Bad Ischl, Source: David McGregor on Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Bad Ischl named Austria’s European Capital of Culture 2024

Bad Ischl named Austria’s European Capital of Culture 2024

The city managed to overcome fierce competition from Vorarlberg and St. Polten

Bad Ischl was just recently chosen to be Austria’s European Capital of Culture 2024. Together with the cities of Tartu in Estonia and Bodo in Norway, they will promote their local heritage and intertwine it with everything that makes them European.

The winning pitch made by the local administration of Bad Ischl is not just the fruit of the city’s own efforts – rather it’s the culmination of the collective work  done by 20 municipalities – unifying the Salzkammergut region as well as authorities from cities and towns in Upper Austria and Styria in a single project called “Salt and Water as DNA”.

The idea championed by Bad Ischl managed to overcome the competition coming from the other two Austrian shortlisted candidates – Vorarlberg’s “Dornbirn Plus” project and Lower Austria’s state capital St. Polten.

Following the announcement of the Sazkammergut’s victory, the state premier of Upper Austria Thomas Stelzer congratulated the mayor and the administration of Bad Ischl for their success and determination, stating that they "…have done all the homework for the commission - and successfully! I congratulate Mayor Hannes Heide and the whole team for the title "Capital of Culture 2024".

“Salt and Water as DNA” and the Salzkammergut

According to the application, the goal of the project is to bring back and revitalize the cultural life of the region by combining a pinch of salt with the power of water. The cost of implementing the project is estimated at 30 million euros and will encompass the whole of the Salzkammergut area.

The Salzkammergut is a resort area and UNESCO world heritage site, stretching from Salzburg to the Dachstein Mountains. The name literally translates into “salt demesne” owing it to the numerous salt mines in the region.

Bad Ischl lies in its centre and boasts many venues of grand historical and cultural significance – including the summer residence of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I – the Kaiservilla – the place where the monarch signed the declaration which effectively started World War 1. 



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