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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Linz

LinzLinz

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.

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City Center

Hauptplatz

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The Hauptplatz, the original market square (220m/240yds long and 60m/65yds wide), surrounded by handsome Baroque buildings, forms the center of the old town. On the eastern side of the square stands the 17th C. Rathaus and opposite it, in the middle of the square, the Trinity Column (Dreifaltigkeitssäule), a 20m/66ft high column of Untersberg marble erected in 1723 in thanksgiving for the town's preservation from plague and Turkish attack. Obliquely across from the Rathaus (No. 18) is the Feichtingerhaus, with a beautifully arcaded courtyard.

Boat Station

Downstream from the bridge (the "Nibelungenbrücke") in Linz at the end of the Hauptplatz is the Boat Station (Schiffsstation). From here a boat trip can be taken along the Danube in either the Passau or Vienna direction.

Adalbert Stifter Institute

On the Untere Donaulände (No. 6) in Linz will be found the house in which Adalbert Stifter the novelist lived from 1848 until his death in 1868. From 1850 until 1865 he was Inspector of Schools for Upper Austria; today his house is the headquarters of the Adalbert Stifter Institute.

Brucknerhaus

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Downstream from the Adalbert Stifter Institute in Linz stands the Brucknerhaus (by H. Siren, 1969-73), a multi-purpose building used for concerts and conference purposes, with modern sculptures on the lawns nearby. Bruckner worked as organist in Linz for a number of years. Every autumn the International Bruckner Celebrations and the Ars Electronica are held in Linz.
Address: Untere Donaulände 7, A-4020 Linz, Austria

Parish Church of Mariä Himmelfahrt

In the Pfarrplatz in Linz stands the parish church (Stadtpfarrkirche) of Mariä Himmelfahrt, originally Gothic but remodeled in Baroque style in 1648 (frescos by B. Altomonte); it received its characteristic helm roof in 1818. Anton Bruckner was organist here and also in the Old Cathedral from 1856 to 1868. Behind a red marble slab on the right of the high altar is buried the heart of the Emperor Frederick III; his body is interred in St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Note the Chapel of St Nepomuk in the south aisle, with a view of Linz in the year 1694 on St Florian's altar.
The foundations of the church were laid in 1286, and the structure was originally a three-naved Romanesque basilica.
The paintings in the church are impressive, including works by Karl von Resfeld, Bartolomeo Altomonte and Joachim von Sandrart.

Alter Dom (Ignatiuskirche)

Nearby the Parish Church of Mariä Himmelfahrt in Linz, to the south, is the twin-towered Jesuit church of St Ignatius (Ignatiuskirche), until 1909 the Cathedral (Alter Dom, Old Cathedral), an aiseless church richly decorated by Italian artists (1669-78). The organ, on which Bruckner played, has become known as the "Bruckner Organ". The high altar dates from 1683 and the pulpit from 1678. Note also the richly carved choir stalls (1633), depicting grotesque human and animal figures and strange dwarfs.

Upper Austrian Provincial Museum

To the east of the Church of St Ignatius, at Museumstrasse 14 in Linz, will be found the Upper Austrian Provincial Museum (Landesmuseum). On display are natural history collections and a permanent exhibition "The Soil of Linz" (principal exhibits now in the castle).

Municipal Museum

A well-restored Baroque building of 1607 in Linz, known as Nordico, houses the Municipal Museum. The name "Nordico" recalls the time when boys from northern Europe were given a Catholic education here. The exhibits document the history of the city from its early beginnings to the present day.
The museum was originally a suburban house, built between 1606 and 1610 by Francesco Silva. The house belonged to the Kremsmünster Monastery and was used to train Scandinavian men in the Jesuit faith. Conversion work also took place at the house between 1673 and 1675.
Remains of frescos by Jakob Antonio Manta can still be seen in the main hall.

Landhaus

The Landhaus (seat of the provincial government of Upper Austria), to the southwest of the Linz Hauptplatz, was built in 1564-71 on the site of an earlier Monorite convent and rebuilt after a fire in the early 19th C. The magnificent doorway bears the coats of arms of the original Austrian provinces. The center-piece of the fine arcaded courtyard, in which serenaded concerts are given, is the octagonal Planet Fountain (1582). The astronomer Kepler (1571-1630) taught from 1612 to 1626 in the college which then occupied the building.

