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THE WACHAU: A WORLD HERITAGE REGION

Tips, interesting facts and special features for your stay in one of Europe's loveliest river valleys

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VINEA WACHAU KUNST UND KULTUR Rund 200 Mitglieder engagieren Lassen Sie sich begeistern sich besonders für die Wachauer ternational renommierten F ART ANDUND CULTURE VINEA WACHAU VINEA VINEA WACHAU WACHAU KUNST KUNST UND KULTUR Weine. www.vinea-wachau.at undKULTUR Ausstellungen. www.wa The 200 or so members of this wine- Today people are delighted with the Rund Rund 200 200Mitglieder Mitgliederengagieren engagieren VINEA WACHAU growers’ association are dedicated to sich sich besonders besonders für für die die Wachauer Wachauer Rund Mitglieder engagieren the 200 protection, quality and reputation of Weine. Weine. www.vinea-wachau.at www.vinea-wachau.at sich besonders die Wachauer Wachau wines. für www.vinea-wachau.at Weine. www.vinea-wachau.at

WACHAUER MARILLE

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WELTKULTURERBE

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WORLD.CULTURE.HERITAGE.

CONTENTS

This brochure will accompany you as your special travel guide through the Wachau World Heritage Region. Alongside interesting facts about wellknown locations, you will discover a wealth of valuable tips for pleasurable hours and pleasant excursions.

4 Krems an der Donau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Wachau apricots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Dürnstein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Wachau and its wines . . . . . . . 12 Weißenkirchen in der Wachau . . .14 Spitz an der Donau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Mühldorf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Wachau delicacies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Maria Laach am Jauerling . . . . . . . 24 Aggsbach Markt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 General map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Emmersdorf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Melk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Melk Abbey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Schönbühel-Aggsbach . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Bergern im Dunkelsteinerwald 38 Rossatz-Arnsdorf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Mautern an der Donau . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Wachau traditional dress . . . . . . . 44 The joy of movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Göttweig Abbey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Wachau World Heritage Trail . . . 48 Good neighbours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Around the Wachau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Car-free travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Event tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

The Wachau ranks among the most famous and most beautiful natural and cultural landscapes in the world. As early as 1955, it was declared a Landscape Protection Area. In 1994, it was awarded the Council of Europe's Natural Conservation Diploma, and in 2000, admitted to UNESCO's World Heritage List. The internationally renowned »National Geographic Traveler Magazine« even chose it as 2008's »Best Historic Destination in the World«! Allow yourself to fall under the spell of the dramatic river landscape and the diverse cultural offerings. Treat yourself to precious moments in spots that inspire you to linger a little longer. Become one with an eventful history and an emotional present, with the harmony of conservation and innovation. Become one with a variety of culinary addresses. Awaiting you are the most beautiful hotels, authentic private rooms, holiday relaxation on a wine estate, gourmet cuisine of the highest order and traditional inn culture, all identified with the »Best of Wachau« seal of quality. This accolade is only bestowed upon businesses that make a commitment to continually improve their quality and, in striving for improvement, don't forget what it means to be from the Wachau. For the restaurateurs participating in the »Best of Wachau« initiative, it is a heartfelt desire to transform their guests into ambassadors for the Wachau, taking their impressions, experiences and stories out into the wider world. | www.bestof-wachau.at Whether you are travelling on foot, by bicycle, e-bike or boat: fascinating insights open up everywhere – along with enchanting views of landscapes that delight the heart and soul. Have fun exploring the Wachau!

Sustainability ........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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HERITAGE IN THE RIVER OF TIME WELCOME TO THE WACHAU! If it is your first visit to the Wachau, simply soak up this work of art as a whole: the winding river valley, the jagged rocks, the characteristic vineyards, the expansive orchards, the monumental abbeys, castles and ruins, and all of the picturesque spots. Appreciate richly contrasting nature extending over 33 km, and cultural treasures bearing witness to a long history. SUSTAINABLE NATURE PROJECTS The Wachau is one of the oldest cultural landscapes in Austria and – alongside the Danube Wetlands National Park – the only part of Austria in which the Danube flows freely. This diverse river landscape combines residual wetlands and dry grasslands with near-natural forests and a mosaic of vineyards and orchards. All of this offers a habitat for many rare species of fauna and flora. In order to save this unique landscape from crass interference and also to preserve it for future generations, on-going projects and project weeks contribute to the cultivation and conservation of the region. UNESCO's Paris-based World Heritage Centre recently declared the nature conservation project »Wachau Volunteer« a »best practice example«. LIFE NATURE-PROJECTS Since 2003 and within the context of the LIFE Nature projects, countless cutoff meanders and tributaries have been reconnected to the Danube, and new gravel islands and banks created. Numerous fish species have been given new spawning grounds as a result. Endangered species, such as the kingfisher and beaver, as well as dragonfly and amphibian species benefit from this linking up of water bodies, as well as from the restoration of natural forest and dry grassland areas. The LIFE Nature projects have developed into flagship projects for the implementation of Natura 2000 goals throughout Europe. www.life-wachau.at INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTARY PROJECT »WACHAU VOLUNTEER« Since 2010, Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park and the »Arbeitskreis Wachau« have been organising international volunteering projects for the conservation of the most valuable natural areas in the Wachau and for the cultivation of traditional landscape elements. The nature conservation focus lies on the cultivation and mowing of semi-dry and dry grasslands. These once extensively used vineyards, pasturelands and mown areas belong to the biodiversity hotspots along the Danube and are in danger of becoming overgrown. In 2009, »WachauVolunteer« was awarded the Natura 2000 prize by the province of Lower Austria, and is supported by the European Union, the Republic of Austria and the province of Lower Austria. 2011 saw »Wachau Volunteer« become the first Austrian volunteer project to be included in the »World Heritage Volunteers« campaign by UNESCO. www.naturpark-jauerling.at www.whvolunteers.org


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KREMS AN DER DONAU The twin towns of Krems-Stein are a dynamic cultural centre and university town. In the old towns, which are part of UNESCO's Wachau World Heritage Site, you can stroll through medieval cobbled lanes and discover romantic arcade courtyards, pleasant cafés and many a cultural treasure. Particularly worth a visit are the five frescoed ceilings by the famous »Kremser Schmidt« in Krems Parish Church, the »Cathedral of the Wachau«. The oldest sacred building in Krems still in use as a church is the late-Gothic Piarist Church standing on a hill. It is considered the »little sister« of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. The Dominican Church today houses »museumkrems«, in which »Fanny vom Galgenberg« is displayed, among other exhibits. The approx. 32,000-year-old female figurine is deemed to be the oldest work of art in Austria. Remarkable frescoes adorn the Gozzoburg. The early Gothic city palace was once home to the town magistrate Gozzo. A landmark of Krems is the »Steiner Tor«, which is the only one of the city's four gates to be preserved. To the east of the historic centre is »Sandgrube 13 wein.sinn«, a wine adventure world providing insights into the past and present of wine culture. The path from Krems into the old town of Stein leads through the Krems Art Mile, which is a rewarding stopping off point – not just for art fans.

TOURIST INFORMATION 3500 Krems, Utzstraße 1 Tel 02732/82676 Mail willkommen@krems-tourismus.at www.krems.at | www.krems.info

PLEASURE TIPS HOUSE OF THE REGIONS Get to know one another, break down barriers: The House of the Regions – »Volkskultur Europa« at the Krems-Stein Danube landing is a meeting point for regional folk cultures. With music, dance, literature, folk art, culinary specialities and the »Gallery of the Regions«, a shop selling exclusive handicrafts. Tel 02732/85015 www.volkskulturnoe.at/vkeuropa/

WEINGUT STADT KREMS (WINE ESTATE)

WINZER KREMS (WINEMAKERS)

With 550 years of history, one of the oldest wine producers in Austria and Europe.

A wine adventure tour at »Sandgrube 13 wein.sinn« – a meaningful journey into the fascination of wine.

Tel 02732/80144 www.weingutstadtkrems.at

Tel 02732/85511 | www.sandgrube13.at www.winzerkrems.at


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CULTURE IN KREMS All of the regions of Lower Austria have a varied and multifaceted arts and culture scene. In this context, Krems as a »City of Culture« plays a special role. Alongside the unique old town and numerous galleries, it is especially worth paying a visit to the Krems Art Mile, with its two flagships of Kunsthalle Krems and Krems Caricature Museum. www.kunsthalle.at | www.karikaturmuseum.at Die Kunstwerke der Artothek in Krems geben einen repräsentativen Einblick in das Kunstschaffen seit 1945 mit Schwerpunkt Niederösterreich. www.artothek.at Contemporary art is also shown at Galerie Stadtpark in Krems.

EVENTS

A meeting point for lovers of literature is the »Unabhängige Literaturhaus« (Independent Literature House) in Krems-Stein. | www.ulnoe.at Other stops for art and culture in the immediate neighbourhood are the Susanne Wenger Archive, the »Kino im Kesselhaus« cinema at Danube University Krems, House of the Regions, and '»NÖ Volkskultur«. www.volkskulturnoe.at

KUNSTMEILE KREMS (KREMS ART MILE)

IMAGO DEI EASTER FESTIVAL With timeless music originating from different ethnicities, eras and religions, the festival is dedicated to a variety of themes connected with the Easter ritual. www.klangraum.at DONAUFESTIVAL Taking place on two weekends in spring is Krems' international platform for innovative music and performance art. | www.donaufestival.at GLATT & VERKEHRT & HERBSTZEITLOS A diverse programme in attractive settings with musical voyages of discovery around the globe. In the autumn, Glatt&Verkehrt offers an epilogue in the form of »Herbst Zeitlos«. www.glattundverkehrt.at

Cultural institutions of international standing and high-quality gastronomic offerings are brought together on the Krems Art Mile. The Caricature Museum in Krems and Kunsthalle Krems – located directly at the Krems-Stein landing pier at the »Gate to the Wachau« – always guarantee an exciting and entertaining art experience. Under the new management of Florian Steininger and with established and contemporary young positions, Kunsthalle Krems will in future promote an interdisciplinary, progressive and international orientation. Starting in 2017, the Dominican Church in the old town of Krems will also be utilised as an exhibition space for Kunsthalle Krems. The Caricature Museum in Krems is Austria's only museum for caricatures, pictorial satire, comics and cartoons. In addition to the permanent collection of the celebrated Austrian caricaturist, Manfred Deix (1949–2016), the museum displays changing exhibitions from renowned national and international caricaturists and illustrators. Just 5 minutes walk from both exhibition sites lie Forum Frohner, the Ernst Krenek Forum, and Klangraum Krems, as well as Galerie Göttlicher in the old town of Stein. Starting in spring 2018, the Krems Art Mile will be enhanced with a further exhibition site: Landesgalerie Niederösterreich (»Lower Austrian Provincial Gallery«). www.kunsthalle.at | www.karikaturmuseum.at | www.lgnoe.at

INTERESTING FACTS KREMSER SCHMIDT

SOUND ART IN KLANGRAUM KREMS MINORITE CHURCH The early Gothic Minorite church and the chapter house are transformed into unique acoustic sites by sound art from internationally renowned artists. www.klangraum.at

Martin Johann Schmidt, known as »Kremser Schmidt«, is undoubtedly the only Baroque painter of international calibre to come from Lower Austria. The paintings by the artist, who was born in 1718 in Grafenwörth near Krems, are characterised by an atmospheric chiaroscuro style.

