Austria is all mountains and lakes; there are numerous beautiful landscapes, castles, palaces and monasteries, historical cities, diverse cuisine, as well as theaters, opera, concert halls; benevolent people, opportunities for physical education and sports, recreation for the whole family ... The capital of Austria – Vienna – is a city of waltzes and parks. There is a large number of hotels In Vienna. The center of Vienna is covered with numerous monuments to composers that used to live there.
In Austria, which is considered the most beautiful country in Central Europe, tourists are attracted by the beauty of Vienna and the famous ski resorts, as well as the picturesque alpine villages of Tyrol, magnificent national parks and the "Lake District" in the western part of the country.
Vienna, located in the most picturesque place of the middle reaches of the Danube and surrounded by beautiful Vienna Woods, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is considered the "musical capital of Europe". Fusion of multiple cultures has created a unique architecture, badly damaged during World War II but almost completely restored by hard-working crowns.
The symbol of the city is St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stefansdom), the patron saint of the capital of Austria. The cathedral is more than 800 years old. There are the ancient catacombs located beneath the cathedral’s ground – it was the burial place of the representatives of the Habsburg dynasty. Its interior decoration is simply fascinating and beautiful, and its turret has a Turkish cannonball that fell into the cathedral during the Turkish siege of the city in the 16th century. On the walls of Stefansdom you can find the measurements – length, size and weight – which during the Middle Ages were checked at the time of purchase, and a magnificent view of the Danube and Vienna opens from its observation deck. Opposite the cathedral there is a beautiful Stefansplatz Square and the postmodern glass building of the Haas House commercial center. From the Square you can get to Graben Street – the "heart of the city" – another symbol of Vienna, with the Peitzoile Column, the Sacher hotel and the Peterskirche Church located on this street. The most fashionable shops are spread throught the city. It is interesting to look at nearby Michalerkirche, San Marie am Gheshtade, Franciscanerkirche, the Neo-Gothic Town Hall (1872-1883), one of the most beautiful squares in the world - the Josefplatz with the Palace Chapel and the Burgtheater (1874-1888), the building Parliament (1883), in front of which the statue of Athena-Pallada towers, and the famous Vienna Opera (1861-1869) - the site of the annual Opera Ball.
Southwest of Graben and Josefplatz there is a magnificent complex of the Hofburg Imperial Palace (13th-19th centuries) built on the site of the Bavarian fort (1278), which now houses a number of government organizations of the country and the OSCE. On the premises of the palace there are the Spanish Riding School - the famous Habsburg Winter Manege (1735), the exhibition of the Schatzkammer treasures (in its collection the crown of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian imperial crown made in 962), the separate hall of the Burgundian Treasury , Ceremonial robes, jewels and relics of the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Dukes of Burgundy, including the "Sacred Spear", which was allegedly pierced by the crucified Christ), the imperial reception hall and the bedroom of the Kaiser Franz Josef.
In the separate buildings of the complex are the Vienna House of Arts, the unique Austrian National Library (18th century) with more than 2 million books, notes, manuscripts and ancient manuscripts, as well as the Augustinian Church court and one of the world's richest art collections - Albertina Gallery (1800).
Near the Hofburg Palace there is a unique Petit-Pointe workshop, where handmade cross-stitched handbags, brooches and miniature snuff-kits have been made throughout centuries.
It is worth visiting the Church of St. Ruprecht and the summer residence of the Habsburgs - the Schönbrunn Palace, which has more than 1400 rooms and halls. Now there is the Weapons Museum, a collection of costumes and horse carriages "Wagenburg", a beautiful park with fountains, a greenhouse and a zoo. The palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, located on a hill in the south-eastern part of the city - Belvedere Castle (1714-1723) with the Gallery of Austrian Art of the 19th and 20th centuries (the largest collection of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka), the chambers of Archduke Ferdinand, the Baroque Church of Karlskirche (1739) and Stadtpark, the University, the palace of Count Manfeld-Fondi and the Vatican Church represent fine examples of architecture.
Beautiful parks, diverse in their appearance and purpose, are the pride of Vienna. Prater Park is considered to be the most "people’s" park in Vienna (it has been in operation since the 18th century) and is famous for the world's largest observation wheel (65 m) and excellent restaurants. Dozens of musical performances and symphony concerts are regularly held in the historic park of Augarten. The famous "Vienna Woods" park, located in the vicinity of the capital, in the foothills of the Eastern Alps, is an all-woods area with its own towns and hotels, resorts and thermal springs. Spreading between the picturesque valley of the Danube and the vineyards and famous Kurortnaya region of Baden and Bad Folslau, the Vienna Woods is a favorite place of recreation of the Viennese and the tourists.
