Witnesses of stone

Rune stone and geology

The rune stone is one of the boulders which fell on the Echerntal in a rock fall around 12,000 years ago after the last Ice Age. The great Dachstein explorer Friedrich Simony (1813 - 1896) coined the name "rune stone" because of the characteristic runelike marks left by weathering. In the surrounding area there are also many examples of manmade "runes", cliff art and mysterious symbols often going back several centuries.

An example of the phenomenon of dolines

An over view of the geology of the Dachstein mountains: As part of the Northern Limestone Alps, the Dachstein rock mass is one of the large karstified massifs of Austria. In the Mesozoic Era, the karstifiable limes and dolomites were deposited in the seas that existed at that time. During their long geological history there were several phases of mountain formation and the limestone deposits were raised to 3000 metres above the current level of the world's seas. The rock strata which had originally been deposited horizontally were shifted, broken up and reshaped by the erosive forces of the past Ice Ages and the effects of water. An over view of the geology of the Dachstein mountains: As part of the Northern Limestone Alps, the Dachstein rock mass is one of the large karstifi ed massifs of Austria.

In the Mesozoic Era, the karstifi able limes and dolomites were deposited in the seas that existed at that time. During their long geological history there were several phases of mountain formation and the limestone deposits were raised to 3000 metres above the current level of the world's seas. The rock strata which had originally been deposited horizontally were shifted, broken up and reshaped by the erosive forces of the past Ice Ages and the effects of water. 

The view from the "Plassen" to the High Dachstein. In between lies the Waldbach valley - the subject of the theme trail "Painters, literary fi gures, natural wonders". The only way to reach the entrance to the Hirlatz cave with a certain degree of safety was by using painstakingly delivered wooden ladders secured with ropes. ( Historical photograph from 1949 ) Details at Station 9

Out and about on historical paths

During a holiday, you might want to see more than just the famous tourist sites. Sometimes it’s exciting to search out and discover the smaller and more subtle points of interests! A great example are the popular themed trails in Hallstatt. On these paths, you will discover the origins of the history-rich UNESCO World Heritage Region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. Follow in the footsteps of famous painters and acclaimed writers through the wild and romantic Echern Valley or take a historical walk—with or without an audio guide—through the picturesque lanes of Hallstatt. The many themed trails offer the opportunity to combine a long, enjoyable stroll with learning about the historical background of the region. Better yet, the trails can be explored regardless of the season and in most weather conditions. We look forward to seeing you on the popular themed trails throughout the World Heritage Region!

Information at a glance