Alongside frescoed ceilings, which can be admired in the churches of Krems, Dürnstein and Herzogenburg, as well as on the imperial staircase of Göttweig Abbey, Schmidt created countless altarpieces and devotional images. www.kirchen-am-fluss.at


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THE OLD TOWNS OF KREMS AND STEIN While the old town of Krems retreats into the mountain slopes, Stein lies directly on the river. The wealth of the former port of Stein is still marvelled at today: richly embellished portals, bay windows and architectural treasures, such as the Göttweigerhof, the Minorite Church and the Parish Church. Visitors coming from the Danube stroll across the town hall square past the Johannes Nepomuk monument and the Baroque town hall, along Steiner Landstraße and, in turn, past the Kunsthalle, the Caricature Museum and the monastery right through to the Steiner Tor Gate. The only one of Krems' four city gates to be preserved, it is decorated with inscriptions and coats of arms. It is here that the old town of Krems begins with Upper and Lower Landstraße, which has served as the city's principal axis since medieval times. In the centre of Krems, directly adjacent to the popular pedestrian zone in the old town – part of the Wachau World Heritage Site – stands the former Dominican Monastery on Körnermarkt. Today it is here that »museumkrems«, the city's museum, displays its extensive collections, which include a selection of Wachau paintings, three self-portraits by the artist Martin Johann Schmidt, known as »Kremser Schmidt«, Wachau ceramics, Krems town history and much more. Also on display is »Fanny vom Galgenberg«, Austria's oldest female figurine, the second-oldest in the world. Alongside this are selected archaeological findings and rarities. The museum's calendar is further enhanced by special changing exhibitions of contemporary artists in the monks' former bedrooms on the upper floor. An exhibition room is devoted to Krems mustard.

THE CHURCHES Krems and Stein are treasure troves of sacral architecture. Largely constructed on medieval foundations, some of the churches reveal the aspirational elegance of the Gothic period, such as the Piarist Church and the Bürgerspital church, or Baroque gloss, such as the Krems Parish Church of St. Veit. Despite its secularization, the Dominican Church retains much from the Romanic and Gothic periods. It houses »museumkrems« and the provincial gallery »Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich«. An insider tip is the early Gothic sacral chamber of Göttweigerhof Chapel in Stein, the key to which is available from the tourist information office at Utzstraße 1. Hard to overlook is the Baroque Parish Church of St. Nikolaus in Stein. A further tip is the early Gothic Matthias Chapel at Förthof. The chapel belongs to the wine-growers of Förthof.

INTERESTING FACTS KREMS MUSTARD It is not often that the name of a town is associated with a culinary product extending far beyond the region itself. Gourmets associate Krems an der Donau with Krems wine and Krems mustard. Museumkrems reveals several of the secrets of the sweet Krems mustard, how it

is made and what accounts for its special taste. Even if the recipes themselves are well-kept secrets. Rarities from the Peter Hietzgern collection chronicle the mustard production and the »Original Krems Mustard«. Objects from the Mautner Markhof collection prove that »Original Krems Mustard« is today not only valued here in Europe, but also in the USA, in Australia and South Africa.

EVENT ALLES MARILLE (»IT’S ALL APRICOTS«) Each year at the time of the apricot harvest in July, the historic old town of Krems devotes a two-day festival of culinary pleasure and culture to the EU-protected Wachau apricot. Alongside apricot schnapps distilling, also on the programme are traditional »Zistel« basket weaving, jam preserving and world record attempts at baking the longest apricot strudel – together with music, folk dancing and a fashion show of traditional costumes. Parallel to this, the Stein landing pier plays host to a »pub village« that can be reached by slow train from the old town. www.alles-marille.at

The old barrels of »Original Krems Mustard« can today be seen alongside other exhibits in museumkrems. A special exhibit has been devoted to Krems mustard. Tel 02732/801-566,567, museumkrems@krems.gv.at www.museumkrems.at


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WORLD HERITAGE CENTRE The River Navigation and World Heritage Centre in Krems-Stein, directly on the Danube, does not merely mark the entrance to the Wachau. Situated in front of the architecturally interesting building is the World Heritage Visitor Centre, which accommodates the ticket counter for BRANDNER cruises and DDSG Blue Danube cruises. Furthermore, in the »Wellenspiel« restaurant, you can dine on typical regional fare and purchase regional products and wines in the gift shop. Selected wines from the Wachau and Kremstal Valley are to be found in the wine store. | www.wellenspiel.at Information & Advice: Krems tourist information office 3500 Krems | Utzstraße 1 | Mail willkommen@krems-tourismus.at www.krems.info Opening times Mon to Fri: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Sat: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sun and public holidays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

RIVER CRUISES At the River Navigation and World Heritage Centre in Krems, the Wachau and its culinary delicacies can be enjoyed aboard the modernly designed »MS Austria« of BRANDNER Schiffahrt on cruises as far as Melk. Stops en-route: Dürnstein, Weißenkirchen, Spitz, Aggsbach (upon request), Emmersdorf. In addition, passenger ship lines are also operated by DDSG. www.brandner.at | www.ddsg-blue-danube.at

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Restaurant Zum Kaiser von Österreich

Körnermarkt 9 | Tel 02732/86001 | www.kaiser-von-oesterreich.at

Hotel und Gasthof Klinglhuber ****

Wienerstraße 2 | Tel 02732/82143 | www.klinglhuber.com

Steigenberger Hotel & Spa ****S

Am Goldberg 2 | Tel 02732/71010 | www.krems.steigenberger.at

Café – Konditorei Hagmann

Untere Landstr. 8 | Tel 02732/83167 | www.wachauer-schokolade.at

arte Hotel Krems ****

Dr. Karl Dorrek-Str. 23 | Tel 02732/71123 | www.arte-hotel.at

Hotel »Unter den Linden« ***

Schillerstraße 5 | Tel 02732/82115 | www.udl.at

Weinhof Aufreiter

Krems-Angern, Dorfstraße 34 | Tel 02739/2205 | www.weinhof.at


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THE WACHAU APRICOT PLEASURE REGION Alongside its reputation as a world class wine-growing region, the Wachau has also made a name for itself as an orchard. Since 2006, the sun-blessed cultural landscape also calls itself the »Wachau apricot pleasure region«. Pleasure is promised by the EU-protected Wachau apricot, especially during its blossoming and harvesting period. Depending upon weather conditions, some 100,000 apricot trees provide a spectacle with the splendour of their pinkwhite blossom. The countdown to their full floral display can be followed every year via webcam on www.wachau.at Anyone wishing to savour the unique taste of the much-coveted Wachau apricot is advised to visit during the harvest period in July. Some 170 hectares of apricot orchards from 21 municipalities produce the original Wachau apricot yield. The largest apricot-growing municipality in the Wachau is Rossatz-Arnsdorf. Two-thirds of the harvest is sold directly from the farm, the rest is processed into distillates, liqueurs, jams and juice. Krems apricot farmer Harald Aufreiter takes care of the fragile fruits, and also of the around 1,000 trees in his own apricot orchards. He only cultivates the fruity old Wachau varieties such as the Krems Apricot or the Klosterneuburg Apricot. While in Krems an entire festival takes place mid July under the slogan »Alles Marille« (»it’s all apricots«) and the Spitz apricot festival or »Marillenkirtag« attracts thousands of visitors every year, in Krems-Angern a special path leads to the fruit, through orchards and via small stopping-off points with many interesting facts.

INTERESTING FACTS When purchasing apricots and apricot products, it is worthwhile to buy directly from the apricot farmers. Here, you will receive the delicious fruits and can also ask for information from the apricot farmers themselves. You'll find them from Emmersdorf to Gedersdorf and from Melk through to Hollenburg. »Genussregion« signs at the apricot farms and farm signs from the »Wachau Apricot Association« identify authorised apricot farmers. If you wish to plant a genuine Wachau apricot tree, saplings are available for purchase all year round from the shop of Göttweig Abbey or at Hick plant nursery in Weißenkirchen.

Irrespective of whether freshly plucked from the tree or in the guise of succulent dumplings, cakes, strudels, jams, compotes, juice or schnapps: the Wachau apricot is sure to make the mouth water. Further information about the apricot pleasure region is to be found under: www.marillen-genuss.at

More information about the special quality of the Wachau apricot can be found under: www.wachauermarille.at


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DÜRNSTEIN

Visible from afar is the blue-white bell tower of Dürnstein. It belongs to the church of the Augustinian Monastery. Since its dissolution at the end of the 18th century, the monastery has been under the charge of Herzogenburg Monastery. Dürnstein looks back on a chequered history: The »Dogs of Kuenring« dwelled here, the Poor Clares retreated into prayer at Dürnstein, Provost Hieronymus Übelbacher covered the town and vineyards with Baroque excess, and the Viennese painters of the Romantic period found their artistic subjects here.

TOURIST INFORMATION 3601 Dürnstein 25 Tel 02711/219 Mail info@duernstein.at www.duernstein.at

The former monastery complex, the castle – now an elegant hotel – the church of Kunigunde and the Pillory Square count among the cultural treasures of Austrian architecture. Equally a cultural treasure is the story of the English king, Richard the Lionhearted, who was imprisoned in what is today the ruined castle above the town. Legend has it that he was freed upon payment of a ransom by his faithful minstrel, Blondl. A detour to the wine cellars of the Wachau domain is rewarding. The interesting cellar tour ends with a good glass of wine in a magnificently restored Baroque »Kellerschlössel«. Particularly beautiful is the view of Dürnstein from the Danube. Anyone arriving via the overland route is advised to travel to Dürnstein with the bike ferry, a motorised barge, from Rossatz on the opposite bank.

PLEASURE TIPS THE SLOW TRAIN Wine experience trips through Dürnstein, the wine-growing villages of Oberloiben and Unterloiben, across the vineyards, via Loibenberg with its panoramic view of Göttweig Abbey. It is possible to organise wine tastings directly on the mountain, as well as a special programme for groups. Tel 0676/512 48 25 | www.kuenringer.at

WACHAU SAFFRON IN LOIBEN

SCHMIDL BAKERY & CONFECTIONARY

Wachau saffron production and show garden in Unterloiben/Dürnstein. In addition to the spice, Wachau saffron-red wine chocolate, saffron honey, saffron beer and saffron vinegar are also available to be sampled and purchased. | www.wachauer-safran.at

A traditional Wachau business, in which the famous »Wachauer Laberl«, a round bread roll made of rye and wheat flour, was created in 1905. Tel 02711/224 www.schmidl-duernstein.at


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THE OLD TOWN OF DÜRNSTEIN In the old town of Dürnstein, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture form an incomparable, romantic ensemble. From the banks of the Danube and the »Malerwinkel« (painters' corner) – where landscape painters used to set up their easels in days gone by – through the »Traunergassl«, the path leads uphill to the courtyard and church of the Augustian Monastery, a unique Baroque jewel. Past handsome town houses, the Pillory Square and the Church of Kunigunde the path continues out through the »Steiner Tor«, from where it is possible to stroll through the vineyards of Dürnstein and back to Loiben.

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES The first convents along the Danube were founded in the 13th century. Dürnstein was home to the Convent of the Poor Clares (today part of the »Richard Löwenherz« Hotel) and the Church of Kunigunde (the remains of which are at the eastern town gate). In 1410, Augustinian Canons from Bohemia constructed Dürnstein Monastery, which was later extensively reconstructed in Baroque style and, with its blue-white tower, has become the landmark of the Wachau. A parish church is also to be found in Unterloiben, which can be reached with the slow train.

