NATURE, CULTURE AND RIVERSIDE REVERIE
WHERE INSPIRATION FLOWS
DANUBE CULTURE: Music on the water // DANUBE WALKS: Up and away // DANUBE TRAILS: Car-free yet mobile, gardens and parks // DANUBE FLAVOURS: Sarah and the Wels catfish // DANUBE PERSONALITIES: Gregor Seberg // POINTS OF DEPARTURE: Tips and events
© WienTourismus/Lukas Beck, Niederösterreich-Werbung/Robert Herbst, WGD Tourismus GmbH/Weissenbrunner, zero one film
contents Cover photo: view of Dürnstein, © Steve Haider
// F ive years of partnership for the Danube
August 2008: with the Danube cruiser Anton Bruckner rocking in the wash, provincial governors Josef Pühringer (Upper Austria), Erwin Pröll (Lower Austria) and Michael Häupl (Vienna) put their signatures to a document which will establish the Donau Österreich brand as a primary Austrian tourism venture and first-class destination among visitors to the country. The multi-region Donau Österreich partnership is born! Made up of five partners – Donau Oberösterreich, Donau Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich Tourismus, Niederösterreich Werbung and WienTourismus – this joint venture would go on to focus on promoting and marketing Danube-related events and products in Austria, while also improving the quality of the attractions and enhancing the overall visitor experience. The Danube plays a significant part in the Austrian economy. Contributing around 14 million overnight stays and 6.5 million arrivals each year, this vital region is a major draw for the nation’s tourist industry. This issue of the Danube magazine reveals some of the many reasons why this part of the country is so popular. ARGE Donau Österreich
A wine lover’s paradise Stunning wine regions lining the Lower Austrian stretch of the Danube
Wachau | Kremstal | Kamptal | Traisental | Wagram | Carnuntum A magnet for lovers of fine food, wine and culture from all over the world Wine tour packages, booking and information: Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus Schlossgasse 3, 3620 Spitz | www.donau.com | firstname.lastname@example.org www.donau.com/weinstrassen
04 ENCOUNTERS Images of three provinces and their love affair with the Danube 10 DANUBE CULTURE Musical events 14 DANUBE WALKS The high life 16 DANUBE TRAILS Car-free fun 18 DANUBE GARDENS Parks and gardens along the river 20 DANUBE FLAVOURS Sarah Wiener and the Wels catfish 24 DANUBE PERSONALITIES Interview with Gregor Seberg 26 POINTS OF DEPARTURE Tips and events
DONAU ÖSTERREICH CONTACT DETAILS Upper Austria: contact Donau Oberösterreich WGD Tourismus GmbH, 4040 Linz, Lindengasse 9 T +43 732 7277-800, email@example.com, www.danube.at Lower Austria: contact Donau Niederösterreich 3620 Spitz/Donau, Schlossgasse 3 T +43 2713 30060-60, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.donau.com Vienna Tourist Board Tourist Info, 1010 Vienna, Albertinaplatz/Maysedergasse T +43 1 24555, email@example.com, www.vienna.info CREDITS Responsible for content: ARGE Donau Österreich, Lindengasse 9, 4040 Linz, T +43 (0)732 7277-800, www.austria.info/donau | Project management: Petra Riffert | Editorial and production: LWmedia, Ringstrasse 44/1, 3500 Krems, T +43 (0)2732 82000, www.lwmedia.at, LWmedia CEO: Erwin Goldfuss | Editor-in-chief: Fritz Gillinger | Art director: Martin Bauer | Graphic designer: Christian Eckart | Copy: Fritz Gillinger, Bernhard Mayerhofer, Anita Ericson, Thomas Rambauske, Barbara Hutter | Photos: LWmedia-Archiv/Shutterstock, zVg, WienTourismus/Lukas Beck, Niederösterreich-Werbung/Robert Herbst, WGD Tourismus GmbH/Weissenbrunner, zero one film, OÖN/Volker Weihbold, Steve Haider, Donau Niederösterreich/Semrad, WienTourismus/Popp & Hackner, Alexander Haiden, Beyer, www.foto-schadauer.com, Musical Vienna Elisabeth 2003, Gamma Presse Images, Werner Kmetitsch, Wiener Philharmoniker_Richard Schuster, kunsthistorisches museum wien, WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud, Österreich Werbung/Peter Burgstaller, WienTourismus/Heinz Angermayr, Donau Niederösterreich/Steve Haider, HDR/Gerhard Obermayr, Karl Ploberger, St. Florianer Sängerknaben, TVLEckerstorfer, Renaissanceschloss Schallaburg, WienTourismus/Karl Thomas. Copy deadline: November 2012 No liability accepted for errors or omissions. Content subject to change without notice.
© Donau OÖ/Weissenbrunner
upper austria // ENCOUNTERS
Schlögener Schlinge hairpin
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BEER AND CUISINE CHANGE OF PACE DANUBE CRUISE DANUBE CYCLE PATH DANUBE FESTIVAL DONAUSTEIG HIKING TRAIL DOWN-TO-EARTH EUROPE’S LIFELINE FERRIES FRESH PRODUCE FULL OF ENERGY LEGENDARY CULTURAL LIFE LINZER KLANGWOLKE LINZER TORTE NATURAL PARADISE REGIONAL CUISINE SAUWALD POTATOES SCHLÖGENER SCHLINGE HAIRPIN STIFTSKONZERTE STRUDENGAU danube magazine 2013 // 05
© Donau Niederösterreich/Lachlan Blair
lower austria // ENCOUNTERS
Weissenkirchen in the Wachau valley
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APRICOTS ASPARAGUS BOAT CRUISEs CARNUNTUM CULTURE DANUBE CYCLE PATH ENJOYMENT GRAFENEGG MUSIC FESTIVAL hiking trail WELTERBESTEIG wachau HOSPITALITY KREMS LUXURY ROOM MARCHFELD MELK ABBEY SOLSTICE TULLN WACHAU GOURMET FESTIVAL WACHAUER LABERL WACHAU VALLEY WAGRAM WINE ROUTE WINE TAVERN WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE danube magazine 2013 // 07
vienna // ENCOUNTERS
Vienna International Center, Danube Park
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AMBIENCE ART ART NOUVEAU CULTURE CULTURED DANUBE CANAL DANUBE CRUISE DANUBE ISLAND FESTIVAL DANUBE TOWER DONAU AUEN NATIONAL PARK EGON SCHIELE ENJOYMENT GREEN GUSTAV KLIMT HABSBURGS HEURIGER WINE TAVERNS HOFBURG HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES HUNDERTWASSER IMPERIAL MUSEUMSQUARTIER NEW YEAR’S CONCERT OLD DANUBE PRATER PARK RINGSTRASSE BOULEVARD SACHERTORTE SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE SPANISH RIDING SCHOOL ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL TIMELESS VIENNA WOODS VIENNESE COFFEE HOUSES VIENNESE CUISINE WATER SPORTS WATERWAYS WINE WORLD-CLASS MUSEUMS
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setting the tone // DANUBE CULTURE
YOU CAN BUILD UP A CLEAR PICTURE OF THE DANUBE’S INFLUENCE ON MUSIC WITHOUT EVEN TOUCHING ON JOHANN STRAUSS’S BLUE DANUBE WALTZ. THE RIVER IS A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR COMPOSERS, AS WELL AS A WONDERFUL PLACE TO SIT BACK AND INDULGE IN ALL SORTS OF LIVE MUSIC FROM AVANT GARDE TO MAINSTREAM. Anita Ericson
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Top: the new Musiktheater Linz opera house; left: a festival atmosphere at Burg Clam; right: a new home for the Vienna Boys’ Choir
World class: Grafenegg Music Festival
EUROPE’S MOST MODERN OPERA HOUSE Under the banner Linz.Changes, music is taking centre stage in the Upper Austrian capital in 2013. Concerts, exhibitions, opportunities to peek behind the scenes and fascinating 3D cinematic journeys into musical worlds are all part of Linz’s musical focus in 2013. At the heart of this celebration is April’s opening of the new EUR 150 million opera house, Musiktheater Linz. Billed as ‘the most modern opera house in Europe’, the 970-seat venue takes its architectural cue from a variety of opera houses including Frankfurt, Gothenburg and Lyon. The opening will be marked by the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Spuren der Verirrten (Traces of The Lost), an adaptation of the Peter Handke play of the same name. The season continues with Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and The Witches of Eastwick – The Musical. In autumn 2013 there’s a treat in store for fans of lavish productions with Wagner’s Ring Cycle on the programme. In any discussion of Linz and music, the name of Anton Bruckner – the city’s best-known musical son – invariably crops up. The composer was a virtuoso organist and the tonal richness
© Alexander Haiden, Beyer, www.foto-schadauer.com, WienTourismus/Lukas Beck
music on the water
of this instrument is clearly evident in his symphonic style. His works are celebrated in the annual autumn Bruckner Festival which presents fresh interpretations of classical works, as well as world premieres of contemporary music. The festival traditionally kicks off with the Linzer Klangwolke (sound cloud) in the Donaupark, where music and digital media combine to form a unique open-air audio-visual experience. There is a series of concerts in store for organ music enthusiasts throughout the year at the Church of St. Ignatius, affectionately known by the locals as the Alter Dom (old cathedral). The church houses a magnificent organ which was re- constructed in line with Bruckner’s own plans, and has retained its authentic sound to this day. The atmospheric St. Florian’s monastery just outside Linz is home to another Bruckner organ which is regularly played at concerts. This is where Bruckner’s career began, and at the time the organ was the largest in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Even after becoming Linz’s cathedral organist, the composer maintained close ties with St. Florian’s.
