Krems an der Donau Tourist Attractions
Krems, the chief town of Lower Austria, lies at the northeastern end of the Wachau, where the River Krems joins the Danube. The old town is built on higher ground at the mouth of the Krems valley, with the newer districts on the banks of the Danube. It is now a busy industrial town. First mentioned in the records in 995, Krems received its municipal charter in the 12th century and developed into a coin minting center (the "Kremser Pfennig"). It was a flourishing trade center up to the 19th century; in 1938 it was joined with Stein an der Donau and now, together with Stein and some other districts, it possesses its own statutory powers.
The main east-west axis of the Krems an der Donau Old Town, which still preserves many burghers' houses of the Gothic period, is formed by the Obere and Unter Landstrasse. At its western end stands the Steiner Tor (Stein Gate) of 1480, the last of four medieval town gates and the principal landmark and emblem of Krems, with a tall Baroque tower (1754) flanked by two round towers with pointed roofs.
In the Obere Landstrasse in Krems an der Donau stands the Rathaus, a gift from Ulrich von Dachsberg in 1453. In 1549 a Renaissance columned hall was added; note the beautiful oriel window of 1548.
Opposite the Rathaus, to the south, the Krems an der Donau Bürgerspitalkirche (1470) has large windows with rich tracery; also worth studying are the pictures depicting the Stations of the Cross (c. 1800; by Andreas Rudroff) and the charming little tabernacle.
At the corner "Zum täglichen Markt" ("the daily market") in Krems an der Donau stands the Göglhaus (12th-15th C.), with a Late Gothic oriel window (private chapel). From here a narrow lane runs north to the Pfarrplatz, on the western side of which stands the Pfarrhof (Presbytery), with an 18th C. symmetrical facade, a relic of the old 13th C. Passauerhof which was demolished in 1882.
Parish Church of St Veit
The parish church (Pfarrkirche St Veit), originally Romanesque, in Krems an der Donau, was remodeled first in Gothic and then in Baroque style (by C. Biasino, 1616-30). The ceiling paintings (1787) and the paintings on the side altars were the work of Martin Johann Schmidt (1718-1801), a very productive Baroque artist who lived in Krems and is generally known as Kremser Schmidt, (Schmidt of Krems). The high altar, pulpit and choir-stalls were the work of J. M. Götz.
From the Parish church of St Veit in Krems an der Donau, Margaretengasse ascends to the Hoher Markt, passing the Sgraffitohaus at No. 5 (c. 1560), so called because of the masterpieces of graffiti art by Hans von Pruch on its walls.
The southern side of the Hoher Markt in Krems an der Donau is dominated by the Gozzoburg, built in 1260-70 by a municipal judge named Gozzo; the tripartite building boasts a fine loggia and an arcaded courtyard decorated with coats of arms.
In Krems an der Donau, Piaristengasse leads up to the Piarist Church (Piaristenkirche), a handsome Late Gothic building (1475-1520). Most of the altar pieces are by Kremser Schmidt; choir-stalls of 1600. From here a covered lane, the Piaristenstiege, returns to the Pfarrplatz.
Former Dominican Church
To the west of the Pfarrplatz in Krems an der Donau stands the former Dominican Church (13th century), a Late Romanesque and Early Gothic building which was restored in 1968-71 and, together with the cloister, chapterhouse and refectory of the old Dominican priory, now forms a richly stocked Historical Museum. The church is also used for concerts.
This is Austria's largest art hall, hosting numerous international events every year. Exhibitions, lectures, concerts and all types of other cultural events are held in the hall, which was modernized and enlarged in 1995.The very modern building is a stark contrast to the Medieval architecture found throughout the rest of Krems.
The origin of the name Hadersdorf, 15km northeast of Krem, was mentioned for the first time in the year 865. The historical market place is well worth seeing.
The Motorcycle Museum in Krems an der Donau displays a number of bikes.
Map of Krems an der Donau Attractions