hinterglemm after WWII. In 1987, the municipality changed its name from the previous "Saalbach" into "Saalbach-Hinterglemm". Joint with nearby Leogang, it forms the marketing collaboration of "Skicircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Leogang".
During the summer season, many skiing resorts are deserted. Saalbach-Hinterglemm has a clear focus on skiing tourism, but there are some visitors that do come during the summer season. This has been promoted through the organisation of certain events, including a Harly-Davidson meeting and mountain bike competitions like the "adidas slopestyle". All these events target a young crowd, as Saalbach-Hinterglemm works hard on getting away from the image of a "classic" skiing or hiking holiday resort. This is supplemented with a swimming pool, some theme hiking paths and a bit of wellness tourism.
Attractions nearby are limited, but with a car you can get around quite easily. Zell am See is within easy reach; across the border to Bavaria, the National Park Berchtesgaden has some very scenic spots. The town of Werfen is famous for its ice caves and the local fortress. The National Park Hohe Tauern is full of impressive Alpine landscape - including special attractions like the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße (a panoramic road) and the waterfalls of Krimml. Across the border to Tyrol, Kitzbühel is fairly close as well as the very pretty town of Kufstein.
Return to "Saalbach-Hinterglemm - Part I"
Back to: "Salzburg Sightseeing Guide"