MUSICAL GREATS OUTDOORS Burg Clam is the place to go for a very different outdoor concert experience. Located downstream near the town of Grein, and set upon a picturesque wooded hill, the venue in the shadow of this medieval castle plays host to a range of top acts during the summer. The likes of Carlos Santana, Eros Ramazzotti, Randy Crawford, Toto, Uriah Heep and Hubert von Goisern have drawn crowds of almost 10,000 to the venue. Burg Clam is situated in Strudengau region, where the Danube flows out of Upper Austria and into the neighbouring province of Lower Austria. In summer the castle is home to the annual donauFESTWOCHEN, an early music festival with a sprinkling of modern programming that plays out against the backdrop of the region’s most historic sites. The main hub of the festival is Greinburg castle, which opens its stage to performances of renowned composers’ lesser-known works, as well as an opera repertoire that has largely been neglected on the European scene. The 2013 season offers up a lighthearted production of Sebastián Durón’s Baroque opera, Júpiter y Danáe. The performances at Greinburg are complemented by a series of
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setting the tone // DANUBE CULTURE
The Wolkenturm stage at Grafenegg, a truly remarkable open-air experience
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FROM BOYS’ CHOIRS TO INDIE-ROCK IDOLS Vienna is the world capital of music, putting on around 15,000 concerts covering the full range of genres every year. And there’s some exciting news about one of its most well-known musical institutions. December 2012 saw the opening of the Musikzentrum Augarten, which includes the concert hall for the world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir. Besides offering a venue for the choir’s performances of children’s opera, the Musikzentrum doubles up as a music and drama centre for children and young people. The venue features state-of-the-
Summer Night’s Concert at Schönbrunn Palace
art technology, and a total of 50 performances of two to three operas for children, as well as 20 Vienna Boys’ Choir concerts are planned for each season. Vienna also has a thriving music theatre scene. Elisabeth The Musical is the most successful German-language musical of all time, and twenty years after its premiere it has returned to its home at the Raimund Theatre. In 2013, the Ronacher Theatre presents Broadway hit Legally Blonde The Musical, based on the 2001 Hollywood comedy starring Reese Witherspoon. The Vienna Philharmonic’s Summer Night’s Concert in the beautifully illuminated grounds of Schönbrunn Palace is an annual favourite for Vienna’s classical music lovers. In 2013 thousands are again expected to flock to the concert, as Lorin Maazel takes up the baton to lead the world-famous orchestra. Although the first Summer Night’s Concert was only held in 2008, the event has become an established highlight in the Viennese musical calendar. Another unmissable fixture on the Austrian capital’s cultural scene is the Danube Island Festival. The three-day music festival has grown to become the largest open-air event in Europe, and celebrates its 30th birthday in 2013. The Danube Island Festival attracts up to three million people who enjoy a programme ranging from Austrian Schlager music to country, contemporary pop and indie rock. And it won’t cost you a cent, because entry is absolutely free!
Musiktheater Linz Europe’s newset music theatre brings together operas, operettas, musicals and ballets under one roof. Blumauerstrasse 3–5, 4020 Linz T +43 732 76110, www.musiktheater-linz.at Linz.Changes The city of Linz devotes an entire year to music with a variety of events during 2013. Tourist Information Linz T +43 732 707020-09, www.linz.at/tourismus Concerts at St. Florian’s monastery June/July, also at other monasteries in Upper Austria Ticket office: T +43 732 776127, www.stiftskonzerte.at Burg Clam This medieval fortress doubles up as an open-air venue for concerts featuring greats from Jethro Tull to Santana. T +43 732 7936790, www.clam.at donauFESTWOCHEN festival, Strudengau Baroque music festival with contemporary cameos. Late July until mid-August T +43 7268 26857, www.donau-festwochen.at fussfrei online arts and culture platform Musical and cultural tips and listings for the Strudengau region. T +43 7268 21223, www.fussfrei.at Internationale Barocktage Melk International Baroque music festival 17–20 May 2013 (Whitsun) T +43 2752 54060, www.kultur-melk.at Donaufestival Krems Popular festival of contemporary art and culture. 25 April–4 May 2013 T +43 2732 908033, www.donaufestival.at Glatt&Verkehrt world music festival World music with a local flavour 29 June–28 July 2013 Main festival at Sandgrube 13, Krems from 24–28 July 2013 T +43 2732 908033, www.glattundverkehrt.at Grafenegg Music Festival Music festival featuring top orchestras, star conductors and leading international soloists. 16 August–8 September 2013 T +43 2735 5500, www.grafenegg.at Vienna Boys’ Choir concert hall The world famous Vienna Boys’ Choir’s brand new home venue. Obere Augartenstrasse 1c, 1020 Vienna T +43 1 2163942, www.wienersaengerknaben.at Elisabeth The Musical Musical telling the tragic tale of Austria’s beloved Empress Sisi. Raimund Theater, Wallgasse 18–20, 1060 Vienna T +43 1 58885, www.musicalvienna.at Legally Blonde The Musical German-language premiere of the hit musical based on the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon. From 23 February 2013 Ronacher, Seilerstätte 9, 1010 Vienna T +43 1 58885, www.musicalvienna.at Summer Night’s Concert at Schönbrunn Palace 30 May 2013 Ticket hotline on the day of the event: +43 820 200166 www.sommernachtskonzert.at Danube Island Festival Europe’s largest free open air festival. 21–23 June 2013 www.donauinselfest.at
// Info BOX Kunstkammer Vienna Although best known for its rich musical scene, one of Vienna’s most treasured cultural offerings is the Kunstkammer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. After extensive renovation the collection now occupies the whole left wing of the ground floor and will open to the public in March 2013. These “cabinets of curiosities” gradually took shape at royal courts across Europe from the late Middle Ages, as emperors and princes began to build up encyclopaedic collections that encompassed the entire knowledge of the day. The contents included rare and unusual objects, as well as specially commissioned items from master artisans. From March around 2,200 objects from the museum’s holdings will go on display.
