|• Mayor||Hannes Heide (SPÖ)|
|• Total||162.8 km2 (62.9 sq mi)|
|Elevation||468 m (1,535 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||84/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Bad Ischl is a spa town in Austria. It lies in the southern part of Upper Austria, at the Traun River in the centre of the Salzkammergut region. The town consists of the Katastralgemeinden Ahorn, Bad Ischl, Haiden, Jainzen, Kaltenbach, Lauffen, Lindau, Pfandl, Perneck, Reiterndorf and Rettenbach. It is connected to the village of Strobl by the river Ischl, which drains from the Wolfgangsee, and to the Traunsee, into which the stream empties.
A settlement area since the Hallstatt culture Bad Ischl was first mentioned in a 1262 deed as Iselen. In 1419 Archduke Albert V of Austria established the local seat of the Salt Chamber (Salzkammer) at Wildenstein Castle and Ischl was granted the privileges of a market town in 1466 by Emperor Frederick III. A first salt mine was opened in 1563, a salt evaporation pond (Saline) followed in 1571.
When in the early 19th century brine came into use for medical purposes, Ischl soon became a fashionable spa resort with notable guests like Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and Archduke Franz Karl of Austria. The Hotel Post opened in 1828 was the first one in the whole Salzkammergut area. In 1849 Franz Karl's son, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria chose the town for his summer residence.
On 19 August 1853 the engagement between Franz Joseph and Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi) took place at the Seeauerhaus, Esplanade No. 10, which since 1989 has been the location of the Museum der Stadt Bad Ischl.
In 1854, the Emperor's mother, Archduchess Sophie, gave him the Kaiservilla (Imperial Villa) as a wedding present. The villa became the imperial family's summer residence; Franz Joseph described it as "Heaven on Earth". He also granted a nearby mansion to mistress Katharina Schratt, that could be easily reached via a hidden footpath. In the Kaiservilla on 28 July 1914 Franz Joseph signed the declaration of war against the Kingdom of Serbia, signalling the start of World War I. He left Bad Ischl on the following day and never returned. The villa is still owned by the Habsburg-Lorraine family, although the grounds and parts of the residence are now open to the public.
Besides the Kaiservilla, the city offers several health spas and tourist attractions like the historic Kongresshaus opened in 1875, the new Kurhaus built by Clemens Holzmeister in 1932 as well as the former residence of Franz Lehár, that he acquired in 1912 and today serves as a museum. The Saint Nicholas parish church was first mentioned in a 1344 deed.
A gondola lift runs from the town up to the Katrin alpine pasture at 1415 m (4643 ft) which offers a panoramic view of the Salzkammergut mountains. The ruins of Wildenstein Castle, that burnt down in 1715, are nearby.
- Helmut Berger, actor was born in Bad Ischl on May 29, 1944.
- Leopold Engleitner, conscientious objector, born in Aigen, Strobl am Wolfgangsee on July 23, 1905 grew up in Bad Ischl.
- Jörg Haider, politician (26 January 1950 – 11 October 2008) attended school in Bad Ischl.
- Leopold Hasner von Artha, politician, born in Prague on March 15, 1818, died in Bad Ischl on June 5, 1891.
- Wolfram von Richthofen, German Field Marshal, born in Germany on October 10, 1895, died, whilst being held in captivity at Bad Ischl on July 12, 1945.
- Franz Lehár, operetta composer, born in Komárom (now Slovakia) on April 30, 1870 died in Bad Ischl on October 28, 1948.
- Roger Lewis (b. 1960), British author, lives in Bad Ischl.
- Jacques de Menasce, composer, born in Bad Ischl on August 19, 1905
- Leo Perutz, author, born in Prague on 2 November 1882, died in Bad Ischl on 25 August 1957.
- Josef Plieseis Communist Widerstand fighter, born in Bad Ischl on 20 December 1913, died here on 21 October 1966.
- Oscar Straus, composer, born in Vienna on 6 March 1870, died in Bad Ischl on 11 January 1954.
- Viktor Schauberger (30 June 1885 – 25 September 1958) was an Austrian forester/forest warden, naturalist, philosopher, inventor and Biomimicry experimenter.
- Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahres- und Quartalsanfang, 2013-01-01.
- "Official Kaiservilla Homepage". Archived from the original on 13 June 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-03.
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