top of page

Moore, water, salt: A relationship with rough edges.

Somewhat hidden to the east of the Ischler Salzberg are the high moors of Langmoos and Roßstallmoos , which have been brought out of their "sleeping beauty" by the Austrian Federal Forests with the "Moor Protection Program" in recent years. Although these are not part of the Via Salis network of paths, they were important for the Ischler Salzberg.

1       Location of Langmoos and Roßstallmoos:

The two nature reserves Langmoos (2.6 ha) and Roßstallmoos (1 ha) are located 1 and 1.4 km east of the Reinfalzalm. Both moors are high moors that arose in karst depressions. They are supplied by precipitation and are therefore independent of groundwater. The peat layer is up to 6 m thick.


Compass hiking map, 2020

2      History of the formation of our moors:

Hochmoor Schema.jpg

In the not too distant past, 20,000 years ago, large glaciers stretched out from the Trauntal into the foothills of the Alps and buried the country under ice.


Glaciers were instrumental in creating the conditions that led to the growth of peat bogs in our country. They dug out shallow basins and brought back glacial rubble (the finest rock debris) that was deposited there and formed clays impermeable to water. As a result, the water collected in the pools and various forms of still waters were created, from small ponds to large lakes.


When the climate improved about 17,000 years ago, the ice receded and the glaciers disintegrated relatively quickly. Clay-lined hollows with small still waters remained; outside of the formerly glaciated areas gravel, sand and loess-covered terraces. Various mosses, sedges and reeds soon settled in the hollows. The late glacial, still cool climate with low evaporation and high humidity played an important role.

Schematic structure of raised bog, ÖBF

3      Moore as a habitat for rare plants and animals

Moors are an irreplaceable habitat for many animal and plant species that have become rare today. Quite a few "moor dwellers" are on the Red List, such as the sundew, the cranberry or the dwarf birch. Typical of their fauna are the moor dragonfly and moor frog as well as numerous reptiles such as mountain lizards, adders, butterflies and spiders.

sparriges Torfmoos.png
Moor Knirpswanze.png
Warziges Torfmoos.png

Sparrige peat moss, WIKIPEDIA

Moor tot bug, WIKIPEDIA

Warty peat moss, WIKIPEDIA

4      Moore as a climate protector

Moore fulfill the function of CO2 storage very well. Since the plant components do not decompose in the wet, acidic soil, the carbon remains stored. Only when the moors are drained does a decomposition process begin and the positive effect achieved over thousands of years is reversed again.

5      Moors as water reservoirs

Bogs can absorb up to 95% of their dry mass in water. During dry periods, they slowly release the stored water. In this way, they contribute to the continuous supply of the springs. When it rains, the moor does not absorb large amounts of water. This fulfilled an important function as flood protection.

6      Moor protection program ÖBF  

On the occasion of the "Year of Wetlands" proclaimed by the Ministry of the Environment in 1993, the Austrian Federal Forests placed all of their moors under protection. In June 2000, as part of the WWF campaign "Let them live", the ÖBf and WWF signed the cooperation agreement for "active moor protection". According to this, bogs that had been adversely affected in the past primarily by drainage, peat extraction, grazing and afforestation are to be actively renatured. Such as: construction of dams to raise the moor water level in Langmoos.

Revitalisierung Langmoos

Revitalization of Langmoos, ÖBF


Leckenmoos, ÖBF


Larch dam in Langmoos, ÖBF

7      The importance of these moors and the surface waters in the Reinfalz area for the Ischler Salzberg:

In the 1830s and 1840s, after the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of industrialization, the need was great. It was the Biedermeier period, monarchical absolutism prevailed. Resignation spread, hunger demonstrations and peasant uprisings shook Austria. And in these difficult times, there was almost a catastrophe on the Ischler Salzberg:

The surface waters in the Reinfalzalm area have always been a problem for the salt tunnels below. A lot of attention has therefore already been paid to this fact. But not enough.


And so the tragedy took its course:


As early as 1739 , a wooden drainage system, which was laid out "between the mountains" (path from Reinfalzalm to Hütteneckalm), was extended to the Reinfalzalm.  


In addition, as early as 1738, a water tunnel, the Mittlerer Wasserstollen, was laid to drain off freshwater that had already penetrated to the Frauenholzstollen. With little success, as it turned out.  It was not until 1769 that the access to the water was successfully contained by the water digging in the Lipplesgraben tunnel.

Drainageplan Reinfalz 1854, SBB Bad Ischl
1739: Süßwassereinbruch bis zum Frauenholzstollen, Salinenarchiv

Drainage plan Reinfalz 1854, archive Salinen Austria

1739: Freshwater inrush up to the Frauenholz tunnel, archive Salinen Austria


In 1775, 1784, 1793, 1799 and 1805 the wooden drainage system was renewed and expanded again and again. A major repair of the then 2,133.54 m long main and side channels, partly made of slats and partly consisting of wooden channels, was carried out in the years 1830 - 1831 .