In the Austrian capital there are probably more interesting museums than in any other city in the world.
No tourist can resist the temptation to visit the famous Viennese cafes and restaurants, which are as much an integral part of the city as Stefansdom or the "crooked house" of the Hundertwasser House. Vienna cafes are the oldest in the world. The most famous are the classical "Maria Theresa", the fashionable "Do-and-Co," the Modernist "Museum", as well as “Mozart”, “Fiacre”, “Central”, “Melange” and “Demel”, Freud's favorite cafe is "Landman", respectable "Sacher" and "Havelka", the walls of which are adorned with paintings left as a payment by famous artists, as well as "Dommeyer", where well-known Strauss made his debut.
The restaurants of the capital are no less famous and adorable. Historical "Piaristenkeller" has two own museums and offers dishes made by the recipes of the XVIII century. The "Greychenbaisl" restaurant is the oldest "drinking establishment" in Vienna; the tavern has been here since the 16th century. It was visited by almost all famous people of the country and the world - from Behowen and Strauss, to Mark Twain and Chaliapin. Also famous are Plasutta restaurants on Auhofstrasse, Temple on Praterstrasse, Hansen and Shtomakh, and wine cellars (Heirigher) in the Grinzing area. In Vienna, there are more than 180 cozy Heurigers - from tiny ones, not larger than a living room, where regular customers from neighboring streets come, to huge, elegantly furnished rooms, where you can find both middle-class residents and the “cream of society”.
The suburbs of Vienna are as beautiful as the capital itself. On the banks of the Danube, 70 km west of Vienna, you will find the ruins of the Dürnstein fortress (XII century), the prisoner of which was the legendary English King Richard the Lionheart. In Tulln, in the castle of Atzenburg, they hold concerts devoted to Schubert throughout the year (the estate of the uncle of the great composer wassituated here). According to the "Song of the Nibelungs," it was here that the first battle of the legendary Siegfried with the King of the Hunts Etzel (Attila) took place, and nearby are other ruins – the ruins of the fortress of Araburg, the last stronghold of Protestants in Austria. 25 km southwest of Vienna are the Cistercian monasteries of Heiligkenkreutz. In Gumpoldskirchen there is a castle of German knights with the Church of St. Michael and the statue of St. Nepomuk, which are situated on the picturesque bridge, as well as famous wine cellars. Another suburb town of Vienna is Klosterneuburg where local monks have been producing wine for almost a thousand years, so the local winemaking school is considered one of the oldest in Europe.
25 km south of the capital, among the green hills of Vienna Woods, fields and vineyards there is the famous Baden. This resort with healing hot sulfur springs was known even in the times of Ancient Rome: here in the 2nd century AD the camp of the Roman cohort was located; Marcus Aurelius spent the last years of his life here. In 1804-1834 the city was a summer imperial residence, and all the nobility and artists would gather here. Baden's healing water is also used today for bathing, drinking and preventing rheumatic diseases, arthrosis, spine and joint diseases, as well as for general recovery and rehabilitation procedures. Be sure to visit Theresienbad ("Baths of Theresa") and Theresiengarten ("Theresa's garden") with many exotic plants; they were laid in honor of the Empress Maria Theresa in 1792.
Gorgeous parks of Baden are another attraction: daily orchestra performances, "Beethoven's temple" gazebo, a flower clock and monuments of Strauss and Lanner, and from the end of June through the beginning of September the "summer arena" holds the Operetta Festival. Doblhoffark is known for its Schloss-Weikersdorf castle and a wonderful rosary where the famous "Baden’s days of roses" take place every year. The city gardens and parks on the outskirts of the city are seamlessly connected with Vienna Woods and vineyards of the Helental valley.
Baden has the largest casino in Europe, in the magnificent Palace of Congresses; there is a gallery in Beethoven’s house-museum, a majestic Villa Menotti, Junger’s gallery, the museum of the Emperor Franz Josef, the museum of dolls and games, a beautiful racecourse, many quiet streets with houses and villas in "Biedermeier" style, a large pedestrian area, cozy cafes and Heuriges. Next to Baden there are the beautiful Church of Klosterneuburg, the historic Purkersdorf and many chic villas and parks.
