Kristallhütte – Kaltenbach, Austria - Atlas Obscura


Kaltenbach, Austria

Part ski resort, part modern art space, this lodge brings giant metal spiders and bloody doors to the Austrian Alps. 


Located at the end of a cable car ride, the Kristallhütte is an ultra modern mountain lodge that provides fine dining, hip DJ’s, and classy lodging but it is the utterly odd modern art installations clinging to the snowy slopes that set this ski hut apart. 

Catering to the young and wealthy (even some of the cable were cars designed by BMW!), the Kristallhütte may seem like yet another luxury resort that is only of interest due to its exclusivity, but thanks to a strong devotion to implementing modern art among the picturesque mountain peaks nearby, the site is becoming a veritable hub of surreal imagery.

The design of the lodge itself is thoroughly ultra-modern mixing traditional wooden plank construction with globes of light and retro-futurist interiors. Outside of the main lodge, thanks to collaborations with a number of artists, there are such jaw-dropping additions to the snow-capped peaks as a huge steel dragonfly, a freestanding doorway that seems to be covered in blood named, “Heaven’s Door,” and possibly most arresting, a massive metal spider.

Even if weekends spent in on a cozy lodge on a freezing mountain aren’t your cup of hot chocolate, the Kristallhütte is well worth a visit just for the fantasy imagery. If you can afford it.  

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