St Johann im Pongau
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|Sankt Johann im Pongau|
Exterior View of the Cathedral of St. Johann
|• Mayor||Günther Mitterer (ÖVP)|
|• Total||78 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||565-618 m (−1,463 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2014)|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
St. Johann im Pongau (Saiga Håns or Sainig Håns in the local Pongau dialect, abbreviated St.Johann/Pg.) is a small town in the state of Salzburg in Austria. It is the administrative centre of the St. Johann im Pongau District.
The town is located in the Salzach Valley of the Eastern Alps, between the Salzburg Slate Alps in the north, the Radstadt Tauern (part of the Niedere Tauern range) in the southeast and the Ankogel Group (Hohe Tauern) in the southwest.
The town lies in the centre of the Salzburg Pongau region. The municipal area comprises the cadastral communities of Ginau, Hallmoos, Maschl, Einöden, Plankenau, Reinbach, Rettenstein, St. Johann, and Urreiting.
Due to its picturesque setting, the area largely depends on tourism, Alpine skiing in winter and hiking in the summer months. A dramatic gorge called Liechtensteinklamm lies south of the town. This gorge is about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) long and can be explored via walkways first built by Prince Johann II of Liechtenstein in 1875.
The Salzach Valley, an ancient copper mining area, had been settled at least since the Bronze Age. The settlement was first mentioned as sanctum Johannem in villa in a 1074 deed, named after John the Baptist. It was for centuries a possession held by the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg.
In the course of the German Peasants' War of 1525/26, large parts of the population turned Protestant. Under the rule of Prince-Archbishop Count Leopold Anton von Firmian in 1731, numerous inhabitants (called Exulanten) were forced to leave the country, many of them found refuge in the Kingdom of Prussia, where they settled in East Prussia (Gumbinnen).
During the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany, St. Johann was renamed Markt Pongau in 1939 and from 1941 was the site of the World War II Stalag XVIII C (317) internment camp run by the Wehrmacht armed forces. Mainly French and Red Army POWs were interred here, about 4,000 Soviet inmates were killed or succumbed to the conditions of their detention. A 'Russian Cemetery' and a monument to this camp is located on the north end of the town.
About 20 km north of St. Johann, a small portion of a picnic scene from The Sound of Music was filmed on a hillside, in the Pongau town of Werfen. Julie Andrews and crew filmed the opening shots of the "Do-Re-Mi" sequence with the Burg Hohenwerfen in the background. Werfen was also the location for some filming of Where Eagles Dare.
On 24 June 2000 St. Johann completed the Stadtserhebung process and received official town privileges from the Austrian government.
- Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahres- und Quartalsanfang, 2014-01-01.
- See "The Sound of Music Filming Locations" at The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations. http://www.movie-locations.com/intromovies/soundmusic.html. Accessed 27 March 2007.
Media related to St. Johann im Pongau at Wikimedia Commons