Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein converge
Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein converge
SMALL HISTORIC TOWNS IN AUSTRIA
"Small Historic Towns in Austria," is an organization of communities that share very important characteristics. For example: each town reflects its long history through protected monuments, historic buildings and districts. Invariably, a town's heritage may have originated with the Romans or Turks. And, the Habsburgs will probably have played a major role in forming local culture and traditions.
This month, we are pleased to tell you a little bit about each of these marvelous communities. Our journey will take us to Austria's oldest and smallest town. Along the way, we'll pass through others that are "fortified," "medieval," onetime "royal residences," baroque treasures, spas or famous for the wines they produce.
We are grateful to "Small Historic Towns in Austria" for permitting us to tell their story, largely in the lexicon of their own authoritative words. For further information we recommend a visit to their web site where special itineraries on the themes of: "Wine Tour", "Art and Architecture", "High Mountains - Old Towns" and "The Tauern Gold." Each tour features member communities. Your may follow this link to the "Small Historic Towns in Austria" web site
known as a resort, Baden also offers the diversity of Europe's largest casino, a
thoroughly modern Thermal Spa and a famous operetta theatre.
The center of the town, which was completely rebuilt during the
Biedermeier Period, after it was destroyed by the conflict with invading Turks and extensive fires.
evidenced in the noble town houses, palaces and beautiful squares of
this city architecture, art and garden cultivation flourished in the
reconstructed city. The imperial court moved its summer residence to
Baden in the years 1803 - 1834. Vienna, the Wachau and Lake Neusiedl are only a few
kilometers away from Baden
Square: containing the Town Hall, Emperor's House and the Column
of the Holy Trinity
Emperor Franz Josef Museum, Roulette Museum, Dolls and Toys Museum,
Congress Casino: richly traditional spa salon, now a modern
Roman Thermal Spa: Caribbean flair under Europe's largest glass
roof, whirlpool, attraction pools, sports pools and two external pools
Beach Spa: Art Deco, like a former Austrian Adriatic spa with a
gigantic sand beach
20,000 roses in the park of the former Weikersdorf Aquatic Palace
the turn of the last century, Bad Ischl was the place to recuperate in
nearby forests, traditional alpine meadows,
mountain peaks, or to enjoy a summer's holiday. Cures for
respiratory and cardiovascular ailments have been successfully used there
for over 175 years. Between a cure and a walk, one met at Zauner, and
in the evening one amused oneself at the theatre with a Lehar operetta.
Today, one may stroll through Ischl and experience old traditions as they
were long ago, but now carefully renovated and modernized.
a Hapsburg residence, located in woodland above Bad Ischl
Museum: engagement residence of Franz Josef and Elisabeth
Palace: the empress's former teahouse, now a museum of photography
Zauner: existing since 1832, offers 200 different types of
fresh pastries daily
Pancera: private museum with art collection
and Theatre House: in the Kurpark and numerous town houses from
the royal and imperial monarchy period
With its sumptuous buildings and facades, this Styrian thermal spa town,
has been an important trading center for centuries. Today, you may explore an authentic Old Town, with small,
individual shops, shady guest gardens, charming cafes, and the park
thermal spa. In this vital
town, modernity and a love of life merge with history and tradition.
In 1978, Bad Radkersburg became the only town in Austria to receive the
European Gold Medal for Memorial care.
In 1978, Bad Radkersburg became the only town in Austria to receive the European Gold Medal for Memorial care.
Square with Town Hall Tower: late Gothic - late Baroque town
of the Virgin: memorial of the plague in 1680
Renaissance Palace: sumptuous inner courtyard arcade of Italian
building art and medieval tower connected to the town fortifications
Town Parish Church and Museum in the Old Armory: a walk through
the history of the town and region
Frauentor, Frauenkirche: examples of the late Baroque
its Renaissance and Baroque facades, tower and fortified walls, this
medieval town is located on the banks of the Danube. In 1212, Enns
received town rights from Duke Leopold VI.
Indeed, this is the Oldest Town in Austria.
First established in about 500 B.C a larger settlement was built a
century later and then expanded by the Romans as legionnaire camp for
6,000 soldiers. While visitors interested in culture enjoy the
Old Town, local gastronomes indulge their guests with regional specialties
at inns, restaurants and cider taverns.