St. Pölten is a federal province of Lower Austria situated in the lower reaches of the Danube in the northeast of the country, on the border with Czech Republic and Slovakia. The capital of the province is St. Pölten. It is the oldest Austrian city and the youngest capital of the federal state. It would be interesting to visit the City Hall, the Museum Im Hof on Hessstrasse, the Pottenbrunn Palace with a collection of medieval cups, the Schallaburg Palace, the city's cultural center with the Festival Hall, the Exhibition Hall and the modern tower, the Historical Museum of Lower Austria and the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Baroque Palace of Carmeliterhof, Gothic cathedral House on the Domplatz square, the Bishop of Bischofshof museum and the Herzogenburg abbey, Nussdorf and the dinosaur park Traismower.
Most excursions start from St. Pölten and head to the area of beautiful vineyards - the Wachau Valley, to numerous small lakes surrounded by dense pine forests of the Waldviertel district or to the foot of the picturesque Vorallpenland mountain. In Asparn-en-der-Cai there is a prehistoric open-air museum, in Spits-an-Don-Donau - a navigation museum, and in Waldkirchen an der Thaya - a museum of dolls.
Castles and palaces
Medieval castles and palaces are scattered throughout the region. The palace of Artstetten (XVI century) with the Franz Ferdinand Museum, the palace church and the crypt where the Franz-Ferdinand and his wife were buried in Sarajevo in 1914. The most beautiful palaces of Lower Austria are the Baroque Rigersburg (1735) and the Renaissance Shallaburg, the ancient fortress of Rappotgenstein, one of the strongholds of Freemasonry is the Baroque palace of Rosenau, the Renaissance palace of Weitra (1606), the former border fortress of Raabas (XI century), the fortress of Wiener Neustadt (XIII c.) With the chapel of St. George (1460), the Renaissance castles of Greyllenstein and Rezenburg, Orth Castle (XIII century) in Ort an der Donau with a fishing museum and a museum of local lore, the summer residence of the emperor - Laxenburg and many other majestic structures.
Beautiful and local monasteries - the Benedictine abbey of Zaytensteten (1112, rebuilt in 1719-1947), a masterpiece of Austrian baroque - Melk (976, rebuilt in 1702-1736), Altenburg (1144) and Göttweig ( 1083), Augustine Durnstein (1410), Herzogenburg (1244) and Klosterneuburg (1114) with a magnificent treasury of works of art, as well as the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz (1133) with the Romanesque church, chapel (1295 g .) and stained-glass windows of the XIII century.
The Donau-Auen National Park is the largest nature reserve in Central Europe and protects more than 5 thousand species of animals and birds. Tayatal National Park is located in the valley of one of the finest rivers in Europe - Taia, the westernmost point, where many of the typical plant species of Pannonia grow. The banks of the river are covered with beautiful meadows, beautiful precipice of Paleozoic rocks and mountains with dozens of cliffs, which gives this park an amazing unique look.
Styria is a federal province of Austria bordering with Slovenia and famous for its huge number of medieval castles and "Land of Lakes" of Salzkammergut. Ancient castles and monasteries are scattered all over the region. Here is the largest in the country baroque Rigersburg fortress with a gothic chapel, a real knight's hall and a collection of medieval weapons, a Renaissance castle of Herberstein (XIII-XVII centuries) with an armory and a hall of family portraits, the pilgrimage Church of Mariazell (1157) with a treasure trove, a chapel with a silver altar (1727) and a miracle-working statue of the 13th century, the former Abbey of the Order of Cistercians in Neuburg an der Murz (1350-1612), the Augustinian monastery in Forau (1163), the oldest Austrian monastery of the Order Cistercians in the Rhine (1 129) or the unique Benedictine monastery in Göss (1000), as well as many other monuments of history and architecture.
The administrative center of Styria, Graz is one of the ancient outposts of the Austrian Empire on the Turkish border and one of the most original cities in the country. In the city you will find the episcopal palace, the ruins of the Schlossberg castle (XI century) destroyed by Napoleon in the XI century, with the clock tower of Urturm and the Glockenturm bell tower, the 13th-century Teutonic knights cathedral, the Old Town Hall (16th century), the Domkirche church (XII) ), The Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II (1614), the famous Opera, which hosts Opera-Reduit in January and the Christmas in Styria (January), the University, the Museum of Styria (including the Museum of Applied Arts with a rich collection of items from tin and iron), the Museum of Criminalistics, Arsenal ("Zooghaus") with the world's largest collection of medieval weapons (over 30,000 exhibits), the Museum of Aeronautics, Schloss Eggenburg Castle (1625) with the Archaeological Museum, the Alte-Galeri Gallery with a large collection of medieval art and the Herbstein Palace (XVII century) with an art gallery.