WACHAU VINEYARD VIEW Above Domäne Wachau on Dürnstein’s Kellerberg Mountain, situated directly on the Wachau World Heritage Route, a picnic spot with a wonderful view over Loiben and the Danube Valley has been created by a young designer from the New Design University St. Pölten. www.domaene-wachau.at

RICHARD THE LIONHEARTED More insight into the life of Richard the Lionhearted is provided by a signposted path, which leads from Dürnstein up to the ruin. Not a legend, but rather reality, is the fact that Duke Leopold V. received a generous ransom for the release of the English king with which, among other things, the town of Wiener Neustadt in the south of Lower Austria was built.

FERRIES IN THE WACHAU From Easter until mid October, a bike ferry connects Dürnstein with Rossatz. Timetables can be found under www.faehre-wachau.at or Tel 0676/370 9633.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Restaurant Loibnerhof Unterloiben 7 | Tel 02732/82890 | www.loibnerhof.at Wachauerstube Unterloiben 24 | Tel 02732/85950 | www.wachauerstube.at Gartenhotel Pfeffel **** Zur Himmelsstiege 122 | Tel 02711/206 | www.pfeffel.at Hotel Richard Löwenherz**** Nr. 8 | Tel 02711/222 | www.richardloewenherz.at Hotel Schloss Dürnstein ***** Nr. 2 | Tel 02711/212 | www.schloss.at Bäckerei-Konfiserie Schmidl Nr. 20-21 | Tel 02711/224 | www.schmidl-duernstein.at

EXCURSION TIP CANOE AND STAND UP PADDLE The Wachau can be appreciated from a very special perspective when »hiking« on the river itself. In this way, it is possible to explore quiet coves, isolated islands as well as tributaries of the Danube. Greg Wimmer offers this experience either as part of a canoe trip or by stand up paddleboarding – SUP for short. SUP is a trendy new sporting discipline from Hawaii, whereby a sense of balance is developed and all of the body's major muscle groups are strengthened. Which participants are eligible for a river tour is up to the trainer’s discretion. Beginners' courses are conducted in nearby calm waters or coves of the Danube. www.kanu-wachau.at/sup/


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THE WACHAU AND ITS WINES Austria's most famous wine region owes its sophisticated and elegant white wine not only to the great skill of the many winemakers, but also to the virtually ideal natural conditions. World-class wines are created in the special climate and on the typical primary rock terraces. The tradition of viticulture extends right back to the Roman settlement of the Wachau. Its first golden age was experienced under Carolingian rule. In the Middle Ages, Wachau wines had already gained a reputation reaching far beyond Austria's borders. Wines from Wachau – primarily the white wine varieties of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner – today garner the highest accolades at national and international wine tastings. The winemakers' recipe for success? The combination of a love of innovation, utmost quality awareness and knowledge of the climate and terroir. Wachau winemakers today cultivate an area of vineyards amounting to some 1,390 hectares.

DOMÄNE WACHAU The quality-conscious winemakers' cooperative rates as one of the ten best white wine estates in Austria. Following strict guidelines, the members cultivate approx. 440 hectares or around 30 per cent of the wine-growing area of the Wachau. The grapes come from the best vines. The wines, consistently in the premium segment, also receive international recognition. The Domäne Wachau estate in Dürnstein combines the modern with the historic. During an approx. 1.5 hour guided tour with tastings, visitors are given insight into both worlds: in the new wine cellars and the Baroque »Kellerschlössel« with its underlying vaulted cellar. Hieronymus Übelbacher proudly placed his »Lusthaus im Weinberg« amid the vines. None other than the Baroque star architect Jakob Prandtauer designed the well-proportioned summer residence for the art-loving Provost of Dürnstein. After its renovation, it again shines in dazzling white and yellow against the green of the vine leaves and surprises on the inside with its opulent wall design. What was once an idyllic setting where the Provost could enjoy Wachau wines and his precious collection of engravings and etchings with friends is, with its climbing roses, open staircase, panorama terrace and Baroque front lawn, an ideal location for wine tastings and weddings today. www.domaene-wachau.at

SHOPPING TIPS A good selection of wines from the Wachau is offered by the diverse vinotheques in which wine can also be tasted: Vinothek Wein & Wachau, Melk Tel 02752/54987 | www.weinundwachau.at Vinothek IWB Fohringer, Spitz/Donau Tel 02713/2029 | www.fohringer.at Vinothek Thal Wachau, Weißenkirchen Tel 02715/2600 Domäne Wachau, Dürnstein Tel 02711/371-0 | www.domaene-wachau.at Vinotake Dürnstein-Loiben Tel 02711/80565


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BUILT ON STONE Many centuries ago, in order to be able to cultivate any wine at all on the steep slopes of the Wachau, suitable areas were created, namely terraces that are protected from sliding downhill by stone walls. Furthermore, the walls also act as heat reservoirs. In order to guarantee the water supply and ventilation behind the terrace walls, these walls are even today made of stones carefully placed one on top of the other and lend the landscape its special character.

VINEA WACHAU NOBILIS DISTRICTUS The »Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus« association is arguably the most prestigious winemakers association in Austria. Numbering just 25 Wachau wine estates which vowed the »celibacy of Wachau winegrowing« in the founding year of 1983, Vinea Wachau today counts 200 members. For the clear positioning of Wachau wine, the winemakers not only laid down strict geographic borders, but also a very clear definition of the Wachau style of wine. »Steinfeder«, »Federspiel« and »Smaragd« have become terms familiar to every lover of Austrian wines worldwide and are immediately associated with the Wachau. The wines may only be produced by members of Vinea Wachau. They cultivate some 85 per cent of the Wachau's wine-growing areas and are especially committed to the protection, quality and reputation of Wachau wine. The Codex Wachau and the brands Steinfeder ®, Federspiel® and Smaragd® stand for natural wine production, guaranteed origin and strict voluntary controls. www.vinea-wachau.at

STEINFEDER & CO Steinfeder (English: stone feather) refers to the light, sparkling white wine with a maximum 11.5 % vol. alcohol. The name Steinfeder comes from a feather-light grass that grows in the Wachau. Federspiel wines are somewhat more robust, with a maximum 12.5 % vol. alcohol. The word »Federspiel« (English: feather game) has its origins in falconry and describes the simulated prey that is intended to lure the falcons back to the hand of the falconer. Smaragd (English: emerald) identifies those great, full-bodied wines that have an alcohol content exceeding 12.5 % vol. They are named after the green-blue shimmering lizards or »Smaragdeidechsen«, which feel especially at home in sun-soaked stone terraces.

MYWACHAU Download the myWachau app on your mobile phone and discover which winemakers you can visit without making an appointment, which wine tavern or »Heuriger« is currently open and which name is given to the individual Wachau vineyards. www.mywachau.at

TASTING, HIKING AND CELEBRATING Throughout the year there are opportunities for stylish wine tastings, such as at the various wine festivals, during »Weinfrühling« (wine spring) and »Weinherbst« (wine autumn), in the wine taverns and restaurants or directly at the wine estates themselves. www.wachau.at Countless beautiful hiking trails lead through the vineyards. Guided hikes are also on offer. www.welterbesteig.at

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WEISSENKIRCHEN IN DER WACHAU

TOURIST INFORMATION 3610 Weißenkirchen, Wachaustraße 242 Tel 02715/2600 Mail info@weissenkirchen-wachau.at www.weissenkirchen-wachau.at

The picturesque wine-producing village has long had a special position. Weißenkirchen was once the centre of the »Magistrat Thal Wachau« (Wachau Valley Municipal Administration) – the original Wachau, so to speak. A particularly striking building in the town is the imposing fortified church, which towers over the neat vintners' houses and harvesting complexes with its angular tower and Gothic tiled roof, inclined at 60 degrees. Equally formidable is the view: From the parapet of the church, the view extends far over the Danube Valley and the locality with its expansive vineyards. Situated a little below the church, it is worth paying a visit to Teisenhoferhof, which is an event venue and home to the gallery in the Wachau Museum. Also belonging to Weißenkirchen are Joching, Wösendorf and St. Michael – names which are highly familiar to wine connoisseurs. It is between Weißenkirchen and Joching, in the Ritzling vineyard, that the origin of the Riesling vine lies – according to one version of the story. On the other hand, it is certain that two winemakers from Weißenkirchen played a significant role in the boom of Wachau winegrowing: pioneers Josef Jamek and Franz Prager. Alongside Wilhelm Schwengler and Franz Hirtzberger, the two are also founding fathers of »Vinea Wachau«. The members of this association of winemakers commit themselves to the promotion and conservation of Wachau viticulture and to the fulfilment of the utmost quality criteria. Also lying at the very top of the romantic spectrum is Wösendorf, with its sleepy lanes. Although St. Michael only numbers 13 houses, it plays an important historical role: founded in 987, the parish church was once the only one in the region.

PLEASURE TIPS

WACHAU CHILLI A multitude of home-grown chilli varieties is available from Hick plant nursery in Weißenkirchen, with 5 categories ranging from »soft« through to »2hot«. Tel 02715/2291 | www.hick-wachau.at

PRANDTAUERHOF

WIESER WACHAU

Pleasure of the highest order is offered by the Holzapfel family in Joching: Prandtauerhof ranks among the leading wine estates in the Wachau. Also of note is the estate's own distillery, the fine brandies of which win awards year upon year. Tel 02715/2310 | www.holzapfel.at

The homemade schnapps and jams, fine chocolate, Arabica coffee from the inhouse roastery and natural cosmetics from Johanna and Markus Wieser are successfully marketed throughout Europe. Tel 02715/2544 | www.wieser-wachau.at


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INTERESTING FACTS THE HARES OF ST. MICHAEL They can be seen by anyone who looks closely. The »seven hares« on the roof ridge of the fortified church of St. Michael are an architectural curiosity. If asked, the inhabitants of Wachau are happy to tell the tale of the hares, which took refuge on the church roof during a snowy winter and could not get down from there after the thaw. But the »hares« do not look at all like long-eared creatures – the original terra-

cotta ones are in the Weinstadtmuseum (wine-growing town museum) in Krems. They have also been called stags or »steeds«. What some see as an homage to the church donor, Siebenrössl, are

viewed by others as religious symbolism: The persecution of Christ by henchmen, who are represented by horses. Seen in this light, the story of the rabbits in the snow is perhaps more entertaining.

THE TEISENHOFERHOF As part of the fortification of the church of Weißenkirchen, the courtyard was expanded in 1542 with a Renaissance-style arcade courtyard and two towers. Where once crossbowmen tried their skills is now home to the gallery in the Wachau Museum. Over the past two centuries, the beauty of the region has been discovered by painters such as Emil Strecker, Max Suppantschitsch and Johann Nepomuk Geller. They have entered the pages of history as the Wachau painters.

FROM VINE TO VINE A stroll through the vineyards is always rewarding, preferably accompanied by a winegrower from Weißenkirchen. However the best views and insights are nevertheless promised by the Wachau World Heritage Trail. Anyone who takes the mountain path from Dürnstein in hiking boots will reach the famous vineyards of Klaus and Achleiten, two of the world's best sites for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. Further information on guided vineyard hikes in the Wachau can be found under www.wachau-hiata.at.

