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Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

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Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

Hallstatt was the largest disappointment of my entire 3 weeks in Austria. What's painted to be a picturesque town of quirky colored buildings crammed between a mountain and the lake turned out to be a disaster. Every building had disgusting hand-made signs made of white bedsheets with the words "NEIN DANKE" spray painted on. The citizens of Hallstatt are against their town becoming a Historic Lankmark restricting them from changing the historic buildings in any manner. Clearly by the outrageous signage and graffiti-like banners hanging all over the entire city creating an incredible eye-sore, the people of Hallstatt do not want visitors, so DO NOT VISIT HALLSTATT. Every photo I took in this town was spoiled due to these unsightly banners. Shame on Hallstatt for destroying their picturesque town with crummy banners and poor scenery. Shame on them for promoting themselves to be a tourist attraction.

Mannheim, Germany
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1. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

I am astounded at the sheer arrogance of this post.

Yes, how dare they protest against a regulation prohibiting them from making an old building more comfortable, reduce heating costs or install new home equipment! How dare they! They spoiled your pictures!

A hint for you: you were visiting a living town. Not a museum.

Vienna, Austria
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for Vienna, Austria, Innsbruck
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2. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

Well, if somebody travels thousands of miles to see a place which is dominated by banners expressing protest and destroying the ambience, I basically understand the disappointment. But I would refrain from saying "DO NOT VISIT HALLSTATT" or "SHAME ON...." as this is/was only a temporary occurence. I did a little research and found out that this protest was againt a lawful protection of almost all (older) houses in Hallstatt (heritage site protection) leading to less rights of the owners. Every construction-related change of the house would have then required an additional permission which may include several, pricey constraints. SO this has nothing to do with the facades/general appearance which create the great ambience. People there are of course aware of the cultural meaning of their town and want to keep that. They just do not want to see their houses losing value........

Edited: 10 June 2010, 10:21
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for Lower Austria
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3. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

Many areas including some in Vienna must adhere to the regulations of an agency of government - the Denkmalschutz -

Your visit as described has not been extra recent. I believe visitors now see no banners.

the problems in Hallstatt have been extending for months and like often happens the only way to bring attention to the problems of a village with impersonal bureaucrats is to have public attention by demos or like .

This has happened now in Hallstatt and I believe the local Mayor has now had meetings with the Culture Ministry heads to help resolve this issue.

I have never been a fan of Hallstatt but live in a house covered by the Denkmal regulations elsewhere and can understand the concerns of the residents.

They know their well being is due in great measure to tourism and most would do nothing to injure the atmosphere of their village.

But to make such assertions not to visit this village is certainly misguided at best.

The poster has visited there probably one time and for short hours- the residents live there and must maintain their homes within regulations that are sometimes very arbitrary and make for serious extra costs- I can understand their reasons to protest.

They have not destroyed their village. The banners come down as quickly as they went up.

The buildings left after the banners are the same as those before. The scenery as well.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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4. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

And IMO this is the type of post that perpetuates the term "ugly American".

I have been to Europe many times over the past 40 years. I do not go looking for photo ops nor to limit myself to only the superficial appearances and tourist sights of the places I visit.

I have experienced quite a number of "inconveniences" while traveling abroad: political demonstrations, some aimed toward our government and its politics; I was in Paris days after a terrorist attack; I was in Rome when there was a major protest taking place on the street next to our hotel. Some of these experiences were a bit intimidating but they also inspired me to think about the underlying causes, to engage the residents in conversation when appropriate and to help me attain a better understanding of the cities and countries I visited.

This visit to Hallstatt offered a similar opportunity for someone interested enough in the underlying cause to take a moment to understand.

If I want a Disney experience, I will buy a ticket and go.

altamiro says it best: "A hint for you: you were visiting a living town. Not a museum."

Edited: 10 June 2010, 12:44
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5. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

My thought exactly. We were delighted to get caught up in a demonstration in Madrid. It helped us to understand those people a bit better.

Now I'm feeling jealous that we missed the excitement in Hallstat. It would be much more interesting than just another picturesque town.

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6. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

People with their acts, are writting history and change old habits...

Those who don't remember or don;t respect the history, will be forced to re-live it!

Nobody can take back the rights of a community, to fight for their properties and their future...Unlesse, he is an American! Here in Greece, you all know that we face great financial problems and people do strikes and fight to protect their income. But every day is normal, buzzy but safe and only the CNN tells to the US citizens "not to come". It;s your call, but you will just miss Acropolis or Santorini... It's your call

Bad Ischl, Austria
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7. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)


I think it's nice that a community has come together to protest. I would have found it interesting finding out why they were protesting.

It's a pity your photos were spoilt in your opinion.

To me it would have made a talking point when showing friends/family the pictures.

You have to remember that you are a visitor. Hallstatt is not a theme park built for the express purpose of entertaining tourists. It's a living breathing home for people.

8. Re: Hallstatt, no thank you (Nein Danke)

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