Traun is a river in the Austrian state of Upper Austria. Its source is in the Totes Gebirge mountain range in Styria. It flows through the Salzkammergut area and the lakes Hallstätter See and Traunsee. The Traun is a right tributary of the Danube, which it meets near the City of Linz. Other towns along the river are Bad Aussee, Bad Ischl, Gmunden, Wels and Traun.
Any fly-fisher will enjoy fishing for the Traun's large grayling. The post office, the sports shop and small hotels in the nearby Halstatt are a great source of information. This ancient lakeside village of some 950 residents has to be seen to be believed. Halstatt is a World Heritage Site for its cultural heritage.
Until the late 19th century, it was only possible to reach Hallstatt by boat or via narrow trails. However this secluded and inhospitable landscape nevertheless counts as one of the first places of human settlement due to the rich sources of natural salt, which was mined for thousands of years, originally in the shape of hearts. Some of Hallstatt's oldest archaeological finds, such as a shoe-last celt - a long thin stone tool used to fell trees and to work wood - date back to around 5000 BC.
One of the first blacksmith's sites was excavated there. Active trade and thus wealth allowed for the development of a highly-sophisticated society, hence the term Halstatt culture.
In 1846, a large prehistoric cemetery was discovered close by the current location of Hallstatt. There is so little place for cemeteries that every ten years bones used to be exhumed and removed into an ossuary to make room for new burials. A collection of elaborately decorated skulls with the owners' names, professions, death dates inscribed on them is on display at the local chapel
Tourists are told that Hallstatt is the site of "the world's oldest pipeline"which was constructed 400 years ago from 13,000 hollowed out trees.
Hallstatt is a popular tourist attraction due to its small town appeal and can be toured on foot in ten minutes.