Minorite Church

The little Linz Minorite Church (Minoritenkirche), a charming Roccoco building of 1758, has a massive high altar and three altars of red marble on each side, with paintings by M. J. Schmidt ("Kremser Schmidt"; see Krems).
The present church was part of a monastery founded in 1236. It has a singlenaved structure includes beautiful stucco work by Kaspar Modler and a painting on the high alter by Bartolomeo Altomonte.

Altstadt

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In the Linz street known as the Altstadt, which runs northwards from the Landhaus towards the Danube, can be seen the finest old houses in Linz.

Upper Austrian Provincial Theater

To the west of the Landhaus in Linz stands the Theater (Landestheater), built in 1803 and extended by Clemens Holzmeister in 1956 to include a hall for chamber music.
The site was originally a customs house compound but was turned into a riding school in 1670. The theater was added in 1803, with a facade in the Empire style. In 1909, the riding school was demolished, and the site became an open air practice area, while the adjacent Ballhaus became a building for indoor ball games.
The theater itself was redesigned in 1957and extended to included a separate building for smaller theater productions.
Address: Promenade 39, A-4020 Linz, Austria

Street Artists' Festival

This annual festival take place in July throughout the streets of Linz.

Linz Schloss

Picturesquely situated on a hill over the river Danube, the Linz Castle castle now houses a museum containing various provincial artifacts.
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Sights to the South and West

Landstrasse

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The north-south axis of Linz is the Landstrasse, 1,200m/0.75mi long, from the Promenade towards the main railroad station. On the east side stand the Ursuline Church (Ursulinenkirche, 1732-72) and the Carmelite Church (Karmelitenkirche, 1674-1726). To the east, in Harrachstrasse, the Seminary Church (Seminarkirche) is a small round church with a fine interior, built in 1717-25 for the Teutonic Order.

New Cathedral

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Parallel to the Landstrasse in Linz on the west runs Herrenstrasse, on the western side of which stands the New Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Neuer Dom, Maria-Empfängnis-Dom), a three-aisled Neo-Gothic pillared basilica of yellow sandstone with an ambulatory surrounded by a ring of chapels. This massive building, constructed between 1862 and 1924 to the plans of the Cologne architect Vinzenz Statz, covers a rather larger area than St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna and has a tower 135m/445ft high. The great organ was built in 1968. In the crypt lies the grave of the greatest of all the bishops of Linz, Franz Josef Rudigier.
The cathedral includes a spectacular stained glass window called the "Linz-Window," depicting the history of the town.
Also worth noting is a large nativity scene kept in the crypt. The figures ware by Sebastian Osterrieder.

Bishop's Palace

To the northeast of the Linz New Cathedral, in Herrenstrasse, stands the Bishop's Palace (Bischöfliches Palais; 1721-26).
The Bishop's Palace, also known as the Bischofshof, was built between 1721 and 1726 by Franz Michael Pruckmayer, based on designs by Jakob Prandtauer. The building was originally part of the Kremsmünster monastery, but later became the seat of the bishop of Linz.
An iron gateway and staircase designed by Valentin Hoffman in 1227 has been preserved on the site and can still be seen.

Capuchin Church

Some 300m/325yds west of the Linz New Cathedral stands the Capuchin Church (Kapuzinerkirche; 1660-62). Here, marked by an epitaph, lies buried the heart of Count Montecuccoli, victor over the Turks in the battle of Mogersdorf (1664), and who died at Linz in 1680.

Botanic Gardens and Stadium

To the west of the town of Linz, on the eastern slopes of the Freinberg (336m/1,102ft) are the Botanic Gardens and the Stadium. Higher up, in Freinberger Strasse, are the Linz radio transmitter and a Jesuit convent, with a massive round tower which formed part of the town's defenses in 1835.

Urfahr and Surroundings

New Gallery

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.

Pöstlingberg

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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.
Address: Brucknerhaus, Untere Donaulände 7, A-4010 Linz, Austria

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.

Ursuline Church

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.

Seminary Church

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.

Carmelite Church

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.

Old Cathedral

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.

Kremsmünsterhaus

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

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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.
Address: Hauptstrasse 2, A-4040 Linz, Austria

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.

Mozarthaus

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.

Waaghaus

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.

