|Bezirk: Sankt Johann im Pongau|
Sankt Johann im Pongau is situated at an elevation of 615 m on the river Salzach. The area was inhabited already during the Bronze Age some 3,000 years ago. Mining for copper at the nearby Einödberg and Pürgstein has been demonstrated for the same period. During Roman times an important road lead from Salzburg (Iuvavum) via Werfen, St. Johann to the Gastein valley and the Mallnitzer Tauern pass in the south. In AD 924 the area appears in documents of the archbishops of Salzburg. "Ad sanctum Johannem in villa" is mentioned in a document of 1074. By 1250/1290 the place was mentioned as a "forum", a market place. The formal privilege for holding a weekly market was later granted in 1425. During the Peasants' War of 1525/1526 St. Johann took the side of the Protestant revolters. As a consequence the market was looted and destroyed by the archepiscopal forces. Nevertheless, St. Johann took a positive development during the following centuries. At the beginning of the 18th century all Protestants were expelled from archdiocese; about 20,000 people left for East Prussia or North America, 2,500 of them were from St Johann alone. A large fire destroyed the market town almost completely in 1855. In 1867 the seat of the administration of the Pongau district was moved to St. Johann from Werfen where it had been located between 1850 and 1867. Between 1938 and 1945 St. Johann was renamed Markt Pongau. After World War II the area became a center for summer and winter tourism.
The parish church Sankt Johannes [left, no. 2885: centre]
is situated at a place that was occupied by a church at least since 1329. The present church was built in Neo-Gothic style after the
large fire of 1855. The original tower collapsed in 1871 and was replaced by two towers (76 m high) in 1876. Due to its large
dimensions the parish church has received the popular sobriquet "Pongauer Dom" ('Pongau cathedral').