The famous Saliera salt cellar by Benvenuto Cellini at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
T +43 1 52524-0 www.khm.at
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© Wiener Philharmoniker_Richard Schuster, kunsthistorisches museum wien
Global sounds at the Glatt&Verkehrt world music festival in Krems
// MUSICAL EVENTS ALONG THE DANUBE
© musical vienna elisabeth 2003, EPA/Paul Bergen, Werner Kmetitsch
Hit musical Elisabeth returns to the stage in Vienna
concerts staged at historic venues such Ardagger Abbey, Vierkanthof Hauer (a traditional four-cornered farmhouse) and the Giessenbachmühle watermill. Melk Abbey at the entrance to the Wachau valley is always worth a visit whatever the season. But music lovers make a special pilgrimage to this imposing Baroque site at Whitsun when it plays host to the Internationale Barocktage festival. The centrepiece of the abbey is Jakob Prandtauer’s magnificent church which features ceiling frescoes by Michael Rottmayr. The sacred surroundings provide the perfect venue for this pioneering early music festival which emerged from the abbey’s Whitsun concerts in the early 1990s. The 2013 festival is dedicated to Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli and other great Italian masters. Known as the gateway to the Wachau, Krems lies about 30km downstream from Melk. The town has played host to the Donaufestival over two weekends each spring since 1998. Over the years the festival has grown steadily to become a leading international event and a forum for contemporary art in an age of popular culture. It attracts artists who prefer to work outside the mainstream and across artistic boundaries, exploring music, performance and sound art, and video installation. The Kunsthalle Krems gallery, and the Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche at the town’s Minorite church are the festival’s main venues. In July 2013 musicians from all over the world will gather in Krems for the 17th Glatt&Verkehrt festival. This celebration of world music is often seen as playing a leading role in redefining the genre. Traditional melodies and rhythms are effortlessly reworked into stylistic fusions and up-to-date interpretations. There’s a Brazilian theme to the 2013 festival and the popular musical boat trip along the Danube is being extended. Schloss Grafenegg, a stately home near Krems, has become a high-profile international music venue in a remarkably short space of time. Two modern stages erected in the expansive grounds stand in sharp contrast to the Romantic historicist style of the castle and its landscaped gardens. The sculpturelike Wolkenturm stage towers above the imposing old trees that surround this 2,000-capacity open-air venue. Specially designed acoustic shells create an unforgettable musical experience for spectators in the tiered seating, and for those enjoying a picnic on the nearby lawns. An indoor auditorium is also available if the weather takes a turn for the worse. The highlight of the many events held at the castle and its grounds is the Grafenegg Music Festival. Under the direction of concert pianist Rudolf Buchbinder the event has attracted a string of top orchestras, star conductors and international soloists to Lower Austria.
The high life // DANUBE WALKS
A well-deserved break on a Danube walk – spectacular views from the Donausteig trail (left); enjoying time out surrounded by Viennese vineyards
village of Nussdorf we begin our ascent of the Leopoldsberg hill and finally make our way over to top of the neighbouring Kahlen berg. While it’s true that both of these landmark hills can be easily reached by car, if you take the Nasenweg trail you will be much more likely to experience more of the essence of the Austrian capital. But why is it known as the Nasenweg (nose trail)? Because the steep, sharp incline leading down to the Danube from Leopoldsberg – sometimes referred to as the northern cape of the Alps – resembles a nose from this side. On the way up, impressive views of Vienna and the Danube below await around every corner. Without knowing it we have actually followed the course of the Stadtwanderweg 1A trail. The 10 Stadtwanderweg city trails take in each of Vienna’s landmark hills, as well as various outdoor highlights including the Lainz Game Reserve, Dehnepark, Schwarzenbergpark, Maurer Wald and the Sophienalpe meadow.
Experience the river from a different angle! Routes such as the Welterbesteig trail in the Wachau valley come with their very own challenges
“... AND AT MY SIDE, FROM THE DEPTHS BELOW, THE DANUBE EMERGED BEFORE ME, SHIMMERING BETWEEN THE TREES.” Thomas Rambauske Even from a distance you can clearly hear the waves gently lapping at the riverbanks, in a Danube score line occasionally punctuated by the calls of herons and seagulls, accordion music wafting in on the air from a nearby wine tavern or children splashing around in sheltered bays. It’s not just the soundtrack that’s so special, but the riot of colours, too. From the dazzling white apricot blossoms in spring to the verdant green of the vineyards in summer, the golden autumnal glow of the woods and the clear blue of the Danube when the open skies are reflected upon it – the Danube and the rugged hills that frame it come together to form a total work of art. And the best way to explore it and witness its majesty unfold in front of you is on foot at your own pace. VIENNA’S LANDMARK HILLS “The Danube shimmers from the depths below, / the tower of St. Stephen’s too, from far away, / looks over the hill and sees me,” said
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the first ever dropout in world literature, the Taugenichts (good-fornothing), as he looked out towards Vienna from the Bisamberg hill in Joseph von Eichendorff’s famous novella Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts. The son of a miller (like his creator Eichendorff), the hero of the tale passes the Austrian capital on one of his walks, presumably climbing the Bisamberg with a view to finding inspiration from the charming landscape below. The many trails that lead to this 360-metre peak take in parts of the capital’s largest winegrowing area. Wending its way through the ancient cellar-lined streets of Stammersdorf before opening out into fields of corn, one route emerges at the Eichendorffhöhe, the highest point of stage 22 of the Rundumadum hiking trail. Talking of the Rundumadum trail: divided into 24 separate legs, this 120-kilometre route leads walkers on a complete circuit of the city, revealing the capital’s quiet, gentle and natural side. And because it’s so beautiful we’ll keep going until we get to the Gamshöhe inn and the highest point of the Bisamberg, the Elisabethhöhe (358m). The reward is spectacular views of the nearby town of Klosterneuburg, the Danube, and the northernmost elevations of the Vienna Woods. Next, we switch to the other side of the river and take in one of Vienna’s best-known landmarks. From the
© Niederösterreich-Werbung/Robert Herbst, WGD Tourismus GmbH, WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud
up and away
WACHAU VALLEY WONDERLAND Meanwhile, back on the Danube we board a river cruiser and set off upstream, bound for the Wachau valley. This combination of natural riverside paradise and top winegrowing area is also one of the most precious natural habitats in Europe. Hikers can experience the charms of this unique ensemble on the Wachauer Höhenweg trail. Starting with the breathtaking views of the Danube from the castle ruins at Dürnstein and leading past a number of picture-postcard towns on the banks of the river, the trail peaks at the Kanzel on the Vogelberg hill before descending through the terraced vineyards to the picturesque town of Weissenkirchen. The best option for anyone looking to explore every last corner of the magnificent Wachau region is the Welterbesteig Wachau trail. Divided into 14 easily manageable sections, this route takes in all of the region’s leading natural, geographical and cultural attractions. The Jauerling hill – the highest of all the peaks overlooking the Danube – is an absolute must. The views from the observation deck on the southern tip are jaw dropping. SEVEN SUMMITS ON THE DONAUSTEIG TRAIL Eichendorff and his Taugenichts would have been in their element on the Haugstein hill. The tallest point in the Innviertel region, this tranquil and picturesque place is well worth a visit. Only a handful of intrepid souls make the trip to the imposing double peak each year. Whichever side you approach it from, the pretty little clearings on the way and the fantastic views of the Danube valley stretching off into the Mühlviertel region and the Bavarian Forest beyond more than make up for the effort. Babbling brooks, beautiful meadows
and the Trappist monastery at Engelszell await on one side, and the fortifications of Burg Vichtenstein on the other. Set out from Stadl to reach the Haustein, one of the highlights of the Donausteig trail. This 450-kilometre route is split into 23 stages and takes in seven major hills – which is why you will hear people referring to the Seven Summits of the Donausteig trail. Here, an ever-changing landscape of ridges tracing the course of the Danube takes walkers through a picture-perfect natural paradise brimming with incredible vistas. Still on the Donausteig trail, the Predigtstuhl hill near Sarmingstein is the last part of Upper Austria on the Danube valley. ONE LAST HILL It’s at Sarmingstein that we put on our rucksacks one last time. After crossing several streams and making our way through the forest, we reach the easternmost point of the Donausteig trail at Hof Bauerngruber. And from here it’s not far to the Predigstuhl, a great vantage point and popular place for hikers on the Donausteig trail to recharge their batteries. An interesting mix of paths offering a wide selection of inclines and slopes takes us northwards through the woodlands and farmers’ fields towards the former monastery town of Waldhausen. The next picnic area on the Donausteig trail awaits at Galgenberg, where you can enjoy a quick rest before continuing to your destination. At this point the Donausteig trail takes us back towards the banks of the Danube, where Eichendorff’s Taugenichts could very well have stood one summer’s evening and observed: “… the golden treetops bow gently in the evening breeze as if they wanted to welcome me, and at my side, from the depths below, the Danube emerged before me, shimmering between the trees.”