FERRIES IN THE WACHAU During the tourist season, the drive-on cable ferry connects Weißenkirchen to the historic fortified church of St. Lorenz on the south bank of the Wachau. From here there is a wonderful, if somewhat strenuous, climb to the Seekopf hill with observation tower on the Wachau World Heritage Trail.

GETTING MARRIED IN THE WACHAU The legendary Councillor Geiger and his Mariandl did it, and many famous and romantically-inclined pairs are happy to follow suit: getting married in the Wachau. The picturesque river valley has always held a magical attraction for lovers and those who wish to put the official seal on their love. This is especially true in the spring, when the blossoms from thousands of fruit trees spread like a bride's veil across the gardens and loess terraces. A particularly romantic variant is a wedding ceremony set amid the vineyards – provided the »weather god« plays along. A tried and tested wedding venue is Weitenberg vineyard in Weißenkirchen. Also popular is the combination of festivities in the historic Teisenhoferhof and a civil ceremony at Weißenkirchen registry office. Tel 02715/2232-227 www.wachau.at/heiraten | www.weissenkirchen-wachau.at

PLEASURE TIP WEISSENKIRCHEN RIESLING FESTIVAL Rieslings from the Wachau rank among the best white wines in the world. In Weißenkirchen, this is fittingly celebrated every August. The traditional Riesling festival takes place in the festive Renaissance ambiance of the Teisenhoferhof. Here, the best Rieslings from the region can be tasted, appreciated and purchased – a culinary and musical supporting programme completes the offer. | Tel 02715/2600 www.weissenkirchen-wachau.at


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RIVERSIDE CHURCHES The parish church of Weißenkirchen was one of the most important church strongholds in Lower Austria, with its covered steps and the underlying Teisenhoferhof. It was constructed in the 13th century on a chapel dating from the 11th century. By way of contrast, Wösendorf Parish Church is an impressive Baroquestyle building with an altarpiece by Martin Johann Schmidt, also known as »Kremser Schmidt«. St. Michael ultimately ranks among the oldest church establishments in Austria. Mentioned for the first time in 987, the place of worship was long the only parish church in the region. Likely to cause a few goose bumps is the »Schädelpietà« (skull pietà) on the altar table in the Gothic charnel house. An insider tip for gourmets: The chapel built by Jakob Prandtauer at Prandtauerhof winery and restaurant in Joching.

INTERESTING FACTS HARVESTING YARDS OF THE WACHAU In the Middle Ages, the economic and cultural life in the Wachau was largely shaped by its monasteries. At the end of the 15th century, almost three quarters of the Wachau's vineyards were owned by the church. In order to press the wine, the monasteries constructed grand harvesting yards. At that time, harvesting yards were established by more than 50 monasteries. Many of these yards house wineries until this present day.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Hofmeisterei Hirtzberger Wösendorf, Hauptstraße 74 | Tel 02715/22931 | www.hofmeisterei.at Restaurant Heinzle Wachaustraße 280 | Tel 02715/2231 | www.heinzle.at/ Hotel-Restaurant Donauwirt *** Wachaustraße 47 | Tel 02715/2247 | www.donauwirt.at Hotel-Restaurant Kirchenwirt **** Kremser Str. 17 | Tel 02715/2332 | www.kirchenwirt-wachau.at Weingut Holzapfel – Prandtauerhof Joching, Prandtauerplatz 36 | Tel 02715/2310 | www.holzapfel.at Gästehaus »Turm Wachau« Auf der Burg 140 | Tel 0664/2013850 | www.turm-wachau.at Hotel Garni Donauhof **** Donaugasse 298 | Tel 02715/2353 | www.hotel-donauhof.at Hotel Weinquadrat **** Landstraße 238 | Tel 02715/20008 | www.weinquadrat.at Pension »Gästehaus Heller« *** Kremser Straße 14 | 02715/2221 | www.gaestehaus-heller.at Weingut und Ferienwohnung Pomaßl Im Schild 175 | Tel 02711/286 | www.herbstzauber.at


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SPITZ AN DER DONAU

Like a precious collar, Spitz encircles the Tausendeimerberg – a prominent vineyard in the middle of the village. Marktstraße Street snakes its way up from the Danube, past harvesting yards, the Baroque Aggsteinerhof and old stone wells until it reaches the parish church, with its characteristic kinked nave. A small lane leads from Kirchenplatz to a town gate, the walls of which – as legend has it – were coloured with blood in the battle with besiegers during the Thirty Year War. Hence it was given the name »Rotes Tor« (red gate). Today it rates among the most beautiful viewpoints in Spitz. Situated not far from the late Gothic church of St. Mauritius is Spitz Castle. Its Renaissance hall is a popular choice for events and weddings. Heading back towards the Danube, the medieval town hall with its Gothic details stands at the top of the main street. The Wachau railway runs through its inner courtyard. Anyone wishing to discover more about Spitz should ask Hans Hamberger to open up the historic merchant's shop or pay a visit to the innovatively designed river navigation museum in Erlahof Castle. Extending an invitation for an evening stroll is the Donaulände promenade in Spitz, which has been enhanced with a new light concept by the artist Siegrun Appelt. | www.siegrunappelt.com

TOURIST INFORMATION 3620 Spitz, Mittergasse 3a Tel 02713/2363 Mail info@spitz-wachau.at www.spitz-wachau.com

Still to be conquered are the ruins of Hinterhaus fortress. The view richly rewards the climb up to the ruins on the local mountain. From here you can go into the Spitzer Graben Valley or continue further south to Schwallenbach with its distinctive little fortified church.

PLEASURE TIPS HISTORIC MERCHANT'S SHOP In the vaulted cellar of his house, Hans Hamberger has recreated a general store dating back to the first decade of the 20th century, with old furnishings, historic merchandise, documents and advertising material from a traditional Spitz trading house. Guided tours upon request: claus.hamberger@aon.at Tel 02713/2074

DER BUSCH Wine and apricot specialities, as well as products from the natural cosmetic range »Die schöne Wachauerin«. Segway rental with guided tours through the Wachau. Tel 0676/6704776 www.derbusch.at www.segway-wachau.at


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SPITZER GRABEN VALLEY The Danube once flowed through the Spitzer Graben. This gentle valley along the Spitzer Bach (Spitz stream) is thus the largest side valley in the Wachau. The Wachau's steepest vineyard terraces are to be found in Gut am Steg, Viessling and Elsarn. At the top end of the valley lies Mühldorf, set amid a thriving landscape of meadows and orchards. It is hard to believe that graphite was once mined at the edge of this locality. Natural spectacles, such as the apricot blossom, can today be admired there and many award-winning Grüne Veltliner, Rieslinge and Neuburger wines sampled. Tip: It is worthwhile filling a picnic bag with Wachau specialities and wines and taking a break at one of the many beautiful spots.

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES

PLEASURE TIP MARILLENKIRTAG At the traditional Spitz »Marillenkirtag«, homage has been paid to the Wachau apricot every summer for more than 50 years. Visitors' palates are tantalised every July with delicious apricot dumplings, fruity apricot punch and the finest apricot brandies. Among the programme's highlights is the traditional procession of King Marillus and Princess Aprikosia, which passes through the locality and culminates in the awarding of the Golden Apricot. The festival is brought to a close with folk dancing and songs. www.spitz-wachau.com

Art historians are still arguing about the »kink«. Indeed Austria only has eight examples of such an axial kink in the nave of a church, and the one in Spitz Parish Church is the most skewed. Dating back to the 14th century, the tower and sacristy are the oldest structural components. The richly decorated nave took a full two hundred years to build. Tip: Look out for the famous »Christ and the twelve apostles« group of sculptured figurines, dating back to the Gothic period. Also preserved is the Gothic style of the chapel in Schwallenbach, built in 1420. It was only after the Thirty Years War broke out in Schwallenbach that the church tower went up in flames. Subsequently, the pragmatic citizens of the Wachau gave the new tower a »stone helmet« – as a form of fire protection. Tip: The altarpiece of St. Sigismund was created by the famous »Kremser Schmidt«. The key can be obtained from Walter Bergkirchner, opposite the church. Here too, the nocturnal illumination has been designed by Siegrun Appelt.

FERRIES IN THE WACHAU The car ferry in Spitz-Arnsdorf connects both banks of the Danube. If the natural backdrop is not enough, a change of perspective can be gained with a visit to the art installation by Olafur Eliasson in the ferry cabin: a camera obscura that, like the cable ferry itself, works on the river current without any electrical current. Since 2012, the River Navigation Museum in Spitz provides information about ferries, their history and their importance for the Wachau and its people.

A STRANGE TALE THE WHITE LADY OF HINTERHAUS FORTRESS Over 600 years ago, Hinterhaus Fortress was ruled by Heinrich »der Eiserne« (the iron one) of Kuenring. He was as unfaithful to his wife, Adelheid, as he was faithful to serving his king. The former died after a brief marriage and, two months later, Heinrich married for a second time – despite the fact that it was customary to wait a whole year in those times. When Heinrich then also died

suddenly, it was seen as God's punishment for his deed. Ever since, a lady in snow-white clothing appears at the window of the fortress ruins every year on the night of Heinrich's death. According

to legend, this is the ghost of Adelheid, who is unable to find peace because of her husband's unfaithfulness and who constantly wails: »Nit ein Jahr!« (Not even a year!)


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RIVER NAVIGATION MUSEUM The history of river navigation can be explored in the innovatively designed River Navigation Museum in Erlahof Castle. A special place is given to the many accurately reproduced and award-winning model ships. www.schifffahrtsmuseum-spitz.at

ART IN PUBLIC SPACES As is the case in many municipalities in the Wachau, a new flood protection system has also been installed in Spitz. The stretch of meadow between the Donaulände and the flood protection centre has been designed by artist Anita Leisz. Gottfried Bechtold's »Spitz« project is a four-and-a-half meter high, narrow bronze cone, which addresses the ordinary subject of an aesthetic symbol. Standing in the park in front of the River Navigation Museum is a sculpture by Ulrich Rückriem. More about the art in public spaces can be found under www.publicart.at

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Gasthaus Mariandl Kirchenplatz 2 | 02713/2376 | www.gasthaus-mariandl.at Gasthaus Prankl – Altes Schiffmeisterhaus ***S Hinterhaus 16 | Tel 02713/2323 | www.gasthaus-prankl.at Café-Konditorei Bruckner Hauptstraße 9 | Tel 02713/2329 | www.cafebruckner.at Strandcafe Donaulände 7 | Tel 02713/2320 | www.strandcafe-spitz.at Barock-Landhof Burkhardt **** Kremser Straße 19 | Tel 02713/2356 | www.burkhardt.at Boutiquehotel »Das WeinSpitz« In der Spitz 3 | Tel 02713/2644 | www.donabaum.at Gästehaus Datzinger Rote Torgasse 13a | Tel 02713/2493 | www.datzinger-spitz.at Gästehaus »Weinbergblick« Rote Torgasse 18 | Tel 02713/2168 | www.weinbergblick.at Gasthof »Goldenes Schiff« *** Mittergasse 5 | Tel 02713/2326 | www.goldenesschiff.at »Haus Oestreicher« *** Hauptstraße 26 | Tel 02713/2317 | www.haus-oestreicher.at Laglers Hotel Weinberghof **** Am Hinterweg 17 | Tel 02713/2939 | www.weingut-lagler.at Pension 1000-Eimerberg *** Marktstraße 3 | Tel 02713/2334 | www.pension-1000-eimerberg.at Weingut FJ Gritsch – Mauritiushof Kirchenplatz 13 | Tel 02713/2450 | www.mauritiushof.at Weingut Özelt Kirchenplatz 3 | Tel 02713/2302 | www.weingut-oezelt.at

INTERESTING FACTS ELIT – EUROPEAN LITERATURE DAYS Every year, Spitz Castle becomes a stage for the European Literature Days, the highlight of the year's activities of the ELit Literaturehouse Europe. Here, authors, journalists, scientists and cultural decision-makers discuss current literary issues and review interconnections and differences in the individual literature and literary markets in Europe. www.literaturhauseuropa.eu

INTERESTING FACTS TAUSENDEIMERBERG The landmark mountain set in the middle of Spitz actually has two names: Burgberg (Castle Mountain) towards the cemetery and Tausendeimerberg (Thousand Bucket Mountain) towards the Danube. One thousand buckets of wine, which amounts to approx. 56,000 litres, is what the Bavarian monks are said to have harvested on the 310-metre-high mountain. This was in a good year, of course. Narrow, wind-

ing paths lead from the cobbled lanes up onto the steep slopes, on the ancient stone terraces, which have made the mountain a sought-after location. The climb is re-

warded with a panoramic view over the Danube and the rooftops of the Renaissance and Baroque houses of Spitz, enabling the exertion to be quickly forgotten.


