The pretty village made famous by Disneys Frozen is overrun with tourists
Residents of a picturesque Austrian village have blocked the road in a bid to stop tourists after claiming it is becoming “overrun”.
The tiny Alpine settlement of Hallstatt in north Austria has become a popular spot for those looking to visit the Eastern Alps.
It is widely believed that the village was the inspiration behind the kingdom of Arendelle in Disney’s Frozen – making it a popular tourist spot.
The spire of the lakeside Pfarrkirche has also appeared on computer screensavers as well as in South Korean TV dramas and more than a million Instagram posts, making it one of the best known places in the country.
But for some residents, the number of tourists flocking to the small village has become unbearable.
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Last Sunday around a sixth of the village’s population turned out to block the main access tunnel in a protest against over-tourism to the area, reports the Mirror.
Protest organisers Bürgerliste Hallstatt claim that those living there are “regularly insulted and threatened by illegal parkers” and that traffic is clogging access through the town.
Residents of the village claim that they are outnumbered by annual tourists 1,800 to one.
“Nobody can handle the masses. Hallstatt is too small for the many people who come,” said the town’s mayor Alexander Scheutz, the New Zealand Herald reported. A cap on the number of tour-buses has been suggested as a potential solution, as has a curfew of 5pm for visitors.
Located on the shores of Lake Hallstatt itself, the UNESCO World Heritage listed village of Hallstatt boasts 16th century architecture, cosy lodges and charming cafés and shops.
Earlier this year, in a bid to protect everything that makes the town good, the mayor had two fences erected in the middle of Hallstatt to obstruct the most famous vistas.
While this was only meant to be a temporary fix to highlight the problem, Mayor Scheutz is reportedly intent on constructing a permanent barrier to drive the tourists away. “The only thing that would help is if the photo point is no longer a photo point,” he said.
The town has previously set limits for vehicles coming in, but officials claim they regularly reach the daily limit for 450 cars and 54 busses.
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It is not clear how well received the fence policy was within the Hallstatt community, given that it also blocks the lovely view for the people who have decided to live there.
Mayor Scheutz is not the only local government figure in a tourist hotspot to make moves to stop the atmosphere of the place being ruined by too many visitors.
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