// InfoBOX Hiking schedule In August 2013 fairytale expert Helmut Wittmann will be guiding walkers along the Donausteig trail for another round of the popular mythical walks. At various points along the way groups will be invited to stop and listen as he recounts stories from the Danube in his own inimitable style – complete with musical accompaniment. www.donausteig.com The Vienna Wine Walks (Wiener Weinwandertag) take place at the end of September each year. For a whole weekend, visitors have the run of the vineyard trails. During the rest of the year the route is off limits to the general public as it crosses privately owned vineyards. www.vienna.info Also in autumn: the Herbstwandern walks on the Welterbesteig trail with differently themed routes and musical entertainment. www.welterbesteig.at
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car free // DANUBE TRAILS
There’s no better way to explore the banks of the Danube than by bike: e-bikers with Grein in the distance
THE DANUBE SHOWS HOW IT’S DONE. WITHOUT RUSHING, AND NOT IN ANY HURRY, THE RIVER RIPPLES ONWARDS TOWARDS THE RISING SUN. SET A GOOD EXAMPLE, LEAVE YOUR CAR IN THE GARAGE AND DO WHAT THE WAVES OF THE DANUBE DO – BY TRAIN, BIKE, BOAT OR JUST ON FOOT. Barbara Hutter
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Virtually no other river in Europe can rival the Danube when it comes to spectacular views. At every stage of the river from Regensburg onwards – long before the river flows into Austria at Passau – cruisers can be found gliding past the huge passenger ships bound for the Black Sea. A popular route departs from the former independent bishopric of Passau and rounds the Schlögener Schlinge hairpin before docking in the Baroque city of Linz. The on-board entertainment combines cultural elements with outstanding cuisine, while a constantly changing interplay between the pre-Alps and granite cliffs of Bohemia provides the visual backdrop. One practical aside: the tour operators have coordinated landing times with the rail and bus schedules. Passengers can lap up the views of the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley from the comfort of the white Danube cruisers. Highlights of this world cultural heritage region include the imposing Benedictine abbeys at Melk and Gött weig, as well as the ruins at Aggstein and Dürnstein. The stops en route from Melk to Krems are Emmersdorf, Spitz, Weissenkirchen and Dürnstein. Combination deals give visitors the chance to explore
© Österreich Werbung/Peter Burgstaller, Brandner Schiffahrt, Növog_Weinfranz
CAR-FREE YET MOBILE GO WITH THE FLOW
By boat …
… or by train
the area from a range of different perspectives. Taking the train as far as Emmersdorf, followed by a tour of Melk Abbey before returning downstream by boat is just one of a host of possible itineraries.
ting cyclists board with their bikes and enjoy sections of the route along the Danube between Passau and Vienna from the comfort of a railway carriage. But if you prefer to stay on the road then there’s always the Wachau bike expresses, which are coaches with bike trailers. Anyone looking to take a detour from the Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau valley can simply nip off to Upper Austria for the day. A special bus service with space for up to 14 bikes whisks day trippers from Krems station through the Wachau valley as far as the boat terminal in Grein twice a day. And if the sun refuses to put in an appearance then there’s always the option of swapping your saddle for the comfort of the Austrian National Railways. Various branch lines in the region provide the perfect opportunity to explore the local area at a different pace – the Wachau Bahn service wends its way from one winegrowing region to the next, while another local service takes in the ancient Roman settlement of Carnuntum before reaching Hainburg on the Slovak border. And on top of this come the myriad options for people who prefer to do their exploring on foot. The Donausteig trail in Upper Austria, the Welterbesteig Wachau trail in Lower Austria and the countless routes around Vienna are all fantastic options (see pages 14–15), with improvements and extensions to the various networks being added all the time. We’ve nothing against cars, but they’ll just have to get used to being left in the car park more often in future!