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MÜHLDORF

The Danube air wafts gently through the Spitzer Graben Valley to Mühldorf and merges with the cool breeze from the north. This enables the grapes to thrive with a special fruitiness and the apricots to be particularly aromatic. The Wachau World Heritage Trail also leads this far, to the foot of the Jauerling, along the Spitzer Graben Panoramic Trail, a trail created and maintained by »Marivino«, the local apricot and winegrowing association. The millstone is a symbol of the locality. This is because numerous water wheels, saws, hammer mills and also ordinary mills were once operated on the Spitz stream.

www.muehldorf-wachau.at

Almost as old as the late Gothic fortified church of Trandorf and the parish church of St. Margaretha in Niederranna is the bakery. The Stummvoll family maintains it as a bakery museum and, once a month, bakes bread in the almost 400-year-old clay oven. Suitably revived, the outing continues to the Baroque »Kalvarienberg« (Cavalry Hill), the stations of which were lovingly restored by the people of Mühldorf a few years ago, and then on to the impressive Oberranna Fortress. It can pride itself on never having been conquered. The highlight here – in addition to the taverns and panoramic terraces – is the almost thousand-year-old St. George's Chapel, with its romantic crypt. The fortress itself is today used as a hotel.

PLEASURE TIPS SPITZER GRABEN PANORAMIC TRAIL Why the wine and the apricots in the Wachau ripen to such exceptional quality can be best appreciated on the Spitzer Graben »From Wine to Apricots« Panoramic Trail, with its countless wine taverns and gourmet addresses for the purchase of wine and apricot products. www.marivino.at

SISSY STUMMVOLL BAKERY MUSEUM

WACHAU WHISKY

A museum created with a great deal of love and specialist knowledge, with a 17th century clay oven. A farmers' market takes place every second week in the picturesque inner courtyard of Cafe Stummvoll. Tel 02713/8243 www.baeckereimuseum.at

The Kausls not only conjure up homemade delicacies, juices, liqueurs and brandies from the fruits at Marillenhof Kausl. A special treat at the distillery is Wachau whisky in a variety of flavours. Tel 02713/8225 www.wachau-genuss.at


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LOWER AUSTRIA'S HIGHEST VINEYARD The village of Elsarn marks the upper end of the Wachau wine-growing region. Converging on the slopes of the hill are vineyards and apricot orchards and forest. Here, on Trenning Mountain, is also the highest vineyard in Lower Austria, situated at 575 m above sea level. Several mountain bike trails also run around Mühldorf. In line with the motto »between wine and stone«, the Weinstein tour leads from the Wachau vineyards across the summits of the neighbouring mountains and through the forests of the Southern Waldviertel region.

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES Oberranna Fortress is an impressive sight with its enchanting towers, mighty circular walls, moats and its location in the orchards high above the Spitzer Graben Valley. A gem is the Romanesque chapel, dedicated to Saint George. It is a rare example of a building style with two transepts, two crossing towers and a westward-facing crypt. Worthy of note are the massive capitals, one of which – the famous »Würfelkapitell« – depicts a hunting scene.

INTERESTING FACTS THE FIRST RAIFFEISEN BANK

A SPECIAL NIGHT HIKE As part of the Wachau's light project, Vorarlberg artist Siegrun Appelt has designed an installation on the path between Niederranna and Oberranna Fortress. Based on the spatial situation in the locality – the view onto the vastness of the landscape and the star-filled sky – there is no functional lighting en-route, but rather visitors are able to activate the lighting themselves as required and can walk through three-dimensional scenic images as they go. | www.st-or.at

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Spitzer Graben is the valley of superlatives. In addition to the steepest vineyard terraces in the Wachau, it is also home to the first and oldest Raiffeisen bank in Austria. A milestone in farming history: In the second half of the 19th century, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen's revolutionar y cooperative ideas were also taken up in Austria. 1886 saw establishment of the first Raiffeisen bank in Mühldorf in the Wachau – 13 years before the founding of the Austrian Raiffeisen Cooperative (Österreichische Raiffeisenverband).

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Gasthof Weißes Rössl *** Markt 17 | Tel 02713/8257 | www.7handl.at

EXCURSION TIP PILGRIMAGES IN THE WACHAU One insider's tip is the baroque Calvary hill in Unterranna. Admission is free at all times. Not far from here, at the northern edge of the Jauerling nature park, you will find the richly furnished pilgrimage church of Heiligenblut.

WEINSTEIN-BIKE In line with its motto of »between wine and stone«, this exceptional mountain bike tour takes you from the vineyards of the Wachau, across the summits of the neighbouring mountains and through the dark woods of the southern Waldviertel region. The stretch between Wachau and Waldviertel offers a uniquely diverse landscape. The circular route with many great views

starts at the main square in Mühldorf and can easily be cycled in sections. And best of all: you can get back down to your starting point from anywhere. www.weinsteinbike.at www.weinsteintour.at


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WACHAU DELICACIES The Wachau ranks amount the top culinary regions in Europe. Few regions treat visitors to such a large number of culinary addresses and delicious products. Throughout the year, a selection of regional products and delicacies can be found under: www.wachaushop.com

SWEET TREATS The Göttweiger »Originale Benediktiner Torte« (Original Benedictine Cake) is a speciality: It is baked in accordance with a recipe dating back to 1401. The nut cake filled with apricot jam and with a delicate chocolate glaze can be enjoyed in the monastery restaurant. www.stiftgoettweig.at In the style of the Wachau's famous Kalmuck check, Café-Konditorei Elisabeth in Weißenkirchen has created the »Kalmucktorte« – an artistically decorated composition filled with chocolate mousse. www.kalmucktorte.at The »Original Wachauer Kugeln« (Original Wachau Balls), created by CaféKonditorei Raimitz in Krems, comprise a core of nougat, enveloped in apricot marzipan and dark chocolate. | www.raimitz.at A creative atelier for sweet dreams is Café-Konditorei Hagmann in the pedestrian zone of Krems. The finest chocolates are produced without preservatives by the premiere chocolate manufacturer of Krems. www.wachauer-schokolade.at

HIGH-PROOF SPIRITS Bailoni, the »1st Wachau Apricot Distillery« arguably ranks among the most well-known manufacturers of apricot liqueurs and apricot brandies. In addition, apricot jams and apricots marinated in high-proof spirits are also on offer here. The distillery can be visited in Krems, where tastings can be enjoyed and products purchased. | www.bailoni.at For more than 50 years, the Hellerschmid family has been producing brandies and liqueurs in their private distillery in Krems. Also included in their range are syrups, jams, chutneys and mustard. | www.hellerschmid.com Johanna and Markus Wieser create their homemade schnapps in line with traditional recipes and new, multifarious ideas in their very own distillery. www.wieser-wachau.at


Wachau World Heritage Region

REGIONAL CULINARY DELIGHTS Wining and dining is typically enjoyed in the countless »Heuriger« (wine taverns). A »Buschen« (bundle of twigs) on the entrance door indicates that it is »ausg’steckt«, in other words that the tavern is open. Furthermore, there is a series of stylish country inns and a surprisingly large number of restaurants that have been awarded the Gault-Millau toque. Good addresses in which to take a look at the seasonal fruit and vegetables on offer are the numerous farm shops and farmer's markets. All addresses, opening times and the »Heuriger« calendar can be found under www.wachau.at

WACHAU SAFFRON, CHILLI AND CULTIVATED PLANTS Saffron and chilli are the exotic species among the plants from the Wachau. Saffron is produced by the »1st Wachau Saffron Manufacturer« at Dürnstein railway station, where there is also a shop and culinary seminars can be attended on the subject. | www.crocus-austriacus.at Various chilli types, from mild through to very hot, can be purchased at Gärtnerei Hick in Weißenkirchen. Furthermore, the plant nursery range also includes typical plants from the Wachau, such as vines, vineyard peaches, apricot and almond trees, chestnut, oleander and many more. www.hick-wachau.at

THE WACHAU LABERL Baked in accordance with a secret family recipe since 1905, the wonderfully light white bread roll tastes as good with jam as it does with ham, hearty »Heuriger« spreads and a glass of wine. The »Original Wachauer Laberl« is available from Franz Schmidl's bakery in Dürnstein or in Krems. www.schmidl-duernstein.at

ORGANIC CHEESE DAIRY Single-origin cheese enjoyment in the best organic quality is produced by Roland Berger in his Emmersdorf-based cheese factory. From his courtyard farm at the base of the Jauerling, he only processes organically farmed milk from sheep, goats and cows. The range includes specialities such as Gouda, Camembert, Brie, red culture varieties, as well as cheese enhanced with chilli and pepper. | www.biokaeserei-berger.at

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MARIA LAACH AM JAUERLING

Maria Laach has a box seat in the Wachau. In summer, Jauerling Nature Park is a wonderful hiking area. From the »Wachau balcony«, the terrace of the Nature Park House, the view extends far beyond the Danube Valley. The Wachau World Heritage Trail also leads to Maria Laach and over the summit of the Jauerling, the highest elevation along the entire course of the Danube. In winter, walkers and snowshoe hikers delight in nature. There is even a ski lift – and a modern ski chalet extends an invitation to après ski.

www.marialaach.at

History also has a powerful presence here. For many hundreds of years, Maria Laach has been a much-visited pilgrimage site. The pilgrims' destination is the pilgrimage church of Maria Laach, with its double-winged altar and the miraculous image of »Mary with six fingers«. The virtually unchanged historic decor of the church's interior is impressive. Delights of an earthly nature are available from the farmers' market, which takes place every Saturday. The Three Churches Trail and the Power Trail, both of which start in Maria Laach, allow you to experience forces of both a spiritual and physical nature.

