Bad Ischl Salzkammergut
European Capital of Culture 2024
In 2024, the European Capital of Culture will be hosted by a rural, inner-Alpine region for the first time in its history. Together with 22 other communities in Upper Austria and Styria, the flagship town of Bad Ischl is developing a cultural region that’s reinventing itself through interactions between art, culture, business and tourism. With a programme fed by international influences that will introduce new voices and outlooks to the Salzkammergut.
Throughout 2024, there will be more than 150 projects to experience, spread across the entire Salzkammergut region – and certain events are already on the schedule for 2023. The programme promises to be a diverse, thought-provoking mix of inspiring regional contributions and international artists, of artistic performances and dialogue, with a sustainable concept that celebrates tradition while looking to the future.
Culture is the new salt
The Salzkammergut boasts a vast wealth of fascinating stories, places and people in a spectacular landscape. The influences of salt, water and wood combined to create this multifaceted region, where the history of salt mining began 7,000 years ago in Hallstatt. The salt trade has supported the region, enriched it and connected it to the world; powerful and wealthy people have been attracted to the area; and the invention of the summer retreat has transformed the Salzkammergut into a dream tourist destination. Today, the historic cultural landscape of the Inner Salzkammergut is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Four programme strands
The programme for the 2024 Capital of Culture Bad Ischl–Salzkammergut highlights opportunities for shaping our future in four key areas.
23 towns and villages
23 communities in the provinces of Upper Austria and Styria make up the Capital of Culture region: the flagship town of Bad Ischl, Altaussee, Altmünster, Bad Aussee, Bad Goisern, Bad Mitterndorf, Ebensee am Traunsee, Gmunden, Gosau, Grünau im Almtal, Grundlsee, Hallstatt, Kirchham, Laakirchen, Obertraun, Pettenbach im Almtal, Roitham am Traunfall, St Konrad, Scharnstein, Steinbach am Attersee, Traunkirchen, Unterach am Attersee, Vorchdorf.
Traditions are kept alive and well in the Salzkammergut. They take ina wide range of activities, from music, crafts, customs, theatre and literature toinn culture. Culture is constantly changing, born out of social processes – sometimes even out of acts of protest. Recognising the roles played by power and tradition is vital when it comes to understanding and respecting local and global identities as they evolve.
From its roots in the 19th-century concept of the summer retreat, tourism has grown into a vital industry in the Salzkammergut. “Sharing Salzkammergut – the Art of Travelling” explores the myriad challenges as well as the opportunities for enhancing the high-quality tourism offer. It also seeks answers to the question of how the Alpine region can be made attractive in ways unconnected to tourism, especially outside the summer and winter seasons.
Customs, traditions and a shared language are resources that are available to everyone. Culture and cultural identity never stand still. It goes without saying that culture is in motion. It embraces new developments and makes a region and its people strong and well-equipped for the future. It recognises diversity as a strength that allows us to learn from each other, to develop and to rise to new challenges.
A challenge faces the rural Alpine region: what can be done so that people can make a life in the countryside but also be connected and work globally? “Globalocal – Building the New” is all about imagining the world of tomorrow, developing strategies and exploring intergenerational tensions. Young people are the focus when it comes to promoting cultural and creative diversity in the Salzkammergut region and making it an attractive place to live for all ages.