ELECTRIFYING BIKING TERRAIN One of the most important cultivated regions in Europe, this part of Austria is best explored on two wheels rather than four, and the number of people taking to their bikes is on the rise. In 2012 a 150-kilometre stretch of the river between Passau and Grein in the Strudengau region – including 41 circuits of the surrounding area – was brought up to the technological state of the art for e-bikers, with charging points dotted along the main Danube Cycle Path. The Danube Cycle Path is the undisputed king of the routes – the section extending from Germany to Hungary via Austria and Slovakia runs alongside the river almost the entire way. Lower Austria’s “e-mobil in Niederösterreich” initiative gives tired legs a welcome break. Bike hire booths contain all the information you need, as well as Lower Austria-branded cycle helmets. Cyclists can recharge their e-bike free of charge at the green electricity power points. A total of 24 bike-friendly businesses between Passau and Klosterneuburg have been certified as Top Rad Stops – with secure bike parking, tools for minor repairs and space to dry out wet cycling gear. In 2013 around 35 hotels and pensions in Lower Austria will receive certification as Bett+Bike partners from the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrradclub (General German Bicycle Club, ADFC). A leisurely boat trip or train ride is the perfect complement to any bike expedition. Anyone looking to leave their car behind will be in their element in Vienna, where countless cycle paths branch off the Danube Cycle Path. Many of the routes into the historic city centre link with the circular cycle path on the capital’s showpiece Ringstrasse boulevard (the Ring-Rund-Radweg), which can also be explored on a guided bike tour. Another side route connecting to the Danube Cycle Path leads through the wetlands and onto Vienna’s legendary Prater Park. Vienna’s City Bikes are an eco-friendly alternative to public transport. Users of this innovative bike share system can pick up and drop off City Bikes at any time of day or night at 90 different stations dotted around the city. Talking of public transport and eco-friendly – the U1, U2 and U6 underground lines all have stations directly on the Danube. ALL ABOARD! If you are looking to take time out of the saddle, luckily a helping hand is never far away – good news for anyone who isn’t relying on an e-bike to give their flagging energy levels a boost. The Rad- Express Donau trains were designed precisely with this in mind, let-
// Info BOX boat tours www.brandner.at, www.donauschiffahrt.de www.ddsg-blue-danube.at, www.donautouristik.at bike www.donauradweg.at, www.donau.com/e-mobil, www.vienna.info www.leihradl.at, www.citybikewien.at train/BUS www.ooevv.at, www.noevog.at, www.oebb.at www.vor.at, www.wienerlinien.at DanubeHIKE The Austrian Danube organisations are part of an international network comprising all 10 of the countries that the Danube passes through. A study was commissioned to look at the amenities already in place for hikers, with the aim of creating an uninterrupted trail along the full length of the Danube. The first steps towards this goal have already been taken by various projects such as the EU’s DanubeHIKE initiative. This cross-border cooperation aims to increase the quality of facilities available to walkers from the river’s source in the Black Forest all the way to Romania and Bulgaria where it empties into the Black Sea. www.donausteig.com/hiking-analysis2012
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in bloom // DANUBE NATURE
Garten Tulln: Europe’s premiere organic garden show
One of Europe’s finest: the Botanical Gardens in Linz
Gardens are a great place to give your thoughts free rein. The Franciscan monks at Pupping near Eferding clearly had this in mind when they laid out the majestic gardens with geometric gravel paths, stone features and formal beds. Nowadays Danube travellers can walk around the monastery gardens at Pupping before taking a look at the newly laid-out courtyard – if the brothers are not lost in prayer. Devotees of the queen of flowers flock to the Gruber rosarium in nearby Fraham where around 250 varieties of rose – from climbers to rare breeds – provided a treat for all the senses. “This is a real gem for rose fans,” notes Karl Ploberger, Austria’s best known gardener. Aimed at “intelligent lazy people”, his gardening books are bestsellers, and his popular garden guide takes in some 400 gardens and parks in Austria. The rosarium in Fraham has long been one of his outright favourites thanks its echoes of traditional English rose gardens. “We have come a very long way here in Austria over the past quarter of a century. I used to have no option but to travel to England, but now it’s high time that the English made their way over here to see our gardens,” he adds. Visitors from “good old England”, as he calls it, would also be impressed by what the Botanical Gardens in Linz have to offer. With more than four hectares and around 10,000 different varieties, they are among the finest anywhere in Europe – including England. Five giant greenhouses contain a dizzying selection of exotic plants, including a cactus collection that is unique in the whole of Europe, countless rare wild flowers and an impressive
OASES OF GREEN ON THE BLUE DANUBE ADMITTEDLY, NATURE IS THE MASTER WHEN IT COMES TO CRAFTING THE WETLANDS AND RIVERBANKS THAT LINE THE DANUBE. BUT THE GREEN SPACES THAT HUMANS HAVE CREATED ALONG THE RIVER’S BANKS HAVE A DISTINCTIVE CHARM ALL OF THEIR OWN. Barbara Hutter
© WienTourismus/Heinz Angermayr, Donau Niederösterreich_Steve Haider, HDR_Gerhard Obermayr, Karl Ploberger
While away the hours in Vienna’s Volksgarten
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Gärtnerei Stockenhuber, Engelhartszell (Stockenhuber nurseries) www.klarlbau.at Klostergarten Pupping (Pupping monastery gardens) www.pupping.at Rosenhof Gruber, Fraham (Gruber rose gardens) www.rosarium-gruber.at Botanic gardens, Linz www.linz.at/umwelt/botanischergarten.asp Sandner, Gärtnerei zum Stift St. Florian (Sandner nursery at St. Florian’s monastery) www.sandner-gaertnerei.at Gärtnerei Oberleitner, Pöchlarn (Oberleitner nursery) www.gaerten-oberleitner.at Kittenberger Erlebnisgärten (Kittenberg show gardens) A huge Danube garden www.kittenberger.at fan – organic gardener Melk Abbey Karl Ploberger www.stiftmelk.at Garten Tulln More than 50 show gardens presented on the ancient floodplain landscape. www.diegartentulln.at Gardens of Lower Austria A joint marketing initiative backed by 33 parks and gardens in Lower Austria. www.diegaerten.at Vienna Parks and gardens in the Austrian capital. www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/parks, www.vienna.info Schloss Hof palace Austria’s largest rural palace complex is open to would-be time-travellers seeking to explore the world of Prince Eugene and Empress Maria Theresia. www.schlosshof.at Roman gardens, Carnuntum An unparalleled open air attraction featuring classic Roman architecture in a fully reconstructed ancient city quarter. www.carnuntum.co.at Biogärtner Karl Ploberger (organic nursery) Austria’s best known organic TV chef and garden tour guru. www.biogaertner.at
variety of cultured orchids. The green spaces between them are dotted with sculptures by leading Austrian artists. Meanwhile, talks, exhibitions and a packed schedule of cultural events help to bring people closer to the natural world. The next stop on our horticultural tour of the Danube is Melk Abbey – a byword for Baroque architecture and garden design. Spiced with modern elements, the unique formal gardens extend over three levels. The focal point is provided by a Baroque pavilion dating back to 1750. The flowering roses at its entrance provide a stunning contrast to the exotic ceiling paintings inside. The frescoes were completed by Johann Bergl, whose work was greatly admired by Empress Maria Theresia. The inspiration for the layout of the Paradise Garden at Melk Abbey comes from a 1,200-year-old work entitled De cultura hortorum, which is the oldest surviving text on landscaping in Europe. Back in the present day, Garten Tulln is a beacon of contemporary garden design and, in the words of Karl Ploberger, “virtually unbeatable on the international stage.” This horticultural festival features differently themed gardens which have been designed to provide visitors with inspiration and a place to relax. One of the 50 plots bears the design signature of Karl Ploberger. LUCKY VIENNA Green spaces make up more than half of Vienna’s area – a record for a major international city. The magnificent Baroque formal gardens at the Schönbrunn and Belvedere palaces require little introduction, but there are pockets of green space dotted all over the city, including the Stadtpark on the Ringstrasse boulevard (the oldest public park in Vienna) and the Volksgarten, which is home to 400 varieties of roses. The Burggarten, once the exclusive preserve of the imperial couple, is an idyllic spot complete with a café inside the Palm House.
The Baroque Augarten park has an illustrious history, yet still maintains a contemporary edge as home to the world famous porcelain manufactory of the same name. More than just a local park, the Augarten houses numerous cultural institutions such as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary – Augarten (TBA 21) exhibition spaces. It is also home to the world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir who go to school here. A new concert hall was also recently inaugurated on the site. Garden fans should head for the banks of the Danube and Vienna’s verdant 22nd district. With 800,000 square meters of green space, it is the greenest part of the capital – highlights include the Donaupark and the adjacent Neue Donau recreational area. A rosarium with around 35,000 roses is among the treats that await visitors. GLORIOUS GARDENS – FROM ROMAN TO BAROQUE Visitors to the Baroque palaces of Eckartsau and Hof in the March feld region are also in for a memorable trip: after several centuries Schloss Hof has been restored to its former splendour, as seen in the days of Prince Eugene of Savoy. After extensive renovations, the former stately home now provides the setting for countless special occasions and events all year round. You can head even further back through the mists of time on the other side of the Danube. Avid gardeners should make a beeline for the Roman excavations at Carnuntum, at the point where the mighty river flows out of Austria. Attractions include a fully reconstructed Roman garden with characteristic geometric paths, beds divided into quadrants, solitary shrubs and fruit bushes in the orchards. As with any self-respecting Roman garden, it is also brimming with herbs grown for their flavours as well as their medicinal properties, and cultured plants such as roses, lilies and violets. A visit to one of the many gardens that line the Danube is like a journey back in time.