The most attractive vacation spot in Styria is the "Land of Lakes" of Salzkammergut. Together with Lake Altausseer-See, Lake Grundlsee (length - 6 km, width - about a kilometer) forms a picturesque alpine landscape which has been a source of attraction for tourists and artists for decades. There are a lot of legends about Lake Toplittsee with its uneven stony banks and cliffs of the Dead Mountains. The Stubenbergsee Lake is picturesque and charming, located in the east of Styria, and there are beautiful stalactite caves near the Peggau.
South Carinthia, which is often called the "Austrian Riviera", is an infinite number of mountains and valleys, about 1270 picturesque lakes, with small resort towns with first-class hotels scattered throughout the area, beautiful beaches and a complete recreational infrastructure, as well as world famous skiing centers.
Klagenfurt and the main resorts
The capital of Carinthia, Klagenfurt, was founded in 1252 near the picturesque Lake Wörth-See. This is a very beautiful place, famous for its park "Minimundus" - the museum of world architecture represented by masterpieces that are 25 times smaller than the originals; there is also a miniature but fully functioning railway station and a small port with models of the ships. Local attractions include the Renaissance Town Hall with the coat of arms, the baroque Palace of the Bishop (18th century), the Cathedral (16th century), the Carinthian Museum, as well as the Happa Reptile Zoo and the Dinosaur Park with one of the richest collections of amphibians in Europe. Velden, which has spread out in the western bay of Wörther See, among wooded Alps, is one of the country's best lake resorts with the most modern hotels, casinos, beach cafes, shops and excellent cuisine, along with beautiful resorts of Pertchach with a water park, Warmbad Filiah with its thermal springs and a national park (20 hectares), green Krumpendorf and picturesque Maria-Wert on a small peninsula on the southern shore of the lake. Thermal complex Bad Blumau (15 thousand square meters of water area) with indoor and outdoor thermal pools (water temperature +36 C) is considered one of the most modern and technically equipped in Europe – with the largest variety of services in the world.
Fortresses and monasteries
In Carinthia there are many medieval fortresses and monasteries - the castle of Portia on River Drau, Landkron over Lake Osiazer-See and the main Carinthian fortress - the castle of Hochosterwitz, as well as the Dominican monastery of Frisach with its magnificent Basilica (1300), the Benedictine Abbeys St. Paul-im-Lavanthal (1091), Ossiach (founded approximately in 1028) and Millstatt (1060-1068) with the Basilica (XII century.), Romanesque arcade and an excellent museum. In Maria-Zaal there is an open air Museum of Wooden Architecture representing real peasant full size houses, as well as architectural features, traditions and lifestyle of the Austrian village. In Treffen there is the Ally Riel Museum of Dolls, which exhibits beautiful dolls (more than 650 of them) handmade by the owner of the museum. In Gmund there is a "Porsche" private car museum with more than 30 models of cars of the famous brand since 1950-s.
But the real treasure of Carinthia is its nature. The most famous lakes of the country are concentrated here - Wörther See, Ossiacher See, Millstarter-See and Weissensee, as well as small Afritzer-See, Faaker-See with unique landscapes, Feld-See, Koichachher-See, Klopainer-See (the warmest in Austria), Pressegger See and Langsee with amazingly clean and, thanks to thermal springs, warm water. Mount Obir, located near the Eisenkappel, southwest of Carinthia, is famous for its stalactite caves. In the National Park Nockberg, which stretches at an altitude of 1300-2440 m, you can enjoy the majestic mountain landscapes and get acquainted with the centuries-old traditions of Austria. National Park High Tauern that occupies the total of 1187 square km
attracts people with the beauty of its peaks, glaciers, lakes and waterfalls, highland flora and fauna, as well as a wonderful mountain village of Heiligenblut ("holy blood"), that has been transformed into a modern tourist center. The Rosegg reserve protects more than 350 different species of animals and fragile alpine flora. Nearby there is also a scary ravine of Ragga with small bridges hanging over it.
The Federal Province of Upper Austria is located in the northern part of the country, on the border with Czech Republic and Germany.
Linz is the main city of the earth and a major port on the Danube. The main landmarks of Linz are the Trinity Column (1723), the Landhaus (Town Hall, the 16th century), the Alter Dom Cathedral (the 17th century), the Kehlermarkt National Garden and the Weinberg Castle (15th century). Like many Austrian cities, Linz is famous for its museums - the Museum of Upper Austria, the City Museum, the New Gallery and the Diocesan Museum.