Tower: 400 years old, around 60m high - symbol of the town -
offers a majestic panoramic view (156 steps)
Laurence Basilica: important excavations, Roman town temple and
Carolingian Church containing the two largest oil paintings in Austria:
"Lorcher Bishops" and the "Enns Town Saints"
Mary's Town Parish Church: one of the oldest churches of the
Mendicant Orders in Austria (around 1276) with an early Gothic "Walseer"
Museum: awarded the "Austrian Museum Prize" by the
Federal Ministry for Science and Research, former town hall, one of the
oldest buildings, prehistoric collection, Lauriacum Roman Central Museum
Castle: built in 1570, with inner courtyard arcades, provincial
tranquil medieval town of the Montfort Counts, is located where Austria,
Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein converge. Visitors may stroll
its winding passages and narrow lanes.
Fascinating little shops, cafes and restaurants with guest gardens
will invite them to linger in one of the oldest cultural areas of Europe.
The tradition of Alemannian folk culture is apparent at local festivals
and celebrations, which complement the ambience of this charming small
13th century, located idyllically over the rooftops of the town
Museum of Local History in Schattenburg Castle.
remains of the old town walls with the largest bell in Vorarlberg
Nicholas Cathedral Church: Vorarlberg's most important Gothic
church, wrought iron work and paintings of the Danube School
Town Hall: built in 1493, served as a corn exchange, the upper floor as a textile hall, frescos show the events of the town's history
The Hospice with the Church of
Magdelena with medieval frescoes
Conservatory: accommodated the "Stella Matutina" Jesuit
school around 1900, played an important role in Thomas Mann's novel, The
countless towers and gables at the foot of the great Bettelwurf mountain,
the winding lanes of this enchanted little town are lined with impressive
Gothic and Baroque town houses. All around the upper town square,
said by many to be the loveliest in Europe, is life full of
activity. A farmers' market with local produce, cozy cafes with homemade delicacies,
inns and taverns rich in tradition with regional specialties, little shops
pique the visitor's curiosity. Gothic and Baroque memorials, town
houses and treasures are witnesses to open and vital culture that has been
completely maintained to the present day.
Hall: since 1406, the town palace of Count Heinrich of Gorz and
Tyrol from 1295-1335
Nikolaus Parish Church: Gothic church, converted to the Baroque
style by Adam Molk in 1752, asymmetric nave
of St. Magdalena: mentioned in records in 1330, late Gothic winged
Castle - Munzerturm - Alte Munze: the old mint, with Tower dating
of Salt Mining: reproduction of the Hall Valley mined closed down in
Town Museum: the history, art and culture of Hall
Imscht" - a poem by Jakob Kopp, tells about this little town in the
highlands of Tyrol. Gothic and Baroque churches and town houses
enfold 18 historic fountains with figures of the saints, are as easy to find here as traditionally evolved customs and a
sympathetic population with a sunny attitude to life. Modern
Tyrolean way of life in a historic ambiance, at cafes, pubs and cultivated
gastronomy, at the theatre or when shopping. The town today, counts
among the most lively district towns in Tyrol.
of Mary Parish Church: 15th century frescos on exterior walls,
Tyrol's highest church tower
of St. John: late Gothic with Baroque side altar
Angel Fountain: from the Baroque Period, considered the most
beautiful of the 18 historic fountains in the town
and Tarrenzer Local History and Rural Museum: objects from the
Fugger Period, sculpture, sacred art and rural arts and crafts will
reopen in 2003
will reopen in 2003
impressions of traditional Imst customs and celebrations
amidst delightful town houses is the highest free standing town tower in
Austria. Today, the town's
symbol, the four story, high town tower, was first a watchtower in the
town's fortifications. The city rests gently against the Seetal Alps and
still reflects the Mediterranean charm of long ago in the days of the
Venetian traders. Rustic inns, restaurants, cafes and
confectioners know how to indulge their guests. In the evening the
"mature" bar culture in the town centre invites one to a cozy
end to the day.
Town Tower: 1449-1509, the highest free standing town tower in Austria, with viewing gallery
Parish Church: Baroque church with side chapels, life size
limestone figure of the "Judenburg Madonna"
Monastery and Jesuit Church: founded in 1364, four winged building
with a Gothic hall church
town house with enchanting inner courtyard
medieval arcade courtyard
Parish Church: frescos and glass painting of great artistic
Town Museum: comprehensive collections to the history and art
history of the town
fortifications still give a stark testimony of the important position
Kufstein enjoyed in the Middle Ages. Today, a well maintained Old
Town and tranquil farmhouses echo the centuries of culture, and rich
traditions of the Tyrolean way of life.