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cuisine // DANUBE FLAVOURS Caught with the last net of the day – Sarah Wiener and her Wels catfish.
SARAH and the WELS CATFISH
Franz Auer, a hunt for Wel fisherman from Alkoven, s catfish ne ar the Sch .. on the Schlinge ha logener irpin.
THE WELS CATFISH IS STILL AROUND. AND BECAUSE IT ONLY SURVIVES IN PURE WATER, THAT’S A GOOD SIGN FOR THE RIVER. ONCE IN A BLUE MOON YOU WILL ALSO FIND IT IN ONE OF JUST A HANDFUL OF RESTAURANTS ON THE AUSTRIAN SECTION OF THE DANUBE, LIKE THE ONE OWNED BY CHRISTIAN GÖTTFRIED IN ALKOVEN. MOST LIKELY WHEN SARAH WIENER AND HER CAMERA TEAM ARE IN TOW. FRITZ GILLINGER
© zero one film
Top chef Sarah Wiener is a familiar face and popular television personality both at home in Austria and in her adoptive country of Germany. Rarely in one place for long, she is perhaps most famous for unearthing some of Austria’s best kept secrets in her popular ARTE/ORF television show Sarah Wiener’s Culinary Adventures. Wherever her trusty red VW beetle convertible takes her, she is always on the lookout for good, regional flavours. And in episode six she strikes gold on the Danube in Upper Austria. Christian Göttfried from Alkoven, a town just a few kilometres south of the Danube, shows her how he creates gourmet dishes in his restaurant Schrot using some of the ingredients found on his doorstep. The star of the show is a Wels catfish, or sheatfish, which Sarah plucks from the Danube with her own two hands.
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I THOUGHT I’D HAVE TO SETTLE FOR PIKE-PERCH Ok, we admit it, Sarah Wiener would have been hard pressed to manage it all on her own. The Wels catfish is quite rare, and not exactly easy to catch. So to lend a helping hand, experienced fisherman Franz Auer took Sarah out on his motor boat, bound for one of his most prolific fishing grounds on the Danube. “You are always on first name terms in a boat,” says Sarah as she jumps into Franz’s boat full of purpose. The pair open with a typical Austrian greeting: “Servus Franz!”, “Servus Sarah!” Instead of hooks and lines, Wels catfish are caught using 50 metre long nets. So to start with, the pair cast out their nets, five in all, positioned in different spots. But they won’t find out if they have caught anything until the next morning – very early in the morning, as Sarah discovers. And the tension mounts as she draws in the nets metre by metre. It’s a nase. “Is that rare?” Sarah asks. “No,” comes Franz’s dry reply. That’s very true, as it turns out – the next fish out of the water is another nase. And then … a pike-perch! Admittedly a great fish, but not the sheatfish that should have pride of place on today’s menu. And then as the last few metres of nets emerge from the deep, they hit the jackpot: it’s a Wels catfish! “And I thought I’d have to settle for pike-perch,” Sarah says with a smile. It’s a decent size, and just
right for cooking, as restaurateur Christian Göttfried confirms when Sarah proudly presents the fish to him. “Franz Auer has his fishing grounds up by Schlögen,” says Göttfried. “Depending on what’s out there we get tench, excellent pike-perch and of course Wels catfish. And what’s so special about his catches? The great taste that comes from the excellent water quality and the firm, plump flesh. That’s down to the relentless currents that they have to swim against.” LOCAL FLORA AND FAUNA With all the ingredients now ready, it’s time to go into Göttfried’s kitchen and prepare the different dishes for today’s episode. The starter is potato dumplings filled with pan fried dark rye bread and lardons, served in beer soup with black salsify and beetroot chips. For the main course it’s Wels catfish with pan fried cucumber and sour cream (recipe on page 23). The Eferding region is a famously fertile part of Austria. Just a short distance to the west of Alkoven, it benefits hugely from the nearby river. It is the home of the prized Eferdinger Gurken, a prized variety of cucumber that is perfect for pickling, and the fields surrounding the town are planted with 29 varieties of potato, one of which is the main ingredient for the dumplings prepared for the starter. Potato farmers, cucumber growers, fishermen and brewers are just some of the local producers featured in Sarah Wiener’s programmes. In each show they sit down together to savour the fruits of the local region. The banks of the lush Danube valley are brimming with culinary delights. Connoisseurs have nothing but praise for the wines grown along the river’s edge from the Wachau to Nussberg and Carnuntum beyond – and the same goes for the region’s fruit and vegetables. Danube fish are the jewel in the crown of this incredibly productive area. After falling out of favour over the past few decades, the river’s fish are now receiving the recognition they so richly deserve. “Firm, full of flavour and beautiful to look at – a run-of-the-mill, pond-raised carp is to a Danube carp what an everyday runabout is to a Formula 1 car!” is how
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cuisine // DANUBE FLAVOURS
Recipes by The Danube catfish is the star of the show in Sarah Wiener ,s Upper Austrian menu.
Lisl Wagner-Bacher and Thomas Dorfer’s award-winning creations in the Wachau from one of the best kitchens in Austria.
My mother-in-law Lisl Wagner-Bacher always told me about the excellent Danube huchen. We are really proud of all of the fish that we can source from the local area! And it is even more special if we are lucky enough to get hold of fish from the Danube.
Christian Göttfried Gasthaus Schrot (Upper Austria)
What makes Danube fish so special? The excellent flavour that results from the purity of the water and the firm flesh – something that comes from fighting their way through the unforgiving river currents.
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Still going strong: the specialists who know how to prepare fish from the Danube to perfection, such as leading light Norbert Payer (Lustiger Bauer, Zeiselmauer, Lower Austria).
Norbert Payer puts it. The restaurateur from Zeiselmauer continues: “Pike-perch, pike, perch, huchen – all of them feel right at home and thrive in the waters of the Danube. Huchen – also known as Danube salmon – is the only Salmoninae that doesn’t ever venture into salt water.” For Norbert Payer, this fish really is something special, “but only if you know how to prepare it properly,” he adds. But that’s not a problem for experts such as Payer and Göttfried. Christian Petz, head chef at top Viennese gourmet restaurant Holy-Moly!, has gone one step further with his love of fish. The award-winning chef recently fulfilled a long-held dream when he reinstated the age-old tradition of holding a fish market on the quayside of the Danube Canal. In 2013 all aspects of life in the Austrian capital will revolve around the theme of The Art of Enjoyment. In addition to fish, the spotlight will be on culinary delights such as the quintessentially Viennese coffeehouse and the city’s excellent wines. And because there’s more to enjoyment than just eating and drinking, various cultural attractions inside the capital will be adding their take on the theme during the year. Elsewhere, the wachauGOURMETfestival (4–18 April) will bring together top cooks from the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau valley with their international counterparts for a series of spectacular culinary events. “Caught by me, prepared by me and eaten by me!” says a beaming Sarah Wiener as she enjoys the Danube delicacy of the day. And if all that seems like too much trouble, you can leave out the fishing and preparation and go straight to the eating part. Thankfully, many parts of the Austrian section of the Danube are teeming with good quality fish once again, and the fertile soil along the banks of the river is as perfect as ever for growing vegetables, hops and wine. And happily for lovers of fine food there are still plenty of restaurateurs who really understand how to bring out the very best in these local treasures. Sarah Wiener’s Culinary Adventures is co-produced by ARTE and ORF, made by one film/Berlin and directed by Florian Schewe.