Surroundings

Kremsmunster, Austria

Kremsmünster, some 35km/22mi southwest of Linz in the Krems valley, is famous for its Benedictine abbey (founded in 777), which is visible from afar on its lofty perch above the valley.
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Kremsmünster Benedictine Abbey

The church, originally a Romanesque-Gothic building of the 13th C., was remodeled in Baroque style in 1709-31. The tall and light interior is decorated with stucco-work and frescos.

Church

The church, originally a Romanesque-Gothic building of the 13th C., was remodeled in Baroque style in 1709-31. The tall and light interior is decorated with stucco-work and frescos. The high altarpiece by J. A. Wolf portrays the Transfiguration of Christ. On the side altars can be seen impressive figures of kneeling angels by Michael Zürn the Younger, and those of standing angels, also by Zürn, on the altars along the walls of the nave. On the right near the entrance can be found the Gunther Grave, a stone tablet with sculpted figures (c. 1300); legend has it that the abbey was built on the spot where Gunther, the son of the Bavarian Duke Tassilo, was killed while hunting.

Treasury

The principal feature of the abbey is the Treasury, accessible from the transept of the church. On display there is the valuable Tassilo Chalice (Tassilo-Kelch) of about 780, a gilded copper vessel, one of the most beautiful examples of the medieval goldsmiths' art and portraying Christ and His Disciples and other scenes on its richly-decorated surface. Also exhibited are the Tassilo Candlesticks.

Conventional Buildings

The buildings we see today were erected in the 17th and 18th C. The Imperial Hall (Kaisersaal) dates from 1685. The magnificently appointed library (1675) above the refectory contains, among its 100,000 volumes, the Codex Millenarius, a valuable eighth C. manuscript of the Gospels. The library also houses an exhibition of musical instruments.

Fish Ponds

Of interest is a symmetrically balanced group of five fish ponds (1691), surrounded by arcades and decorated with mythical figures.

Observatory

The Observatory (1748-59), 50m/165ft high, contains natural history collections and a cabinet of anthropoligical and folk art exhibits dating from the turn of the century. There is a chapel on the upper floor.

School

The Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter was a pupil from 1818-26 at the school near the observatory. Stifter was an acknowledged master at describing nature.

Motor Vehicle Museum

About 1.5km/1mi east of Kremsmünster stands Schloss Kremsegg, which houses a motor vehicle museum. There are over 100 vehicles (cars and motorcycles) displayed on four floors, including veteran cars such as a 1910 Mercedes Benz Chauffeur Limousine and a 1913 Audi C 14/35.

Bad Hall

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Bad Hall (388m/1,273ft; pop. 5,000), southeast of Kremsmünster, is a spa with a brine spring containing iodine and bromine; recommended for heart and vascular complaints, it is one of the strongest of its kind in Europe. It has a treatment complex and indoor thermal pool, and is the headquarters of the Paracelus Institute for Iodine Research (1950). Of note are the castle (1645) and the Late Classical town hall; there is also a spa park.

Robert Stolz Operetta Festival

This annual festival runs over six weekends, from late June to early August. There are performances every Friday and Saturday evening in the Kurtheater. The operettas are usually all works of Robert Stolz, but there are also classical concerts with works of other composers.
Address: Hauptplatz 5, A-4540 Bad Hall, Austria

Schlierbach

South of Kremsmünster, off the main road, lies the village of Schlierbach (407m/1,335ft; pop. 2,500), with a Cistercian abbey founded in 1355. The church was rebuilt by P. F. and C. A. Carlone in the late 17th C. in splendid Baroque style, with a sumptuous interior.

Krems Valley

To the north of Kremsmünster extends the beautiful and interesting Krems valley. Near Kematen stands Schloss Weyer (13th-14th C.). Neuhofen was the birthplace in 1606 of Georg von Derfflinger, a peasant's son who rose to become a field-marshal in the Brandenburg service (d. 1695). Neuhof is now a popular holiday center. West of the valley, near the motorway, lies Pucking; its St Leonard's Church (15th and 18th C.) has some fine old frescos. Ansfelden, 4km/2.5mi northeast by the motorway, was the birthplace of the composer Anton Bruckner (1824-96). He was cathedral organist in Linz from 1856 and later professor of music at the Vienna Conservatory.

Wilhering

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, Austria

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.

Walding Zoo

9mi northwest of Linz is the Walding Zoo with its collection of animals.

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