The origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the countryside of upper and lower Austria became increasingly populated. The name of AustriaOstarrîchi is first documented in an official document from 996. Since then this word has developed into the German word Österreich.
Large parts of the region were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997, with the description: "Human activity in the magnificent natural landscape of the Salzkammergut began in prehistoric times, with the salt deposits being exploited as early as the 2nd millennium B.C. This resource formed the basis of the area's prosperity up to the middle of the 20th century, a prosperity that is reflected in the fine architecture of the town of Hallstatt."