Fortress: first mentioned in 1205, glass encased lift from the
town centre up to the fortress
and Museum of Local History: offers insights into the history,
customs and geology
Organ: built in 1931, largest free standing organ in the world
with 4,307 working pipes
Romerhof Lane: part of the Kufstein Old Town with the well known "Auracher Lochl" and "Batzenhausl" wines taverns
Parish Church of St. Vitus: late Gothic hall church, converted to
the Baroque in the 17th century, late Classic renewal in 1840
Glassworks - Riedel Glass: glass manufacturing since 1756, glass
blowing show and museum
at the Karntner Tor, a cycle through wet cornfields, a hike through the
Hohe Tauern National Park a leap into the refreshing Tristach Lake, the
only bathing lake in East Tyrol. A walk next to the roaring
waterfalls in the Gallitzen Gorge, a stroll through the pulsating town
centre of Lienz, a sunset behind the rugged cliffs off the Lienz Dolomites
- that's how a day on holiday in the Lienz Dolomites runs is course.
Castle: former fortification of the Counts of Gorz, museum with
gallery, famous artists such as Alvin
Egger Lienz and heraldic hall and Gothic castle chapel.
Egger Lienz and heraldic hall and Gothic castle chapel.
Andrews Parish Church: the town's oldest church with a grave plaque
of Leonhard, the last of the Counts of Gorz.
a representative building erected on the main square by the counts
- since the renovation of the building it is used as the town hall.
- since the renovation of the building it is used as the town hall.
Monastery and Church: from the 15th century, church nave of a
uniform Gothic character
Tower: part of the original town walls, 16th century
Oldest Painted Roadside Cross: in the Karntner Strasse, around
Monastery: 1220, among the oldest buildings in the town
Aguntum: the only Roman town in Tyrol, a blossoming trade and commercial centre in the 1st and 2nd centuries, an archaeological park today with the Aguntum Museum and excavation site
St. Ulrich's Pilgrimage Church with the remains of an early Christian
bishop's church within a castle refuge of the Late Antiquity (5th
The medieval town is located in the heart of the Radstadt Tauern, on the sunny terrace of the Enns Valley. Lanes, squares, buildings, bear witness to an ancient culture. The region's rich traditions are valued by the local people, and guests enjoy the warm hospitality.
Parish Church: late Romanesque, with Paul Hofhaymer memorial organ
late Gothic lantern of death in the town parish church graveyard
Church and Crypt: with Baroque high altar
Fortifications; 13th century, with fortifications and 3 fortified
towers (1527 - 1535)
Pond and Capuchin Tower: witness to old fortifications and Museum
of Local History
Metzgerloch, Baderstiege, Sparkassenpassage, Stocklloch, Graveyard:
6 passages from the town centre to the town walls
Castle: first mentioned in documents in 1298, renovated in 1779,
Museum of Local History
Church: Baroque church, for special occasions only
untouched medieval town, where invading Turks were thwarted, is the
smallest administrative district in Austria. Rust is the smallest town in
Austria with its own town rights. It is famous as the town of the storks and noble wines.
The picturesque ensemble of cultivated town houses from the 16th to the
19th century is surrounded on one side by the Rust hill country vineyards
and by Lake Neusiedl on the other. The decoration on the brightly
colored Baroque and Renaissance facades give the town its unmistakable
character. Romantic inns, wine taverns and restaurants indulge their
Church: 12th - 16th century fortified church without a tower,
containing the oldest frescos in Burgenland
"Eye of God" House: second quarter of the 18th century,
2 story oriel and gable with the "Eye of God"
Town Portal: built originally of wood in 1512, destroyed by the
Turks, rebuilt in stone in 1612
former observation tower, integrated into the town walls, which surround
almost all of the Old Town today.
Seehof: group of several private Baroque houses. Events and communication centre today and the seat of the Austrian Wine Academy
A picturesque town amidst lush meadows, carefully tended fields and the wooded hillsides of the Sau Forest. The old portals, baroque gables, quaint corners and winding lanes of Scharding that once enticed famous artists and writers, invite today's visitor to dwell among its attractive shops, sidewalk cafes and centuries old brewery inns. From May to September, visitors to Scharding can enjoy the Brunnenthal Concert series of Ancient Music. The Scharding Town Festival will take place June 5th to 8th, to be followed by Old Town Festival in August.