PLEASURE TIPS REISINGER FRUIT FARM »From the tree to the bottle« is the maxim of Franz Reisinger, who cultivates a 15-hectare fruit farm at an altitude of 800 m on the Jauerling, and produces fruit juices, nectars, cider, brandies, liqueurs and jams – harvested by hand when fully ripe and processed while fresh. | Tel 02713/2855 www.obsthof-reisinger.at

MARIA LAACH FARMER’S MARKET

NATURE PARK HOUSE & JAUERLING LOOKOUT POINT

Every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. – fresh agricultural produce direct from the farm. www.marialaach.at

Warm meals served all day and the highest and most beautiful view of the Danube from the Wachau Terrace. | Tel 02713/30017 www.naturpark-jauerling.at


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JAUERLING NATURE PARK – WACHAU Sitting at an altitude of 915 metres and gazing far into the countryside – that's how to enjoy a sunny day on the Wachau Terrace of the Nature Park House on the Jauerling. Encircling the lookout point are the forests and meadows of the Jauerling Wachau Nature Park. When the weather is clear, you can see from the Carpathian range across the Ötscher mountain right through to the Watzmann. With its seven stages, the Jauerling Circuit is suited to experienced and casual hikers alike. The detailed descriptions and GPS tracks can be found on the website of the Wachau World Heritage Trail. www.naturpark-jauerling.at

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www.welterbesteig.at

And when winter arrives, the inhabitants of the Wachau point to their own skiing area with pride. The skiing area is ideal for either a quick warm-up run or for beginners. However, it has also already played host to the International Ski Federation Snowboarding World Cup. Support is provided by two ski schools – and there is also a ski chalet. Tip: Floodlit night skiing is possible from Wednesday to Saturday. www.jauerling.at

INTERESTING FACTS THE THREE CHURCHES TRAIL With historic roots, this well-marked path traces a line between the three most distinctive churches in the Nature Park: Maria Laach Pilgrimage Church, the late Gothic St. Andreas Pilgrimage Church in Heiligenblut and the fortified Gothic Weitental Church. Car-free routes, expansive views across the Jauerlinger uplands and the Weitental Valley, and finally the hearty specialities in the town's inns most definitely provide for renewed energy. THE POWER TRAIL

PILGRIMAGES IN THE WACHAU It is not precisely known when pilgrimages to Maria Laach began. Church researchers believe it to be a tradition that goes back almost 1000 years. The destination, Maria Laach Parish Church, lies on the southern slope of the Jauerling and has largely retained its medieval decor. 1380 saw construction of the Gothic place of worship begin at the site of the previous church, and the number of pilgrimages increased. Pilgrimage vows at the time of the plague and miraculous healings in the 18th century drew increasing numbers of pilgrims to the double-winged Gothic altar and its miraculous image of »Mary with the six fingers«. According to legend, the sixth finger of the Virgin Mary always reappeared even after having been painted over.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Dorfhotel Grüner Baum *** Am Hauptplatz 3 | Tel 02712/8303 | www.beim-ringl.at

Maria Laach is not just a place of power in the figurative sense: the village well marks the start of the 1.5 km long Power Trail. The circuit was initiated by Edmund Binder, who senses the phenomena of earth energy. The power of the landscape can be felt at ten stations. The trail leads from the »Steinernes Tor« (Stone Gate) and the »Sternzeichenplatz« (Star Sign Place) via the power bench and sound station up to the highlight – Maria Laach Pilgrimage Church. | www.kraftweg.at


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AGGSBACH MARKT

The community of Aggsbach Markt rose to fame on account of a special archaeological find in the village of Willendorf. The annals state: »On a glorious August morning in 1908, a Wachau lady was torn from her sleep of 29,500 years during railway works.« The Venus of Willendorf – 11 centimetres tall, made of limestone and originally covered in red chalk – continues to be an archaeological sensation today. Worth paying a visit to are the buildings dating back to the 16th century. The fishing industry and trade provided the inhabitants a modest wealth in those times.

www.aggsbach.gv.at

The three-nave parish church of Aggsbach Markt was built at the end of the 13th century in the late Romanesque style. It was later extended in Gothic style and finally converted with Baroque extravagance. With its surrounding wall, the church is considered to be a typical example of a Wachau parish church complex. In days gone by, it was a much-visited pilgrimage site to the Virgin Mary. The long history lends a romantic note to a stroll through the town. Providing a dynamic contrast is the wind blowing from the Jauerling, the local mountain in the Wachau. It provides the people of Aggsbach with a striking natural hiking arena. Aggsbach, just like Willendorf, is a stage on the Jauerling circuit.

EXCURSION TIP HUBHOF FAMILY PARK Fun and thrills are provided by a prehistoric show with life-sized dinosaurs, a Neanderthal family, gigantic insects, a nostalgic, enchanted forest, a dwarf goat enclosure, a gnome exhibition, an Indian village, paddle boats and much more. Tel 02712/241 www.hubhof.at


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VENUS OF WILLENDORF The small statuette was probably the beauty ideal of an era in the history of mankind: Corpulent, with heavy breasts and wide hips, is how the limestone figurine from the Stone Age appears. Recommended for a brief journey through time: the »Venusium« is situated just a few steps away from the excavation site. This small but interesting museum transports its visitors back to the Stone Age, with findings from archaeological digs and information about the first female figures in human history. The original Venus is to be found in the Natural History Museum in Vienna. www.willendorf.info

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES Situated in the district of Aggsbach are Aggsbach Parish Church, with the Baroque presbytery by Jakob Prandtauer, the 19th century Groisbach Chapel, the Willendorf village chapel, and the free-standing wooden bell tower of Köfering.

TOURS APP The Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal app is recommended for the simple and convenient planning of tours via the Smartphone. Those preferring to travel with a hiking map can request one for free from Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH. Further information, as well as detailed route descriptions and GPS tracks, is available for downloading under www.welterbesteig.at.

INTERESTING FACTS THE JAUERLING CIRCUIT Paying homage to the »Roof of the Wachau« or as a route to the highlights of the World Heritage Region – in seven stages, the Jauerling Circuit leads around and up the highest mountain in the Wachau. The long-distance hiking trail begins and ends in Spitz. It can also be started or ended at any other stage of the route – ideal for families and ambitious long-distance hikers alike. Anyone setting out from Spitz goes past the ruins of Hinterhaus and past Willendorf, where the Venus was found, and back to Aggsbach Markt. Overgrown stone terraces and romantic villages, such as Groisbach and Köfering, lie en-route to the municipality of Aggsbach. Over hills and through forests, heading for Maria Laach, from where the trail climbs up to Emmersdorf and past Rothenhof Castle.

Meadows and hamlets line the route to the village of Weiten and its fortified church. After the lofty villages of Heiligenblut and Raxendorf, the route leads downhill towards the Spitzer Graben Valley, to the fortified church of Trandorf and finally to Mühldorf. And at last comes the royalty among the stages: From Mühldorf past the highest vine-

yards in Austria, the 960-metre-high Jauerling is conquered, before one again turns towards the Danube, where the circuit ends in Spitz. GPS tracks, elevation profiles and stage descriptions are available on the Wachau World Heritage Trail website. www.welterbesteig.at


WELCOME TO THE REG

WACHAU-NIBELUNGENGAU-KREMSTA

Caricature Museum Kre www.karikaturmuseum.at

(winemakers) Winzer Krems erk rems.at ww w.w inz

Ar tstetten Ca stle

ww w.schloss-artstetten.a

Linz – approx. 80 km

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Vienna – approx. 80 km

ems

GĂśttweig Abbey ww w.stiftgoet tweig.at

Agg stein Ruin

w w w.r uin

eaggstein

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Information e-bike charging station ship station top excursion destinations church, abbey, monastery castle, ruin museum ferry

y Melk Abbk.eat w w w.stif tmel

World Heritage trail Jauerling circuit trail Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail cycle path


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EMMERSDORF AN DER DONAU

Emmersdorf arguably has the most beautiful view of Melk Abbey. A narrow strip of land is all that separates the old Wachau town from the gently flowing River Danube. Both have always been a source of visitors and wealth. Once due to the water toll, today thanks to the many cyclists and culture-interested visitors. Liners also stop at the new shipping pier near the Danube bridge. Sun-worshippers come into their own at Luberegg, on one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Wachau. The people of Emmersdorf have something in store for anyone seeking a special experience on the Danube: A trip on a faithful replica of a wooden »Zille«, a flat-bottomed boat, from Emmersdorf to Spitz and Dürnstein, in the heart of the Wachau. A cultural tour and navigation training are optional extras (see Tips – Speckner boat trips).

TOURIST INFORMATION 3644 Emmersdorf, Nr. 22 Tel 02752/70010 Mail info@emmersdorf.at www.emmersdorf.gv.at

Impressive sights in the historic centre of Emmersdorf are the late Gothic parish church of St. Nikolaus, Rothenhof Castle, 16th century vintners' houses and the 500-year-old vaulted ceilings in the town hall. Nearby, on the Wachau World Heritage Trail, lie the ruins of Gossam, a Romanesque-Gothic castle chapel, which was once a popular pilgrimage destination. Also worth visiting is the »Kramurigwölb« – over 2,000 exhibits from the 17th to 19th centuries are on display in Alois Zipperle's museum of local heritage. (Reservations under Tel 02752/71764).

PLEASURE TIPS BAUER & WIRT LANGTHALER A family-run business with a cosy restaurant and the option of romantic picnics. Children love the horses, rabbits and guinea pigs. In addition, there are approx. 25 red deer living on the premises. Tel 02752/71427 www.gasthaus-langthaler.at

SPECKNER BOAT TRIPS Danube adventure trips travelling downstream in the 10-metre »Wachowia«, a historic flat-bottom boat typical for the Danube, from Melk or Emmersdorf to the Wachau World Heritage Site. Tel 0664/79 009 68 | www.naufahrt.at


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THE WACHAU RAILWAY Since 2012, the more than 100-year-old Wachau railway has been travelling in a new design and with a new programme. It runs from Krems to Emmersdorf on weekends and public holidays, and daily in the summer. The line follows an impressive, elevated route and offers wonderful views across the Wachau. Combined »Boat & Train« tickets are a new addition, for example travelling out by train and back by boat – or vice-versa. www.noevog.at

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES Enthroned on the hill is St. Nicholas Parish Church, with its lofty late Gothic nave. From here a path leads over the »Kolomanistiege« (St. Coloman Steps), with the statue of Saint Coloman, into the town centre. At this point it is worth paying a visit to the Chapel of Mary Magdalene (reservations for group tours Tel 0664/9242668). As night falls, light installations by Vorarlberg artist Siegrun Appelt can be enjoyed at the parish church, the Chapel of Mary Magdalene, and on the viaduct.

PILGRIMAGES IN THE WACHAU Situated directly on the Wachau World Heritage Trail, heading towards Aggsbach Markt, lie the ruins of the former of Gossam Castle Chapel, which was once a popular pilgrimage destination. From Emmersdorf it is also not far to one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Austria: Maria Taferl in Nibelungengau.