As can be seen from these years, maintenance was a very expensive one. Therefore, from 1840 onwards, the gutters were made of ashlars .


Block channel system Reinfalz April 2020, IGM


Restored cuboid gutter "Between the mountains" June 2020, IGM

Despite all these measures, it came in 1839  in the Amalia tunnel to massive fractures of the workers Preßel, Schwaiger, Rappan and Baron Sternbach.

In 1843 , the water that had broken in as a result of the demise of the workers Erlach, Mohr and Freund had already penetrated the Ludovica tunnel in such large quantities that the lye could soon no longer have been accommodated in the workers who were still available. The entire mining area was endangered!

These events and the underground measures are presented in detail under this link: .

1839 und1843 Werksniedergänge und Wassereinbruch bis zum Ludovikastollen, Salinenarchiv

1839 and 1843 factory declines and water ingress up to the Ludovica tunnel, archive Salinen Austria

In order to save the Ischler Salzberg, of course, attempts were also made during the day to regulate all the water that had not yet been controlled. Now the work on the bogs has also started! Main and side drainage ditches were dug in Langmoos .  

And as mentioned in Chapter 2, the Langmoos is located in a trough. In order to be able to drain the entire tub, a 50 m long drainage tunnel was even built. In the attached plan, it is very nicely marked as a "warm hole" .  

The name has the following meaning: Quite in the middle of the tunnel, a stepped shaft was surprisingly cut , which shows a natural draft.  There is an entrance 255 m below, namely the "Tauernwasserloch".  In winter, air draws in below, heats up and steams up in the "Warm Hole" off. The "Warm Hole" was also a research project of the Linzer Höhlenverein for many years. They use the "Lipplesgraben - Hütte" at the Lipplesgraben - tunnel as a base for this. This hut was built in 1892 as a lodging hut for workers maintaining the gully and was used until the 1950's.

Plan Langmoos mit Entwässerungsgräben und Entwässerungsstollen "Warmes Loch" 1860, Archiv SBB Bad Ischl

Plan Langmoos with drainage ditches and drainage tunnel "Warmes Loch" 1860, archive Salinen Austria

Eingang Hütterschacht im "Warmen Loch", Archiv IGM

Entrance Hütterschacht in the "warm hole", archive IGM

clean fold ramp

In addition to the Langmoos, the Reinfalzschanze was also drained.  This field designation, which has now been forgotten, extended to the SW of the Lower Rosenkogel, as can be seen on the following map from 1867.

A small digression on the name Schanze:  In earlier times, a hill fort meant a field fortification for defense. From the 16th century, the word "schanzen" was generally applied to any kind of earthwork. And therefore probably also on the drainage work SW of the Niederen Rosenkogel. This is probably where the name Reinfalzschanze came from.

Plan Entwässerung Reinfalzschanze 1854, Archiv SBB Bad Ischlzberg_tagrevier_drainagierung

Drainage plan Reinfalzschanze 1854, archive Salinen Austria

Work on the gutter then happened in the years 1890, 1892, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1902, 1904 and 1907. Through all this work on the gutter made of ashlar stones, the same now had a length of 864.7 m with an average width of 0. 45 - 0.50 m.

From 1913 to 1919 another 155 m of the wooden gutter were replaced by cement gutters:

ischler salzberg_tagrevier_drainagierung

Plan Rinnwerk Reinfalz 1907, archive Salinen Austria

Rutschterrain in den Jahren 1924 / 1925 / 1926 / 1927 / 1931salzberg_tagrevier_drainagierung

Despite all measures above and below ground, there were also large-scale landslides in the Reinfalzalm area up to the twentieth century , as can be seen on a map from 1933:

Archive Salinen Austria 1933

Landslides in the years 1924 / 1925 / 1926 / 1927 / 1931.  With marked water ingress into the Wolfen weir (Amalia - tunnel), water ingress into the Streibel weir (Amalia - tunnel), water ingress onto the Neuhauser Kehr (Lipplesgraben - tunnel).

Sources used:

Carl Schraml "The Upper Austrian Salt Works from 1818 to the end of the Salt Office in 1850", Vienna 1936

Michael Kefer "Description of the main maps of the kk Salzberg zu Ischl", 1820, transcription by Thomas Nussbaumer, as of September 13, 2016

Geological Federal Institute, sheet 96 Bad Ischl, 2012

Reports of the Bavarian Botanical Society 87: 55-70, 2017

Moor revitalization of the Inner Salzkammergut, ÖBF

bottom of page