Potato dumplings urmet arah with her go d S : ay d e th of s) an At the end fish and potatoe to r ee b m ro (f .. ed. suppliers Christian Gottfri ef h c n ia tr us A top
// gourmet tips
© citronenrot, Robert Herbst, OÖN/Volker Weihbold, Wulz, Shutterstock, zero one film, zVg
Thomas Dorfer Landhaus Bacher (Lower Austria)
60g butter, 60g flour 500ml beef stock, 500ml lager beer 3 bay leaves, ½ stick cinnamon Salt, pepper, 2 egg yolks 500ml whipping cream
To make the beer soup, melt the butter and fry the flour until golden. Pour in the beef stock and lager, before adding the bay leaves, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Simmer for half an hour and pour into a serving bowl through a sieve. Mix the egg yolks with the whipping cream and stir into the soup. Remove from the heat!
Christian Petz Holy-Moly! Restaurant am Badeschiff (Vienna)
I can still remember clearly that we ate fish from the Danube at restaurants with my grandparents. Mostly white fish like nase, rudd and roach. I’d like to have these kinds of fish again, and I’m always on the lookout for a good source. Fish from the Danube really are something special.
UPPER AUSTRIA Restaurants offering local fish specialities Christian Göttfried, Alkoven, www.gasthofschrot.at Landgasthof Dieplinger, Pupping, www.langmayr.at Fischgasthof Aumüller, Obermühl, www.fischgasthof.at Gasthof Gierlinger, Obermühl, www.gasthof-gierlinger.at Gasthof-Pension Ernst, Neuhaus, www.gasthof-ernst.at Gasthof Luger, Kramesau, www.gasthof-luger.co.at Hotel Donauschlinge, Schlögen, www.donauschlinge.at Hotel Rest. Faustschlössl, Feldkirchen/Aschach, www.faustschloessl.at Brewery Brauerei Hofstetten, St. Martin im Mühlkreis, www.hofstetten.at Vegetable farmer Stefan Hamedinger, Eferdinger Gemüselust, www.gemueselust.at Potato farmers Hans u. Annemarie Ecker, Fraham, www.eferdinger.landl-erdaepfel.at LOWER AUSTRIA Restaurants offering local fish specialities Landhaus Bacher, Mautern, www.landhaus-bacher.at Zum lustigen Bauern, Zeiselmauer, www.zumlustigenbauern.at Donaurast, Persenbeug, firstname.lastname@example.org Gerhard u. Gerlinde Heinzle, Weissenkirchen, www.heinzle.at Fishmongers Josef Fischer, Rossatz, www.huchenfischer.at Weingut Haimel, Traismauer, www.weingut-haimel.at viennA Restaurants offering local fish specialities Holy-Moly! Restaurant, www.badeschiff.at Umar am Naschmarkt, www.umarfisch.at Konoba, www.konoba.at Restaurant Kornat, www.kornat.at Fishmonger Fischvierterl am Naschmarkt, T +43 1 890 51 98
7 egg yolks, 270g coarse flour Salt, nutmeg, 50g melted butter Dark rye bread for croutons Lardons, cress
Danube catfish with Eferdinger Schmorgurken
1 tbsp butter 1 shallot (small, peeled and thinly sliced into rings) 500g Schmorgurken (or standard garden cucumber, cut into chunks) 100ml vegetable stock Several pieces of unwaxed lemon peel 1 tsp flour 1 tsp butter (beurre manié) 2 tbsps sour cream 1 tbsp whipping cream Freshly ground pepper Dill
Season the catfish fillet with salt, caraway seeds and white pepper. Score, turn in flour and fry on the skin side only until crisp. Melt the butter in a pan. Lightly braise the shallot rings in the butter before adding the pieces of cucumber and frying for a moment. Add the vegetable stock and lemon peel, and cover. Leave to simmer at a moderate temperature for five minutes. Remove the lemon peel. Thicken with beurre manié and simmer on a low heat for another two minutes. Mix the sour cream with the whipping cream and add to the Schmorgurken. Add the pepper, salt and dill and serve.
VINARIA drink tips Lower Austria: Grüner Veltliner, Knoll, Schütt Smaragd 2009 Vienna: Gemischter Satz, Edlmoser, Dorflage 2011 Upper Austria: Hofstettner Kräuterwürzbier (tangy herb beer)
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interview // DANUBE PERSONALITIES
gregor Seberg You got your boat operator’s licence for the SOKO Donau TV show. Tell us some of your favourite landing spots on the Danube in Austria.
What springs to your mind when you hear the words “Danube Austria”?
Gregor Seberg Just off the top of my head I would have to say the one in Korneuburg by the river ferry. That’s a really good one.
Gregor Seberg Work. What time do I have to get up?
What are the spots that no visitor can afford to miss?
Can you remember the moment when you first saw the Danube?
Gregor Seberg The ones under the Reichsbrücke bridge by the DDSG building. That’s where we’re stationed and we’re often there. It’s like one big circus really!
Gregor Seberg Not the first time. But I can remember the first time that I was fully conscious of seeing the river. It was when I was piloting a small boat in driving rain. The heavy winds were whipping up high waves. I’m not joking, there were high waves on the Danube! And I fell in. Right in. Wet through but still alive. Baptised for the second time, if you like. Has the stunning Danube landscape ever distracted you in your work as an actor? Gregor Seberg For a long time now I’ve had the feeling that the camera crew are desperately searching for nice-looking scenery, children or dogs to provide a distraction from the misery emanating from us actors. Which explains the number of outdoor scenes …
The waltz tells of the Blue Danube. But what colour would you say that the Danube was in your experience? Gregor Seberg Greybrownbluecloudydark. Do you ever get carried away on a tide of emotion by the water or does wanderlust start to creep in? Gregor Seberg Oh yes! As the huge tugs come past here from miles away, my imagination starts to run riot. They’ve probably come up all the way from the Black Sea, have seen countless sunsets, crossed the Balkans, been shot at, fallen in love on board and had storming rows, an amazing cacophony of different languages can be heard floating through the air. Water, sun, boats. Suddenly Austria is very big.
Is there anything special you have to keep in mind when filming on the water?
Which place on the Danube do you want to visit?
Gregor Seberg Take the water seriously. Don’t be scared of it, but remember that this element is a lot more powerful than you are. My colleague Stefan Jürgens and I once rescued a stricken couple. They had run out of fuel. It was incredibly heroic of us.
Gregor Seberg I would like to travel the length of the Danube one day, from Germany all the way to the Black Sea. Although it could take a while to get through the Wachau valley, what with all the places to stop …
In your latest cabaret show “Oh, du mein Österreich?!” (Oh you, my Austria?!) you sometimes like to have a dig at the nation’s provinces. What nice things do you have
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The Danube is feminine in German. Why? Gregor Seberg Aren’t all the prettiest things female?
// Info BOX GREGOR SEBERG was born in 1967 and grew up in Graz before moving to Vienna at the age of 14. He is an actor, director and screenwriter. Besides his leading role in SOKO Donau, he has appeared in several TV series including Schnell ermittelt and performed in various theatre productions at venues from the Volkstheater to the Volksoper. His current cabaret show is called “Oh, du mein Österreich?!” (Oh you, my Austria?!).