INTERESTING FACTS DONKEY TREKKING

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS »Bauer & Wirt« Langthaler Pömling 14 | Tel 02752/71427 | www.gasthaus-langthaler.at Hotel-Restaurant Donauhof **** & Gasthaus Weißes Rössl Nr. 40/Nr. 8 | Tel 02752/71777 | www.pichler-wachau.com Hotel-Restaurant »Zum schwarzen Bären« **** Nr. 7 | Tel 02752/71249 | www.hotelpritz.at Landhotel Wachau **** Luberegg 20 | Tel 02752/72572 | www.pichler-wachau.com

They go by the names of Abraham, Balduin, Kasimir or Sokrates, have impish long ears and, good-natured and not at all stubborn, are on standby for various donkey adventures in the Wachau: Anita Brunner and her donkeys in Rantenberg near Emmersdorf offer introductory tours, hikes, obstacle courses and carriage rides. »Hiking is a donkey's delight« is the name of an approx. 3-hour trek into the back country of Emmersdorf. Anyone choosing an obstacle course on a donkey, and who completes the accompanying questionnaire, is allowed to refer to themselves as the proud owner of a donkey driver's license – a novel idea for company and club outings. Tel 0660/3911465 www.eselabenteuer.at


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MELK Standing on the cliff above the town, Melk Abbey annually attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from across the globe. Beneath the world-famous Benedictine Abbey, another gem of cultural history is revealed: the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Melk. The town of Melk opens itself up to visitors like a magnificently illustrated book. More than 1000 years of history can be experienced in the lanes and squares of the historic town centre. The »most beautiful post office in Austria«, the city tower, the Gothic parish church, the »Cottage« district with its famous Villa Loos or the countless burgher houses are among the tourist attractions of the old town. Visitors can also now explore and experience this rich historical heritage and the town's unique flair first hand on four themed trails.

TOURIST INFORMATION 3390 Melk, Kremser Straße 5 Tel 02752/51160 Mail melk@donau.com www.stadt-melk.at

Today, the town of Melk is also well-known far beyond the country's borders with its top-class cultural events. Virtuosos arrive from all corners of the globe for the International Baroque Days at Melk Abbey, which is celebrated at Whitsun. Ambitious theatre and humorous music revues are offered every year by Melk Summer Festival in the Wachau Arena. Shows and cabaret can be enjoyed at the Kulturwerkstatt Tischlerei Melk directly in the town centre. From the crazy »Fasching« (carnival) parade, the culinary Melk »Höfefest« (Courtyard Festival) in summer, the atmospheric Melk Advent right through to the high spirited New Year celebrations, the World Heritage Town of Melk offers a diverse programme throughout the year and is always worth a trip.

PLEASURE TIPS ADVENT IN MELK In the days leading up to Christmas, the 24 windows of the »Alte Post« are transformed into the largest Advent calendar in the town of Melk. An extensive programme awaits visitors at the Advent village on Hauptplatz (Main Square). Culinary delights and handicrafts exclusively from local producers are to be found in the huts. The Advent village is open during the weekends of Advent and on New Year's Eve, respectively. www.melkeradvent.at

MELK SUMMER FESTIVAL

SWEET DELICACIES

Major works from world literature and mythology, outstanding actors and a unique atmosphere between the Danube, the alluvial forests and Melk Abbey: all the ingredients that guarantee fascinating theatre evenings, summer upon summer. Tel 02752/540 60 www.sommerspielemelk.at

The delicious »Melker Taler« (Melk Coins), a handmade chocolate speciality and the »Original Melker Torte« (Original Melk Cake), a sweet temptation consisting of a fine chocolate-almond paste with apricot jam were created by Café-Kondtorei Mistlbacher. Tel 02752/52350 www.mistlbacher.com


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RIVERSIDE CHURCHES The Wachau is a cultural landscape that has been powerfully shaped by Christianity since Roman times. It started with Saint Severin, who lived in Mautern, following whom many monasteries – primarily in the Bavarian region – set up harvesting yards in order to cultivate wine, thereby leaving a lasting mark on the landscape. Today, the large number of churches along the Danube testifies to a long tradition of Christianity. Further information is available under www.kirchen-am-fluss.at, where it is also possible to have a glimpse inside churches that are otherwise inaccessible.

THEMED TRAILS In a creative and diverse manner, the themed trails »Goldene Stiege« (Golden Staircase), »Blaue Welle« (Blue Wave), »Grüner Pfad« (Green Path) and »Roter Faden« (Red Thread) lead the way to countless attractions in Melk. In existence since 2009, the creative trails Golden Staircase and Blue Wave are identified by gold and blue glass stones in the ground. These stones are arranged as a sequence of Morse Code. The Golden Staircase leads from the Well of Coloman in the pedestrian zone via Sechsergasse up to Melk Abbey. The Blue Wave guides visitors directly from the Danube into the Melk town centre. The artists Rudy and Martinmaria Gritsch have worked the blue and golden stones into the granite pavement of both creative trails. The Green Path leads visitors from Wachau Info Center Melk on Kremser Straße through to the renovated municipal park. The heart of the themed trails is the Red Thread – a new one-and–a-half kilometre long historic circuit to the 30 attractions in Melk. The point of departure is likewise the Wachau Info Center. Available here are folders in German and English, information sheets in 15 other languages, as well as audio guides.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Hotel-Restaurant »zur Post« **** Linzer Straße 1 | Tel 02752/52345 | www.post-melk.at Hotel Wachau **** & Restaurant »Wachauer Stube« Am Wachberg 3 | Tel 02752/52531 | www.hotel-wachau.at Café Konditorei Mistlbacher Hauptstraße 1 | Tel 02752/52350 | www.mistlbacher.com

PLEASURE TIPS PROTESTANT TRACES The Reformation found its way to the Wachau in the 16th century. Virtually the entire population converted to the Protestant faith. Several years after the »Agenda« (the church service edict) came into force in 1571, Protestants were pushed into illegality. From 1781 onwards, the Patent of Tolerance permitted a Protestant belief once more. Today, the »Evangelische Heilandskirche« in Krems, consecrated in 1913, and the »Erlöserkirche«, consecrated in 1959 for the parish community of MelkScheibbs (Lutheran Church and Reformed Church), are places of worship for the Protestant community. 2010 saw the opening of the Protestant Community Centre in Melk.


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MELK ABBEY

TOURIST INFORMATION 3390 Melk, Abt-Berthold-Dietmayr-Straße 1 Tel 02752/555-0 Mail tours@stiftmelk.at www.stiftmelk.at

Towering on a high cliff above the town and the River Danube, visible from afar and imposing in size: Since Leopold II, the Babenburg Margrave of Austria, gave his castle and church on the Melk cliffs to the Benedictine monks in 1089, Melk Abbey has developed into a spiritual and cultural centre in Austria. A school was founded here as early as the 12th century and the foundation stone laid for the abbey's library, which remains one of a kind today. Constructed in accordance with plans by Jakob Prandtauer between 1702 and 1736, the magnificent sunny-yellow Baroque building reflects the importance of the abbey and is considered to be a perfect example of the high Baroque period. The abbey is today affiliated with 23 parish churches. In addition, it houses a secondary school with almost one thousand students. Melk Abbey is a standard item on the travel itineraries of tourists from across the globe. In 2008, it was chosen by the National Geographic Magazine as the »Best Historic Destination in the World«. Visitors experience highlights at every turn: the Imperial Staircase, the Abbey Museum, the Marble Hall and the abbey library, featuring frescoes by Paul Troger, the abbey church and the view over the Danube from the balconies. Finally, the abbey park enchants the visitor with a frescoed garden pavilion, the »Paradiesgärtlein« (Little Paradise Garden), an alley of 250-year-old lime trees and many other highlights. Every year at Whitsun, the abbey is the setting for the globally renowned »Melk Abbey International Baroque Days« or, in August, the stage for summer concerts in the Baroque garden pavilion or in the abbey church. Throughout the year, Melk Abbey plays host to many concerts and other cultural events. www.stiftmelk.at


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THE ABBEY The magnificent Baroque building was constructed in the 18th century according to plans by Jakob Prandtauer. The Marble Hall and the abbey library, which is decorated with wonderful inlays and today holds 100,000 books, are decorated with grandiose ceiling frescoes by Paul Troger. The abbey church impresses with its barrel vault and 64-metre-high drum cupola, each featuring frescoes by Johann M. Rottmayr. The largest bell in Lower Austria rings out from the tower on Christian high holidays.

THE ABBEY PARK Arranged over several levels, the Abbey Park is an exquisite example of garden design on an intact Baroque ground plan. The eye-catcher and focal point is the garden pavilion and its exotic frescoes. Although the majority of the plantings date from the 19th century, new impetus has nevertheless been given in recent years. Modern »talking stones« for example, a »Benedictine Path« for meditation, a drinking water fountain bubbling out of a fossilised tree, and a fire pit. Creating the link to the early days of the order is the »Little Paradise Garden«, based on the gardening book »De Cultura Hortorum« dating back to the 9th century.

THE »WACHAULABOR« The future is in the making in the northern bastion. Students from the abbey secondary school are presenting their own exhibition in a display area on the first floor of the northern bastion. The »Wachaulabor« (Wachau Laboratory) is a critical appraisal of the past and addresses a possible future for the Wachau, as envisaged by the students. www.wachaulabor.stiftsgymnasium-melk.org

EXCURSION TIP SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS IN MELK ABBEY

Alternating special exhibitions of domestic and international artists in the columned hall and other areas of the abbey, as well as the »Wachaulabor« in the northern bastion, grapple with very diverse topics from the fields of past and present, art and culture.

WACHAU CULTURE MELK Whether it is at Whitsun for the International Baroque Days in Melk Abbey, directed by world renowned tenor Michael Schade, Melk Summer Festival with its sensory theatre experience, the cultural atelier »Tischlerei Melk«, which attracts audiences in autumn and in spring with a colourful cabaret and concert programme, or the autumnal culture programme »Wachau in Echtzeit« (Wachau in Real Time), for which the actress Ursula Strauss curates a programme every November, including a variety of wonderful artists – the spectrum of cultural delights in the Wachau covers the entire year and offers all manner of diversity. | www.kultur-melk.at

INTERESTNG FACTS HISTORY & STORIES Books hold secrets, and these can be dangerous. This message is illustrated by Umberto Eco's bestseller »The Name of the Rose«. However, his novel is not based on the library of Melk Abbey, but rather on the fictive manuscripts of the supposed chronicles of a 13th century monk – Adso of Melk. The truth is that discipline became slack in many 15th century monasteries.

Intriguesand extravagances were the order of the day – even in the Benedictine abbey of Melk, which was drowning in debt. However, a strict reformation of monasteries was decreed at the Council of Constance and Melk Abbey was the starting point (hence the name »Melk Reform«). Under the aegis of Abbot Nikolaus Seyringer, the Melk Reform became the

basis of a broad reform movement, and monks were instructed to implement these in other monasteries as friars. In this way, the Melk Reform encompassed Austria and all of Southern Germany right through to the Black Forest.


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SCHÖNBÜHEL-AGGSBACH

Aggsbach-Dorf and Schönbühel are primarily known for the imposing ruins of Aggstein Castle, with a wonderful panoramic view over the Danube and the striking complex of Schönbühel Castle. With its round fortified towers and red tiled roof – as seen from the Danube – it is already an attractive eye-catcher from a distance. However, the private property is not open to the public. Not far away stands a second distinctive building – the former Servite monastery. A special feature is its underground replica of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Anyone wishing to visit both buildings must notify the monastery. www.kloster-schoenbuehel.at

www.aggsbach-dorf.at

The former sphere of activity of the Carthusians is documented in the Carthusian Museum in Aggsbach village (see »The Carthusians«). Worth visiting today is the simple Gothic Carthusian church, which was impressively renovated in Baroque style, with its partially intact remains of the former cloisters and the meditation garden. Following a visit to the cultural attractions, a cycle tour through the Wachau along the southern bank of the Danube is recommended. The Danube cycle path is now freely accessible all the way from Melk through to Mautern near Krems. Rest areas with comfortable bike shelters extend an invitation to linger. Detours into the natural back country demand a certain level of physical fitness. This is rewarded by wonderful views and insights into the landscape and the wonderful peace and quiet. Of course, this can also be enjoyed while hiking. Stages 9 and 10 of the Wachau World Heritage Trail lead to the most beautiful spots on the right bank of the Danube.

