Old Saltworks

The largest saltworks in Germany is located in Bavaria, at Bad Reichenhall on the Austrian border, 16 km south-west of Salzburg. The record of working salt in the area goes back to the year 682 ad, and a water-powered bucket elevator was raising brine to the surface by the mid-fifteenth century.


The surface buildings were destroyed by a fire in 1834 and rebuilt around three courtyards at the instigation of King Ludwig I of Bavaria between 1844 and 1851. The Bavarian salt industry was rationalised after the First World War and a new plant was built some 2000 m from the old installations at Bad Reichenhall. Power was provided from a purpose-built hydro-electric generating station at Jettenbach.


The nineteenth century works attracts some 400,000 visitors per year, who are able to see two overshot water wheels each 13 m in diameter, standing on marble bases, and powering the pumps in one of the main shafts. A third wheel, located 15 m below ground, drives a 103 m long rod that raises brine from another spring.

Old Saltworks
83435 Bad Reichenhall
+49 (0) 8651 - 7002146