The housing project was built by the China Minmetals mining company. The flats in the area are mostly still in construction and are for sale. The centre of the area contains a replica of the parish church, the fountain and various other objects from the original Hallstatt town centre.
Reception in Austria
Hallstatt's mayor Alexander Scheutz first heard about the plans to build a replica of his town in 2011. At that point the construction was already in an advanced state.
While parts of the Hallstatt population viewed the Chinese plans with scepticism, mayor Alexander Scheutz said that he saw a chance in the project for the tourism in the "original" Hallstatt. He personally visited the opening ceremony in 2012 and signed an agreement for cultural exchange.
Similar projects in China
The construction of Hallstatt is part of a trend in China to mimic or rebuild other parts of the world. While this is one of only a few examples where a whole town layout has been partly replicated (the second being Venice), there are many similar places in China. Other examples include a copy of the Eiffel tower in Tianducheng and several copies of European castles in Chongqing. For other portions of whole cities replicated in China, there is a Manhattan in Tianjin (Yujiapu Financial District) and a copy of Jackson Hole, Wyoming in Hebei Province (Jackson Hole, China). There is also a replica Venice in Dalian, Liaoning Province, which freezes over in winter.
Many of these copycat cities are housing developments for the wealthier Chinese population.
- "Exklusiv-Talk - Mit Bürgermeister Alexander Scheutz (Hallstatt)". Brandwork Studios. Archived from the original on 2014-07-25.
- "Hallstatt-Double: China weiht nachgebautes Alpendorf ein". Spiegel Online. 2012-06-02.
- Van Mead, Nick (October 22, 2014). "Welcome to Venice, China: Dalian copies canals, palaces … and gondoliers". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- Architecture, SCMP (October 19, 2015). "Venice of the East? Replica of canal city latest architectural fake to be built in China". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 31 January 2019.