Bad Gastein (name written as Badgastein until 1996), province of Salzburg, municipality in the district of St. Johann, alt. 1002 m, pop. 5,662, area 170.60 km2, spa and winter sports centre in the valley of the Gasteiner Ache river, at the foot of Graukogel Mountain (2,492 m); leading medicinal spa in Austria, radioactive thermal springs (47° C, drinking and bathing cures, treatment of rheumatic diseases) that issue at the foot of Graukogel mountain and are piped into the baths for therapeutical use; hydropathic centre with thermal indoor pool, Felsenbad (thermal indoor and outdoor pool carved out of the rock), hydropathic hospice, Boeckstein therapy tunnel (2,600 m long former mining drift with hydrotherapy stations, 37-42° C), numerous therapy centres, congress centre, museum (with 75 kg heavy rock-crystal), Gastein Research Institute (run by the Austrian Academy of Sciences), casino, golf-course, Elisabeth park, storage power stations Boeckstein (built 1981, capacity 106,840 megawatt-hours) and Nassfeld-Boeckstein (built 1982, capacity 12,940 megawatt-hours), waterfall of the Gasteiner Ache river in the town, cable railway to the Stubnerkogel Mountain (2,246 m), skiing area Sportgastein in the Nassfeld Valley; tourism (1,094,974 overnight stays). Has been documented as a watering place since the middle of the 14th century. The erection of a palace by the prince-archbishop of the city of Salzburg (Badeschloss, 1791-1793) led to the first economic upswing, while, in the second half of the 19th century, eminent patrons brought the town world renown. Many hotels, parish church (1866-1876); Gothic St. Nikolaus church (1389) with late Gothic frescoes (1480), Protestant church (1868-1872), house "Meran" (1830, villa of Archduke Johann).
Literature#H. von Zimburg, Geschichte Gasteins und des Gasteiner Tales, 1948; W. Schaup-Weinberg, Badgastein. Die Geographie eines Weltkurortes, doctoral thesis, Salzburg 1968; 500 Jahre Badehospiz Badgastein, 1989.