In the centre of the historic market square in Hallstatt we find the Holy Trinity column. The landmark is endowed by the wealthy salt merchant Johann Ignaz Etzinger in 1744. A salt merchant is at the time any person, male or female, who has the salt extracted from the saltworks, dried, packed in crates and shipped off to be sold. A unique profession with various privileges which exists until 1850.
At the top of the Holy Trinity column we find a depiction of the Holy Father and Son, beneath a dove symbolising the Holy Ghost. An angel figure follows. A statue of Mary, Mother of Christ completes the column.
A few years after the column is erected Hallstatt witnesses one of the worst catastrophes in its history. On the evening of September 20, 1750, the wife of the master baker tries to heat a garret with a glowing log covered in ash.
The garret catches fire which quickly spreads to the neighbouring houses. 4 people die, 35 houses go up in flames. The fire rages as far as the so-called “Aichbergerhaus” at Dr.-Friedrich-Morton-Weg 26a, which is still painted red today. Our tour of Hallstatt will lead us past this house later in Highlight 6.