|Bundesland: Oberösterreich||Upper Austria|
Bad Ischl is situated at an elevation of 468 m at the confluence of the rivers Ischl and Traun.
Ischl was first mentioned, already as a market town, in a document of 1442.
Since the Middle Ages it was a place of salt mining. When the saline was first used for therapeutic purposes in 1823,
Ischl soon became a renowned spa. Its popularity increased even further when Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Karl,
visited Ischl to seek treatment for their childlessness. Soon after, the Archduchess gave birth to four sons,
Franz (1830–1916, Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1848),
Ferdinand Maximilian (1832–1867, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico in 1864), Karl Ludwig (1833–1896),
and Ludwig Viktor (1842–1919), soon called the 'salt princes', and one doughter, Maria Anna Karolina (1835–1839).
Soon after the accession of Franz Joseph I as Emperor of Austria in 1848, Ischl became the official summer residence of the Imperial court.
It was here that in 1853 Franz Joseph announced his engagement with his cousin, the 15-year old Princess Elisabeth in Bavaria, whom he married
one year later. During the 19th century, Ischl became not only a world-renowned spa but also became a centre of music. It was a favourite
domicile of the composers, Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss (II), Anton Bruckner, Emmerich (Imre) Kálmán, and Franz (Ferenc) Lehár.
In 1906 the predicate Bad (spa) was added to the name of the town. In 1940, Bad Ischl was chartered as a city.
The parish church Sankt Nikolaus [left, no. 585:, centre] was built in 1769–1780. The only part of the prior Gothic church is the tower. A church on this spot had already been mentioned in a document of 1320, but must have existed even earlier. Until 1554 it belonged to the parish of Goisern, then it was administered by the Benedictine nunnery of Traunkirchen. After the dissolution of the nunnery of Traunkirchen in 1773, the Jesuits came in charge of the church at Ischl. Since 1854 the church had the title of of 'Hofpfarrkirche' (court parish church). The renovation of the church in Nazarene style was completed in 1880, on the occasion of the Emperor's 50th birthday. Anton Bruckner played the (old) organ in 1890 on the occasion of the marriage of Archduchess Marie Valerie, the youngest doughter of Franz Joseph, with Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Toskana. The remarkable new organ (Kaiser-Jubiläums-Orgel) was inaugurated in 1910 on the Emperor's 80th birthday.
The Kaiservilla (Imperial villa) [right, no. 127, and below, no. 683] originally had been a hunting lodge, which since 1850 had been in possession of the resident physician of Ischl. The villa was bought in 1853 by Archduchess Sophie who presented it to her son, Emperor Franz Joseph I, and Princess Elisabeth. In 1853–1854, the villa was redesigned and enlarged in Palladian style by the architect Antonio Legrenzi to suit the needs of an Imperial court. The ground plan of the villa was changed to that of the letter 'E' for Elisabeth. The new park around the villa was designed by Franz Rauch, head of the Imperial gardens in Vienna and Laxenburg. The works on the villa and the park were finished in 1857.
Glass no. 1399 [left] shows a picture of the
The Kurhaus [right, no. 1146: top right picture]
was built in 1873–1875. After a fire it was rebuilt in 1965–1966. After a thorough refurbishment in 1998–1999 it is used today
as a congress venue and theatre building.