It is located in the Pinzgau region on the northern slopes of the Alpine Glockner Group with Mt. Großes Wiesbachhorn, 3,564 m (11,693 ft), part of the Hohe Tauern range, forming the border of Salzburg with Carinthia. At the foot of the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, Kaprun is a year-round sports centre. The Kapruner Ache creek joins the Salzach River south of the settlement. The Mooserboden hydroelectric plant uses water from two reservoirs held back by some of Austria’s largest dam walls. The reservoir area has become a tourist attraction, with views over the towns of Kaprun and Zell am See. The visitors centre gives guided tours of the area. Tauern Spa World was completed in November 2010, and is the second largest spa complex in Austria. It is a two-hour transfer to resort from Salzburg Airport.
A Chataprunnin (derived from Celtic for "whitewater") settlement in the Duchy of Bavaria was first mentioned in a 931 deed, documented as a possession held by the Counts of Falkenstein in 1166. Chaprunne Castle was acquired by the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg in 1287 and enfeoffed to the Lords of Felben in 1338. Seat of a Salzburg burgrave from 1480, it was devastated during the 1526 German Peasants' War. In 1606 Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau had the local burgrave beheaded for siding with local insurgents. In the early 20th century the castle was a possession of Prince Johann II of Liechtenstein, who sold it in 1921. In the late 1920s the German AEG company and the Salzburg state government developed plans for a Hohe Tauern hydroelectricity power plant, including two reservoirs in the Kaprun Valley. Planning was discontinued during the Great Depression and was not resumed until the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938. Commanded by Hermann Göring, construction began during World War II using prisoners of war from Belgium and other occupied countries and Jewish and Soviet forced labourers. The inhumane conditions were depicted by Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek in her 2003 play Das Werk. Construction stopped in 1942/43, and was restarted after the war by Allied-occupied Austria from 1947. Built with Bucyrus equipment and massive help from the Marshall Plan European Recovery Program, the power plant became an icon of post-war reconstruction. The topping out ceremony was held on 23 September 1955, a few months after the signing of the Austrian State Treaty.
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