Pearls of the Hohe Tauern National Park
The mountain world surrounding Mallnitz in the Carinthian section of the Hohe Tauern National Park is today an area that is well developed for tourists. A wide range of hiking paths and steep tracks, and above all numerous mountain huts, surround the Tauern location. These paths and huts form the basis of summer tourism in this village of 1,000 souls.
Not many people are aware, perhaps, that the great development work was undertaken at the end of the 19th century almost exclusively at the hands of German and Austrian Alpine Association sections which were active here in the wonderful mountain world of the Hohe Tauern, and thus found a second alpine home. The paths and huts also bear the names of these sections, whether it be Graz (Arthur-von-Schmidhaus), Hannover, Hagen, Minden, Celle or Witten. They and many others have in part been present in Mallnitz for over 100 years.
The Hannover section of the DAV [German Alpine Association] and its president of many years, Prof. Carl Arnold, was especially committed to Mallnitz. It is down to his great involvement that Mallnitz has developed into a tourism destination. Arnold had often been in the Tauern area as an enthusiastic mountaineer when in 1885 he made the ascent of the Ankogel with mountaineer friends from Gastein. They wanted to descend on the Mallnitz side and continue to Villach. But their guide was injured so badly in a fall that he wasn't able to continue alone. The difficult transport of the injured man down into the valley gave Arnold the idea of building accommodation in the Ankogel area, which until then was completely undeveloped.
In 1886 the main committee of the Alpine Association decided to hand over the organisation of the Ankogel and its direct surroundings to the Hannover section.
Hannover thus became the first German section to have a base on Carinthian soil.
When the building of the Tauern railway was begun in 1901, this also brought a reaction from the Hannover section of the DAV. To meet the expected flood of tourists, from 1909 the Hannover house was built above the Hannover hut and inaugurated in 1911.
Professor Arnold managed to win over other sections for Mallnitz. Even today the sections of Duisburg, Hagen, Minden, Witten, Göttingen, Hannover, Goslar, Celle, Osnabrück, Kattowitz, Gießen, Detmold and Graz are all involved in and around Mallnitz. The same sections have also combined to form the Tauern Summit Trail working group.