History (and stories)

How the Hohe Tauern National Park came to be

The development of the Hohe Tauern National Park is an exciting period, which also took its course in the early 20th century. Over many years, more and more individuals became heavily involved in wanting to ensure that the wonderful natural surroundings in the Hohe Tauern were preserved. The fundamental idea for a conservation area was born!

Following the example set by the USA

As with lots of developments in the past decades, the USA has been a role model. In the case of the Hohe Tauern National Park, it was Yellowstone National Park, one of the oldest parks. Lumber manufacturer Albert Wirth bought the Großglockner and the Pasterze in 1918 for the Austrian Alpine Association. He had the honourable idea of creating the “Nature conservation park of the future”. He had previously visited Yellowstone National Park and felt that Austria needed something similar.

Not quite so fast …

… yet bit by bit the National Park evolved. In 1971 the provincial governors of Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia set up the Hohe Tauern National Park. However, due to difference of interests it still took decades for the National Park as we know it today to see the light of day. For a long time, the landowners, the energy industry and the tourist board who managed the Tauern power plant and the budding ski tourism industry, were divided about the matter.

Mühldorfer See

“Zoning” as the recipe for success

It was impossible to implement the stringent conservation requirements over the entire National Park area. Which was why it was decided to split the park into an external zone and a core zone. In the core zone – the ice and rock part of the Hohe Tauern – human intervention is prohibited. Meanwhile, the external zone – the Alpine pasture and forested areas – was indeed to be managed, but with conservation in mind. In 1981 Carinthia was the first federal state to set up a National Park, in 1984 Salzburg followed and in 1992, the National Park legislation then came into effect in Tyrol.

From the history to the STORIES

The national park tells

How better to understand the history and the many processes that take place within the National Park than through stories? The National Park is not just made up of a natural landscape, it is the people in particular who characterise and shape this traditional landscape.

Their coexistence with the plants and animals is the fabric of our stories. Stories which recount the life in and with nature. Listen to our stories and experience up close the interesting features in the Hohe Tauern National Park!