SOKO Donau cast (l.-r.): Sandra Cervik, Gregor Seberg, Stefan Jürgens and Lilian Klebow
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© ORF/Petro Domenigg
INTERVIEW BY FRITZ GILLINGER
Gregor Seberg If I don’t like one, then the next is never far away. No, but seriously, all three have their own particular strengths. From dreamy Upper Austria to exuberant Lower Austria to urban Vienna. The route is like a trip along the Amazon: there’s something new around every corner.
© photo-graphic-art.at; Daniela Matejschek
THE DANUBE IS HIS OFFICE: GREGOR SEBERG FIRST APPEARED AS COMMISSIONER HELMUTH NOWAK IN POPULAR AUSTRIAN TV SERIES SOKO DONAU IN 2006. HE HAS TAKEN THE RIVER SERIOUSLY EVER SINCE AND NOW DREAMS OF A TRIP ALL THE WAY TO THE BLACK SEA.
to say about Vienna, Lower Austria and Upper Austria as the places where the Danube passes through?
points of departure // DANUBE LIFE
The Danube takes centre stage in this pair of out-of-theordinary events. At the Donau in Flammen festival, flares and fireworks go off in time with classical music, while visitors are treated to regional delicacies. Meanwhile, thousands of cyclists are expected to attend Rad Total 2013 – all of the communities along the Danube from Passau to Waldkirchen will be joining in this event. www.donauinflammen.com | 18 May, 31 May, 9 August 2013 www.radtotal.at, www.danube.at | 14 April 2013
// From Bryan Adams to boys’ choirs A wealth of cultural highlights that runs the full gamut of genres. The fussfrei network is a key part of the region’s cultural make-up, while the donauFESTWOCHEN festival at Schloss Greinburg is an absolute must for fans of rare Baroque opera and early classical music. Burg Clam is famous for its open air concerts, with legends such as Carlos Santana, Bryan Adams and Herbert Grönemeyer among the past performers. The St. Florianer Sängerknaben boys’ choir (pictured) concerts at St. Florian’s monastery are simply spellbinding.
// Vienna, capital of cycling The Sound of Cycling: Vienna, the city of music and culture, will be crowned world cycling capital from 11–14 June 2013. Around 1,500 delegates from all over the world will converge on the Austrian capital for Velo-City, the world’s biggest cycling conference, to explore different ways of encouraging bike travel. The summit meeting will be accompanied by various fringe events including the Wiener RadWoche on City Hall Square from 8–15 June. This top bike fair and festival will feature exhibition events, competitions and workshops, and showcase the country’s top cycling destinations.
// Culture at its best At the Wachauer Osterreigen a packed culinary and cultural programme flanked by hikes, concerts and tasting sessions provides a fascinating addition to the outdoor attractions that the valley is so famous for. Schallaburg Renaissance Castles has something for everyone with annual exhibitions, and numerous festivals throughout the year. kultur-melk offers a high-calibre cultural programme with attractions ranging from the Wachau in Echtzeit series curated by the actress Ursula Strauss (pictured) to the perennially popular Melker Sommerspiele festival.
© St. Florianer Sängerknaben
// Danube in Flames
www.osterreigen.at | 23 March–1 April 2013 www.schallaburg.at | March–November 2013 www.kultur-melk.at | year round attraction
www.velo-city2013.com 11–14 June 2013
www.fussfrei.at www.donau-festwochen.at | 26 July–15 August 2013 www.clamconcerts.at www.stift-st-florian.at
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// Horticulture and music
// Wall of sound in Linz
Garden greats: covering ten hectares, the 50 different gardens at Garten Tulln provide a textbook walkthrough of real-life gardening. In nearby Grafenegg visitors are treated to an altogether different garden experience. The beautifully manicured formal gardens are transformed into an open-air concert hall for several weeks each summer for the Graffenegg Musik-Sommer festival.
The 2009 European cultural capital is back with a major highlight in 2013! In April the city will open a spectacular new venue: the new Musiktheater in the Volksgarten park provides the ideal backdrop for major opera productions thanks to its excellent acoustics and comfortable interior. This new arrival on the city’s soundscape adds a new dimension to Anton Bruckner’s home town. Linz – where the clouds are alive with the sound of music.
www.diegartentulln.at | 13 April–6 October 2013 www.grafenegg.at | 24 June–8 September 2013
Scheduled services Krems – Melk www.brandner.at Mobile in Upper Austria 06 Wachau buses www.n-mobil.at 01 Donauschiffahrt Wurm+Köck Scheduled services Passau – Linz – Vienna 07 Krems station www.donauschiffahrt.de www.oebb.at 02 L inz airport 08 Wachau trains www.flughafen-linz.at www.noevog.at 03 Linz station 09 Radexpress Donau – bike train www.oebb.at www.erlebnisbahn.oebb.at 04 L inz–Grein railway 10 E-bike hire www.oebb.at www.roemerland-carnuntum.at
Mobile in Vienna 11 Danube Canal, Twin City Liner terminal www.twincityliner.com 12 Hafen Wien/Handelskai (DDSG) Scheduled services Vienna – Wachau www.ddsg-blue-danube.at 13 Danube Island www.donauinsel.at 14 Vienna International Airport www.viennaairport.com 15 Hauptbahnhof station www.hauptbahnhof-wien.at 16 Westbahnhof station www.bahnhofcitywienwest.at
// Danube Island Festival turns 30 © WienTourismus/Karl Thomas
Mobile in Lower Austria 05 Brandner Schiffahrt – Boat Tours
26 // danube magazine 2013
How time flies! From 21–23 June 2013 Vienna will celebrate the 30th Danube Island Festival. Planning for the special anniversary instalment of the popular festival is already well under way. The musical line-up will feature a cross-section of the past three decades. Legendary Volksmusik performer Andreas Gabalier has a particular highlight in store. www.donauinselfest.at | 21–23 June 2013
// At long last: Kunstkammer reopens The Kunstkammer is set to reopen at Kunst historisches Museum Vienna on 1 March 2013 after ten long years. This internationally acclaimed chamber of art and wonders comprises a collection of around 2,200 curios put together by the ruling Habsburg family over several centuries. Cellini’s Saliera salt cellar is among the top exhibits. www.khm.at | 1 March 2013
// Discover Carnuntum At Carnuntum it’s as if the past 1,700 years never even happened, and the Roman Empire is yet to fall. Here, an entire Roman neighbourhood has been painstakingly recreated. The Carnuntum Experience – a series of events centred on wine – comes highly recommended. And just a few kilometres away is Schloss Hof, where visitors can follow in the footsteps of Empress Maria Theresia and Prince Eugene of Savoy. Walkers can also explore the unique wetland landscapes of the Donau Auen National Park, which extends between Vienna and Bratislava. www.carnuntum-experience.at | August–September 2013 www.schlosshof.at | www.donauauen.at
danube magazine 2013 // 27
LINZ.SOUNDS GREAT HONE ALL FIVE OF YOUR SENSES IN LINZ AND TREAT YOURSELF TO A NEW MUSICAL EXPERIENCE WWW.LINZ.AT/TOURISMUS I WWW.LINZ-TOURISMUS.INFO
3 days from
p. p. in double a room
THE NEW LINZ MUSIKTHEATER, VOLKSGARTEN LINZ FROM 11 APRIL 2013
Tourist Information Linz & OÖ Hauptplatz 1, 4020 Linz Tel. +43 732 7070 2009 email@example.com