This part is dedicated to a retrospect of the history of our valley and our city and the development of our house.
“The Gastein” is the biggest of all Tauern valleys and there surely were scarce settlements in Celtic and Roman times. The systematic cultivation started only in the 9th century. Bajuvaric, but also Slavic settlers came to live here. In 1297, the dukes of Bavaria sold the Gastein valley to the arch diocese Salzburg. The historical development was determined by Alpine agriculture, gold mining and the healing water.
Our city was called „Court in the Gastein“ and is one of the oldest settlements in high Alpine valleys and has always been the historical centre. In the middle of the market town there is the big gotic church, a grand historical building from days long gone.
With the gold mining of the middle ages an enormous development of mining and economy set in. From all over the Empire, miners came into the valley, with them came tradesmen and craftspeople. Roads and a postal connection were established, the Archbishops helped; burghers, aristocrats and well-known miners’ families took residence in the “Little Golden City”. A reminder of this first period of prosperity is the Weitmoser castle. The downfall of the gold price because of the American offers, natural catastrophes, adverse climatic conditions and religious unrest finally led to a complete decline.
First evidence of a use of the Gastein thermal springs date from the year 1230. They only had local importance and were eclipsed by the mining. The last emporer of the middle ages, Friedrich III was a patient of the health spa called Wildbad Gastein. When emperor Franz I recognised the importance of the healing springs and ordered their extension, the frequency raised so much, that the spa guests had to take accommodation in Hofgastein. The brewer Moser and the great benefactor and sponsor of our market town Ladislaus Pyrker, Archbishop and Patriarch of Venice established a company and the first wooden Thermal waterline was built. In 1828, Gastein was approved as a therapeutic bath. The Tauern railway was opened in 1905 after changeful decades. The patrons and citizens were aware of the railway’s importance and strived with great industry to make Hofgastein a modern spa town. Promenades and health establishments were created and spa hotels were built. Since 1936, the market town is called Bad Hofgastein. After the Second World War a quiet and continuous upward movement set in.
Our city may well be called a real cradle of wintersports in Austrai. At the end of the 19th century there were Hofgasteiners who were on the track with self built skis. In 1908 the winter sports club was founded. Colonel Bilgerie held the first skiing courses in the 1920’s and thus marked the beginning of a successful development.
In consideration of the conflicts within a rapidly developing society, the history and development Bad Hofgastein has an obligation to bethink traditions and values that should last – alongside the necessity to meet the challenges of the future actively. The recreational value of or landscape and nature is always in season, they will remain cornerstones of our offer to our guests.
The history of our house is as changeful as the one of the Gastein valley.
In June 1930 my great grandfather Viktor Rauscher opened a beautiful, modern spa hotel with 37 beds. The house was surrounded by meadows and fields down to the river Gasteiner Ache. The first and second generation managed the business from the beginning and looked after the guests with a lot of personal commitment. The first season went well and successful. But soon the world economic crisis announced itself. The following years were very difficult politically and economically. During the Second World War the hotels of the Gastein valley were made into military hospitals. Many ill and injured soldiers found quiet, healing and also hope for a return home in Bad Hofgastein. Only after the occupying forces had left, the reparation of the house could be started with modest financial means. During the following years a piece of land was bought and an extension on the west side was built.
From 1978 to 2000 my mother successfully managed the house with a lot of commitment. With the help of my father, she continued further extensions. In 1999, the small neighbour hotel Paracelsus was acquired. Considerable renovations were necessary. In 2005, both houses merged.
In 1990 I joined the business, again our range was expanded. The hotel garni became a spa and sport hotel. In the year 2000 I took over managing the hotel. I enjoy spoiling our guests daily with regional and seasonal delicacies. At outings and walking trips I like to show the most beautiful spots of our valley. The cosy parlours, the generous therapy and spa area with its beautiful garden, the comfortable rooms, the newly refurbished apartments and the playing facilities for the children find great approval by all guests.
We want to continue in our familial tradition and heartfelt hospitality. “Where old friends meet and new friendships begin” is the best recipe therefore. Welcome to the Hotel Rauscher & Paracelsus.