The largest national park in the Alps
Hohe Tauern National Park counts among the world’s most magnificent Alpine landscapes. The altitudinal belts in the valleys to the summit regions of the three-thousand metre peaks stand for extraordinary biodiversity. They are home to many plants and wild animals, which originated from the Central Asian tundras, the Arctic or South Europe. Our responsibility as a national park is to protect and explore this unique ecosystem and pass on the knowledge to the next generation. Discover this fascinating wilderness in the heart of Europe.
When the world's first national park – Yellowstone National Park – was established in 1872 in the north of the USA, no one suspected that this would be the foundation for thousands of other national parks all over the world, including the National Park Hohe Tauern. Yellowstone National Park was established in order to put prominent natural landscapes of national importance under state protection and opening them up to the public for their "joy and edification".
About 100 years ago, in 1913, a first step towards establishing a national park in Austria was taken. When state parliament representative Dr. August Prinzinger took the initiative and the nature preserve association acquired around 1,100 ha of land in Amertal and Stubachtal valleys in order to give them special protection, the idea of national parks as we know them in Austria today was born. Due to the onset of war and economic crises, this project was put on ice for quite some time.
In 1971, the three governors of Salzburg, Carinthia and Tyrol then enacted the establishment of a national park by signing the tri-country agreement in Heiligenblut. Implementation in the individual countries took varying periods of time and a number of stages had to be overcome. In the 1980s, Hohe Tauern National Park was established as Austria's first and largest national park and the project has been continuously worked on since then.
The national park development has always been characterized by cooperation based on partnership, and this approach is what got the Hohe Tauern Salzburg National Park the "International Recognition" in 2006 in accordance wit the criteria set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN. More information on this subject: International recognition.
The 1, 800 m² large Nationalpark Worlds Hohe Tauern in Mittersill are among Europe’s most modern national park centres. Visitors walk through 10 fascinating natural areas in succession, discovering and understanding the extraordinary diversity of the Alps’ biggest nature reserve.
With the spectacular 360° panoramic cinema the exhibition counts among the most popular visitor highlights in the Holiday Region Hohe Tauern National Park. "The exhibition to touch" has been a visitor magnet since 2007 and is ideal for families to explore in any weather.