Photographer's Note

Hall in Tirol is a town in the Innsbruck-Land district of Tyrol, Austria. Located at an altitude of 574 m, about 5 km (3 mi) east of the state's capital Innsbruck in the Inn valley, it has a population of about 12,700 (Jan 2011).
Hall in the County of Tyrol was first mentioned as a salina (saltern) near Thaur castle in a 1232 deed. The current name dates back to 1256, similar to Halle, Schwäbisch Hall or Hallstatt referring to the Celtic word for salt.

Since the 13th century the salt mine at Absam in the Hall Valley north of the town formed the main industry of the town and its surroundings. The first adit was laid out in 1272 at the behest of Count Meinhard II of Tyrol, with the brine led by a 10 km (6 mi) long pipeline to the evaporation pond at Hall. The importance of the salt is also displayed in the coat of arms showing two lions holding a cask of salt. The salt was exported as far as Switzerland, the Black Forest, and the Rhine valley. In 1303 Hall became a town. The rights that went with this, as well as the business associated with trading from Hall downriver on Inn and Danube, turned it into the leading market and trading place in the northern parts of Tyrol. Its development experienced a serious setback in 1447, when big parts of the upper town area were razed by a fire. In 1477 it got the right of coinage, when the Tyrolian mint was moved from Meran to Hall. Noteworthy is the fact that in 1486 the first high-grade silver coin Taler, the precursor of the Dollar, was coined in Hall. In the 16th century the mint in Hall also introduced the first automated coining machine in the world. Today a reconstruction of this revolutionary machine can be seen in the Hall Mint Museum in the Burg Hasegg.

In the 15th and 16th century, Hall was one of the most important towns in the Habsburg Empire. This period also saw the construction of many of the churches, monasteries and convents, that up to now shape the appearance of the town. Today Hall has the biggest intact old town in the western part of Austria.

During the Habsburg Monarchy a military garrison was established in Hall. This, and the large freight train station, led to heavy bombardment during World War II, which destroyed the train station, but luckily left the old town almost unscathed.

From 1938 to 1974 the town was called Solbad Hall. However, the Solbad was dropped from the town name, a few years after the salt mining was closed in 1967.

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Additional Photos by ALESSANDRO MACCHI (SWEETFREEDOM) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1588 W: 0 N: 3172] (24623)
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