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Bad Ischl, a city where you can still walk in the footsteps of Emperor Franz Josef

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Nalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | August 13, 2019
Set against the backdrop of the mighty Katrin Mountain, Bad Ischl is a charming small spa town and the cultural centre of the Austrian Salzkammergut region.
Bad Ischl
Austria    Bad Ischl is included in the UNESCO’s Great Spas of Europe list
There are many places in Austria where you can still feel the imperial atmosphere. But Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, the former summer capital of the great Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, has been associated with the Habsburg imperial dynasty for at least 700 years.

For 60 years, Emperor Franz Josef came every year to this summer retreat and thus began a tradition which is felt even today in many places.

Bad Ischl owing to its history of involvement with salt mining and brine pools. During the 1500’s a salt mine was opened in the town and then later in the 19th century when brine became popular for medicinal purposes, Bad Ischl turned into a fashionable spa resort catering for famous and wealth Austrians.

The woods nearby, the rustic pastures and the mountain tops have since the turn of the century been popular destinations for extended walks. Follow the footsteps of the Emperor in Bad Ischl and undertake hikes in the hiking paradise that has been placed under a conservation order.

Take the Katrin Cable Car and enjoy a charming 15-minute drive to more than 1,400 m above sea-level with spectacular views.

Back in town, pay a visit to the Emperor's summer residence Kaiservilla. Kaiservilla was a wedding gift for Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth (nicknamed Sisi) from Franz Josef’s mother.

Then glide through the world of the salt thermal spa on the Lazy River, the river in the thermal spa outdoor area, and enjoy nature on warm summer's days like an emperor.

Coffee and cake at the famous Zauner café or an evening with a léhar operetta in the town’s theatre are a must here.