Upper Town Square with Silberzeile: town houses with baroque facades in the late medieval guild colors of the town
Linzer Tor: double portal with fortified wall passage
Passauer Tor: also known as All Saints Portal
Wassertor: low circular tower with a period roof and inner courtyard, fresco of St. Florian
Schlosstor: a museum of local history
Old Inn Bridge: with pilings from the 12th century.
and rich traditions make Spittal a town for all of the senses.
Renaissance buildings, such as the Porcia Palace,
Schuttpacher Town House or Khevenhuller Town Palace set the scene
for this visually stimulating city.
the local area, the people of Spittal's local mountain, and the
idyllically located Millstatt Lake promise an experience of peaceful
exploration and relaxation. A stroll through the Old Town is a
journey through history with interesting discoveries to be found at every
turn. Elegant, or traditional shops, farmers' markets, solid home
cooking, cozy cafes and pubs offer a social life by day and by night.
"Annunciation of Mary" Town Parish Church: built in
1307, burial place of numerous Ortenburgs
Brewery: late Baroque Josephinian facade, served as brewery to the
prices of Porcia
former hospice in the style of a Renaissance palace - accommodating the
technical college today
Town House: characteristic Renaissance citizen's house with inner
Town Palace: 3 story Renaissance building with arcades, the town
Palace: unique Renaissance work of art, the second floor
accommodates the Museum of Folklore
the confluence of the Enns and Steyr Rivers lies an especially delightful
jewel of old urban building art - the romantic town of Steyr. Time
seems to stand still here. Countless historic buildings and a very
special atmosphere entice one in all seasons for a walk through the town ,
or a raft trip from Steyr to Staning. Or simply to stroll at one's
leisure. Epicurean enjoyment of the Upper Austrian cuisine is to be
found here as equally as modern shops, antique markets, flea markets or
farmers' markets and top class events.
Hall: one of the most important Rococo memorial buildings in Austria
symbol of the town and the best preserved secular building in the province
Palace: built in 980, completely burnt down in 1727, and rebuilt by
the Lamberg counts as a Baroque palace
of Local History: museum with historical art and cultural
of Work Museum: unique industrial museum
from the 15th century, inner courtyard with 16th century arcade passage
Christkindl Place of Pilgrimage: Baroque Church of the Christ Child
A small, fine, historic but not antiquated town - of very human proportions. The historic town square of Wels, with its 64 town houses, counts among the loveliest enclosed urban squares in Austria. The inner part of the town was converted to the Baroque style in the 18th century. Building of the horse drawn railway and numerous industrial endeavors took place in the first half of the 19th century. Today, a leisurely stroll through the town, viewing old buildings discovering modern shops and stopping at a cozy cafe for delicious meal are only a few of the possibilities offered to visitors in Wels. Weekday markets, as well as seasonal, animal and theme markets ensure the vitality of the town and attract many people from the region.
the last of 4 town towers of the medieval town wall
Hall: Baroque facade with extremely beautiful window baskets
Monastery: from the 13th century, important frescos in the chancel
and cloister , event location and archeological museum.
, event location and archeological museum.
one of the loveliest arcade courtyards in Wels, from the 16th century
Castle: Emperor Maximilian I died here in 1519; culture and
Tower: built in 1577 as a water container for public fountains and
Museum: contains the Wels Town Gallery
snow covered mountains and the crystal clear Zell Lake, this magical
medieval town nestles against the rising slopes of the Schmittenhohe.
A leisurely and active feeling for life is complemented to make an
attractive mixture for local people as well as guests. Ancient inns,
restaurants, bars and pubs work their magic with their ambiance and
culinary pleasures. A variety of cultural and sport offers in all
Parish Church: from the 11th century, Gothic frescos, late Gothic
gallery, Baroque statues
Tower (Vogt Tower): Oldest building in the town (before 1,000),
formerly as military protection for the adjacent monastery, Museum of
Local History today
Palace: the symbol of Zell built in 1583 with a quadratic ground
plan, for corner towers and a round middle tower - influence of southern
Bavaria, the town hall today
Palace: Pinzgau residence from 1425
Erlhof: the oldest Thumersbach rural estate, mentioned in records in 1151