Bad Gastein - The Perfect Holiday Destination
Bad Gastein is a natural talent. Situated at an altitude of 1000 metres above sea level in the Hohe Tauern National Park, it is the perfect resort for sports fans and for fans of rest and relaxation. The Alpine metropolis, today with a population of almost 5000, has been a popular destination since medieval times for its healing springs and unique radon caves. Once a mountain village, Bad Gastein underwent an architectural and economic flowering in the Victorian age and the rule of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and gained a reputation as the most stylish spa resort in Austria and the whole of Central Europe. Today vast hotels in belle époque style still line the cliffs around the Gastein Falls, still magnificently dominating the town's architecture. Celebrities including Emperor Franz Joseph, Count Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II honoured the town with their aristocratic presence and attracted royals, industrial magnates, intellectuals and artists. Franz Schubert, the Mozart family, Arthur Schopenhauer, Gustav Klimt and Thomas Mann – to name but a few – esteemed the spa resort as a place of recuperation and inspiration. Steep, winding lanes and steps span the 80-metre difference in altitude from the town centre and the upper town where Euro Youth Hotel and the railway station are located. In winter Bad Gastein becomes a Mecca for winter sports fans, and in summer it attracts all kinds of holidaymakers from outdoor freaks to leisurely hikers.