Treasures of the Radhausberg

From Gold to the thermal Gallery.

The Radhausberg, that remarkable mountain to the south of Bad Gastein, is not only wrapped in legends, but also conceals at least two remarkable treasures:


Firstly, it was Gold of the Tauern that was mined in pre Roman times. The zenith or golden age of Gold-mining in the region of Gastein and Rauris was reached in the 16th century. During this period about 2.800 kilograms of silver and 800 kilograms of gold were mined annually. It was through the gold in the Radhausberg that many of Gasteins’ entrepreneurs, like Weitmoser and Strasser, acquired their wealth. It was also a very important source of income for the archbishop of Salzburg. In the following centuries production gradually decreased and also the private “Union Radhausberg”, which tried to revitalize gold mining, was not successful.


Eventually the German Preussag bought the mining-rights in the 1940s. With the help of a new gallery at the foot of the Radhausberg they hoped to meet an auriferous lode. They were not successful but instead found another outstanding treasure. They found rock with a high concentration of radon in the air and temperatures of 37 to 41.5 degrees and relatively high humidity of between 70% to 100%. In the Böckstein Thermal Gallery this remedy is used for therapeutic treatment today and astonishing results have been achieved in the treatment of rheumatic complaints.


A working model in the Gold Tower of the museum shows the growth of ore veins and of radon saturated vapour. Detailed information, on this kind of curative treatment, is shown in a stylised model of the Heilstollen.


Information: A very good presentation of well arranged exhibits can be seen at the mountain museum in Altböckstein. A general insight to gold-mining including technical equipment is given there.