The fight for faith
MARTIN LUTHER'S REFORMATION FELL ON FRUITFUL GROUND IN THE SALZKAMMERGUT IN THE 16TH CENTURY - ESPECIALLY AMONG THE MINE WORKERS.
The people in this area also bitterly opposed the Counter Reformation: all of the bridges were removed in 1601, the salt pans were emptied, and the barge and timber transport closed down. In the Catholic churches, Protestant preachers called for opposition to the authorities in religious matters.
But the Archbishop of Salzburg's troops quelled the rebellion: the leaders were condemned to death and their houses burned. As in most communities in the Salzkammergut, Hallstatt lost some of its privileges for some years. Soldiers marched again in 1734: 300 Protestants - not including women and children - from Hallstatt, Ischl, and Goisern were taken away in the night on salt barges and compelled to emigrate to Siebenburgen. Only the "Toleranz Patent" from Emperor Joseph II made it possible for Protestants to practice their religion, albeit to a limited degree. In those days 500 people in Hallstatt confessed to Protestantism. Within three years they had built a prayer house and furnished a private school. The new-Gothic Evangelical Church of Christ is from 1861, after which the "Protestant Patent" from Emperor Franz Joseph I (picture) placed the Protestant faith on equal footing with the Catholic.