Austria’s World Heritage Site Hallstatt Destroyed By Fire

Austria's World Heritage Site Hallstatt

A fire that started on Saturday (Nov. 30) morning destroyed many buildings in Austria’s UNESCO heritage site Hallstatt and hurt one firefighter.

According to the Austrian news agency APA, the fire spread from a wooden hut on the lakeshore to other huts and eventually to two buildings across the street from Seestraße. Eight fire units with 109 men were used to handle the fire, which is now under control.

Johannes Pichler, a volunteer firefighter in Hallstatt, told the daily Kronen Zeitung:

Since Hallstatt is very tightly built, the adjacent houses are also badly damaged.
Thomas Bruckenberger/APA
Thomas Bruckenberger/APA

The inhabitants of the houses were able to get to shelter in time, but a firefighter was wounded in the operation. Why the fire burst out around 3:30 in the World Heritage Site, was unclear.

Hallstatt is one of Austria’s most famous and iconic tourist destinations, with more than 1 million visitors each year, especially from Asia. On some days, up to 10,000 people visit the town.

Less than 800 permanent residents live in Hallstatt, which is nestled between mountains and water. The picturesque town is the site of the world’s oldest salt mine and has grown an international following for its picturesque half-timbered houses and rural setting.

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