In the 19th century the waters of Bad Gastein became a fashionable resort, visited by monarchs as well as the rich and famous. Some notable guests of the past included Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) and the German Emperor Wilhelm I with his chancellor Otto von Bismarck as well as Subhas Chandra Bose, a leading Indian nationalist, Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, King Faisal I of Iraq, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia and Iran’s last king Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, industrialists like Wilhelm von Opel and artists like Heinrich Mann, Robert Stolz and W. Somerset Maugham. In 1865 Bismarck had signed the Gastein Convention with Austria concerning the administration of the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein after the Second Schleswig War.
The composer Franz Schubert is believed to have sketched a score of a Gastein Symphony in 1824. No score of this Gastein Symphony appears to have survived, but it is often identified with the unfinished Symphony No. 7, the Octet in F , or the Grand Duo (Sonata in C major) for piano four-hands.
Mass tourism was pushed by the opening of the Tauern Railway station in 1905. From the 1960s on the resort lost some of its former notoriety and many former hotels sit empty. During the past few years, Bad Gastein renovated its Felsentherme and the Congress Center.
We highly recommend staying at the Miramonte Hotel
The scenery of the surrounding Alps is absolutely stunning, the village itself has seen better days, and that ads to its charm.
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