Linz, Austria Tourist Attractions
Linz, capital of Upper Austria, is Austria's third largest city after Vienna and Graz. It is attractively situated on both banks of the Danube, which widens here after emerging from its narrow passage through the outliers of the Bohemian Forest into the Linz basin.
Linz first appears in the records as the Roman fortified camp of Lentia in the second C. A.D. In 1490 the Emperor Frederick III, who resided here from 1485 to 1493, bestowed the rank of "Hauptstadt" (chief town or capital), and in 1497 the town was granted permission to build a bridge over the Danube. It became the see of a bishop in 1785. Among those who lived and worked in Linz were the novelist Adalbert Stifter, Mozart, Kepler and Anton Bruckner. The town, now busy with industry and commerce, has extensive port installations. The main part is situated on the right bank of the Danube, backed on the west by the Freinberg (336m/1,102ft). On the left bank lies the district of Urfahr, with the Pöstlingberg (538m/1,765ft) rising above it to the northwest. Among the principal industrial establishments in Linz are the VO+ST-Alpine AG iron and steel works and Chemie Linz AG (chemicals).
Picturesquely situated on a hill over the river Danube, the Linz Castle castle now houses a museum containing various provincial artifacts.
Urfahr and Surroundings
The district of Urfahr, on the left bank of the Danube, was a separate commune until 1919. To the right, beyond the bridge, stands the parish church (Pfarrkirche; 1690-1702), and to the left the Neues Rathaus.
Blütenstrasse 15 is the home of the New Gallery of the Town of Linz (open: Mon.- Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; also Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in autumn and winter. Exhibited are 19th and 20th C. pictures and sculptures; there are also special exhibitions from time to time.
Above Urfahr to the northwest rises the prominent hill known as the Pöstlingberg (538m/1,765ft), which can be reached either by electric railroad or by road (5.5km/3.5mi). The Pilgrimage church (1738-48) on the Pöstlingberg has an 18th C. Pietà of carved wood which is the object of great veneration. The finest view is towards evening, with the Mühlviertel and the foothills of the Bohemian Forest to the north, and the chain of the Calcareous Alps, from the Wiener Schneeberg to the Schafberg, to the south.
International Bruckner Festival
This annual three-week festival runs from mid-September to early October and includes a wide range of events. There are operas, dance recitals, theatrical performances, film screenings and art exhibitions, as well as concerts by famous symphonies, and choral and chamber orchestras.The venues include the Brucknerhaus, the St Florian Abbey and the Wilhering Abbey.
Chamber Music Festival at Tillysburg Palace
This annual four-day festival takes place in mid-July and includes candlelight chamber concerts. The performances are held in the inner courtyard of the baroque palace.
The church was constructed by master builders Johann Haslinger and J.M. Krinner between 1736 and 1772, and includes statues by F.J. Mähl.The church also contains paintings by Bartolomeo Altomonte and Antonio Belucci, as well as a fresco on the high altar by Martin Altomonte.The structure includes two towers decorated with figures by F.J. Mähl and Ignaz Hiebel.The site housed an Ursuline convent until 1968, when it was vacated. In 1973 the Upper Austrian authorities bought the church and turned it into a cultural center.
The Seminary Church was constructed by J.M. Prunner between 1718 and 1725, based on designs by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt.The structure includes an oval-shaped center with wall and ceiling decorations by Paolo d'Allio. The high altar was designed by Hildebrandt, with a wonderful painting by Martin Altomonte. The side altar paintings are by Joseph Schmidt.
The church is a duplicate of St Joseph's Church in Prague. Construction took place between 1674 and 1726, and included the participation of J.M. Prunner.The church includes various impressive paintings by Carlo Carlone, Martine Altomonte, J.A. Wolf and Carl von Reslfeld.
Johannes Kepler lived in Linz between 1612 and 1626. In 1622, he and his family moved to the Altenbstraver family home on Rathausgasse 5, where he wrote his "Tabulae Rudolphinae."He also established his first printing shop in the house in 1745.
These two houses first belonged to Gotthard von Starhemberg. They were handed down to Emperor Frederick III in 1493, and it is said that he died there in the same year. The building was then bought by the monastery of Kremsmünster in 1507, and converted by architect Christoph Canevale in the Renaissance style later in the century.Further construction, including the erection of turrets with onion domes, and a further story was carried out in 1616, based on designs by Maz Martin Spaz.The building was restored in 1984-5 and a memorial room dedicated to Emperor Frederick III was added on the second floor.
Ars Electronica Center
The Linz Electronica Center to showcases the city's reputation as a dynamic center of technology, media, industry and art. It has been labeled Europe's first Museum of the Future.The center is also the site of the annual Ars Electronica Festival, which awards a Prix Ars Electronica for world leaders in computer music, animation, interactive art and World Wide Web design.Temporary and special exhibitions are held regularly at the center.
Holy Trinity Pillar
The 20 meter Baroque Pillar of the Holy Trinity was completed in 1723. The column was made by Sebastian Stumpfegger, based on a model by Antonio Beducci. The marble structure is topped with a gold-colored sculpture of the Holy Trinity. There are also three inscriptions from the provincial estates, the city council and the residents of Linz, in appreciation of their escape from war, fire and the plague.The pillar stands in the old quarter of Linz.
Mozart composed the "Linz Symphony" while staying in this house in 1783. The house is a three-story Renaissance structure, built in the late 16th century, and originally the home of the Count of Thun. Among the objects of interest is a fresco of the Count's coat of arms, painted by Professor Dimmel in 1957.There is also a 17th century arcaded courtyard and a plaque in memory of Josef Urbanski, the designer of the Pöstlingberg railway, who lived here in the late 19th century.
Old Town Hall
The building was rebuilt by Master Christoph in 1513/14 after a major fire. Parts of that design still exist, including the octagonal corner Turret with a lunar clock, as well as a number of vaulted rooms. In 1658/59 the town hall was combined with the neighboring building.The facade is decorated with portraits of various important people from local history. Also impressive is the arcaded courtyard.
The building is currently a municipal indoor market. Originally, it had been the property of the Scherffenberger family, until 1524, when it was sold to the municipality and joined with the town armory. The house was also the former site of the public weights office.
Finance and Tax Collection Museum
The Finance and Tax Collection Museum in Linz is of interest to both financial and lay people. It has information on tax collection in the city.
Motor Vehicle Museum
The Motor Vehicle Museum in Linz is sure to be of interest to automotive enthusiasts.
The Surveying Collection in Linz is of interest to engineers and technical people.
West of Linz, on the southern bank of the Danube, stands the little town of Wilhering (269m/883ft). The Cistercian abbey here was founded in 1146 and rebuilt in the 18th C. after a fire. The art gallery contains sketches and drawings by Austrian Baroque painters. The church, bathed in light, has a Roccoco interior which is one of the finest examples of this style in Austria. There are attractive frescos by B. Altomonte (including the Glorification of the Mother of God) and fine choir stalls and wall graves.
Cider Making Museum, Amstetten
Amstetten is situated on the border of Lower and Upper Austria, southeast of Linz. It has an interesting Cider Making Museum as well as a museum of weapons and the Ardagger Gallery.
9mi northwest of Linz is the Walding Zoo with its collection of animals.
Map of Linz Attractions