EXCURSION TIPS HAMMER MILL A »living museum« with a restored 16th century apparatus, the only one of its kind in the whole of Central Europe. The hammer, bellows and a grinder are operated here by three waterwheels. The hammer mill's stone outbuilding is today used as »Steinstadel Mineral Centre«. Opening times are available under: www.kartaeuserland.at

STEINSTADEL MINERAL CENTRE With more than 300 exhibits, the geological diversity of Lower Austria is impressively documented in this museum in a natural stone building. www.kartause.net


Wachau World Heritage Region

AGGSTEIN CASTLE RUINS The former fortress of Aggstein perches like a falcon's nest over the Danube. Among the ruins it is easy to immerse oneself in the medieval world, in the time of the castle's builder Nizzo von Gobatsburg and the Kuenringer, whose job it was to protect the Danube trade route. You may indeed feel a shiver go down your spine at the legend of robber knight Scheck vom Wald, who placed his prisoners on a rocky precipice, the »little rose garden«, giving them the choice: starve or jump. Today, torch-lit medieval banquets are held here in authentic costumes. Weddings, too, take place either in the open air or in the knight's hall. Especially popular is the atmospheric Christmas market. www.ruineaggstein.net

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES Following the establishment of Aggsbach Charterhouse in the 14th century, residence was taken up by the silent monks, the Carthusians. Following the Turkish wars and the Reformation, reconstruction, and finally dissolution by Kaiser Joseph II, a decorative monastery complex remains today. Worth seeing is the church with its Gothic arches. The Carthusian Museum houses special exhibits from Carthusian orders. The torn down part of the complex – where the cells of the monks once stood – quite literally blossoms in renewed splendour: The meditation garden's ground plan follows the exact layout of that of the former house and provides a new spatial impression of the central part of the Charterhouse in former times.

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INTERESTING FACTS THE KUENRINGER Chains stretched over the Danube and malicious ambushes – the »Dogs of Kuenring« come off worse in legends than they do in history. Descendants of Azzo von Gobatsburg, they were not robber knights but faithful ministers for the most part, followers of the local sovereigns. They came from Trier to Lower Austria in the 11th century with the then Margrave Leopold II. The Kuenrings settled in Aggstein Castle, in Dürnstein and in the Waldviertel district, among other places. They helped to defend, keep the peace in and cultivate the region – and so laid the foundations for the flourishing of trade and agriculture.

PILGRIMAGES IN THE WACHAU A special pilgrimage destination in the Wachau is that of Schönbühel Monastery. Further information can be found on page 39: Interesting Facts.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Aggsteinerhof Aggstein Nr. 13 | Tel 02753/8350 | www.aggsteinerhof.at Gasthof-Camping Familie Stumpfer *** Schönbühel Nr. 7 | Tel 02752/8510 | www.stumpfer.com Residenz Wachau **** Aggsbach Dorf Nr. 19 | Tel 02753/8221 | www.residenz-wachau.at

INTERESTING FACTS THE CARTHUSIANS In the tradition of the great hermits, the Order of the Carthusians was founded by Saint Bruno of Cologne in 1084 in the Chartreuse Mountains, near Grenoble. The monks were expected to live in silence and solitude, with individual cells and small gardens separated from one another and only connected by the cloister. Communal chanting in praise of God

was permitted, but all types of musical instruments were forbidden. Austria’s Carthusian monasteries have since been abolished, but there are still over 20 monasteries of this strict order left in the world. ARGE Kartäuserland and, in particular, the Aggsbach Association of Friends of the Carthusians are dedicated to documenting this silent order. In the Carthusian Museum, the Association has collected records of the life of the order’s founder and of the life and work of the

Carthusians. Exhibits include original objects from today’s Carthusians and furniture from a Carthusian cell at the Sélignac Charterhouse in France. The wonderful effect of the world-famous Chartreuse liqueur, distilled from 130 herbs, can be sampled on site. The monks’ liqueur is still made according to a recipe dating from 1605. www.kartaeuserland.at www.kartause.net


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BERGERN IM DUNKELSTEINERWALD

www.bergern-dunkelsteinerwald.at

The small community in the mysterious, tranquil Dunkelsteinerwald Forest lies somewhat secluded from the Danube. Unterbergern, with its vineyards, is part of the Wachau landscape conservation area. From a geographical perspective, Bergern is part of the Mostviertel district, though geologically the Dunkelsteinerwald belongs to the Waldviertel district. In this expansive, mysterious forest area, with its clearings and valleys, there are plenty of cultural treasures and special places to discover. Arguably the most beautiful view of the Danube can be seen from the Ferdinand lookout point in Unterbergern, which can be reached from the church square in less than 20 minutes. From the wooden lookout point on the steep cliff there is a clear view across the Danube Valley, from Mautern in the east through to Rossatz in the west. Recalling the very first masters of the woods – the Celts – is a megalithic stone circle in Geyersberg, along with numerous archaeological findings from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age. The stone circle precisely marks the beginning of winter, when the shadow of the south stone reaches the centre of the circle. From the stone circle it is just a few minutes to one of the main pilgrimage destinations in the region – the Baroque Maria Langegg Pilgrimage Church, its monastery and the Pilgrimage Museum. The municipality of Bergern is the starting point for »Wander-DUREN« hikes in the Dunkelsteinerwald Forest region, which stretches almost all the way to St. Pölten and Schallaburg. The Dunkelsteinerwald Circuit complements the World Heritage Trail and the Jauerling Circuit and, via nine stages and four connecting paths, leads to magnificent lookout points, passing monasteries, castles, fortresses and ruins and leading through idyllic forest areas. Guest houses, wine taverns and lodges ensure culinary pleasure and extend an invitation to linger. The »DUREN« is accompanied by fairytales and legends from the region.

GENUSSTIPPS ALL ABOUT THE WILD ROSE 12 different wild rose varieties have been native to the Dunkelsteinerwald Forest area for centuries. The inhabitants and wild rose fans devote themselves to their blossom and fruit – the rosehip. The petals are processed into liqueur, syrup and desserts – the rosehips are transformed into jams and liqueurs. www.arge-dunkelsteinerwald.at

GEYERSBERG STONE CIRCLE True-to-scale reproduction of a megalithic Celtic stone circle, representing a recap of the megalithic and Celtic cultures.


Wachau World Heritage Region

INTERESTING FACTS SCHÖNBÜHEL MONASTERY AND MARIA LANGEGG CHURCH When Count Starhemberg had the former Schönbühel Monastery built, he did everything in his power to make it a faithful reproduction of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. When the first monks of the Order of the Servite were called here in 1666, they soon had their hands full in caring for the worshippers of Saint Rosalia, who flocked here after the plague at the end of the 17th century. Shortly be-

forehand, Matthäus Häring from Salzburg had built a chapel in Maria Langegg, fulfilling a vow he made upon the healing

PILGRIMAGES IN THE WACHAU Since early medieval times, Christians have made pilgrimages along the Way of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, in order to pray for forgiveness or mercy at the grave of Saint James. The Wachau stretch of the route between the Benedictine abbeys of Göttweig and Melk is one of the scenic highlights on the Austrian section of the pilgrimage trail. Passing through verdant vineyards, it leads into the Roman town of Mautern before continuing on to the Ferdinand lookout point. From Unterbergern, marked trails lead past seven Celtic/Illyric burial mounds to the Maria Langegg pilgrimage church. The former Servite monastery in Maria Langegg was always a popular place for mercy and miraculous healings. Today, a portable info panel accompanies you on four themed circuits through the church. Tip: The picturesque pilgrimage church is the ideal setting for a romantic wedding. www.maria-langegg.kirche.at

EXCURSION TIP MARIA LANGEGG The Pilgrimage Museum is worth a visit and, among other things, provides an insight into other pilgrimage destinations in the Wachau and surrounding area. Additional rooms can be viewed with a guide, including the library with its decorative frescoes and late Baroque decor, and the treasury with Votive offerings. Tel 02753/20741 www.maria-langegg.kirche.at

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of his sick child. Further miraculous healings followed, with 381 miracles in 1783 – according to the parish chronicles. Maria Langegg, the Church of »Mary, Salvation of the Sick« became a place of mercy and miraculous healing, and a lively pilgrimage route was soon established between the two churches. Thousands of pilgrims came every year to the »Österreichischer Hilff- und Heylberg« (Austrian Mount of Succour and Salvation) in the Dunkelsteinerwald Forest. The pilgrimage trail still exists today with its 15 Baroque rosary stations between »Little Bethlehem« in Schönbühel und Maria Langegg.


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ROSSATZ-ARNSDORF

Stretching out opposite Dürnstein, Weißenkirchen and Spitz is the market community of Rossatz-Arnsdorf. The annual apricot blossom season is a special experience in Austria's largest apricot-growing community. At the end of March/ early April the countryside along the apricot mile is transformed into a fragrant red-white sea of blossom. However, with their inviting apricot orchards and romantic lanes, the picturesque localities are also a rewarding travel destination for the summer solstice in June and for the apricot harvest in July. A variety of fruity delicacies can be purchased here direct from the producers. Bearing witness to the long history is the parish church of Rossatz, the core of which is Romanesque. Another of the architectural gems is Rossatz Castle. The Church of St. Lorenz houses one of the oldest bells in Lower Austria. Equally worthy of admiration is a Roman road and fortification tower in Bacharnsdorf.

www.rossatz-arnsdorf.at

A formidable object of contemporary art is the »Wachauer Nase« (Wachau Nose) at St. Lorenz ferry station. The nose, which was manufactured from concrete by the artist group Gelatin, has nostrils that can be entered and is consciously designed to surrender to the influences of nature. The nose changes its appearance a little, depending upon the season and the water level of the Danube. A fabulous view across the Dunkelsteinerwald Forest and into the Danube Valley is enjoyed from the »Seekopf«, a lookout point that towers above the Wachau World Heritage Trail at a height of 671 metres. A wonderful camping site also exists on the Danube opposite Dürnstein (Tel 0676/848814800, open from Easter until 31.10.).

SPECIAL TIPS APRICOT MILE A network of trails through the apricot orchards of Austria's largest apricot-growing community. The western apricot mile runs from St. Johann via Oberarnsdorf, Hofarnsdorf and Mitterarnsdorf through to Bacharnsdorf. The villages of Rührsdorf, Rossatz und Rossatzbach make up the eastern apricot mile. Tel 02714/6217 | www.marillenmeile.at

RUPERTIWINZER

DANUBE SALMON BREEDER

Since 2003, the »Rupertiwinzer« have stood for first-class Wachau wines from the best vineyards on the southern bank of the Danube, combined with the unique flair of the World Heritage Region. www.rupertiwinzer.at

On account of his passion for breeding Danube salmon (Huchen), Josef Fischer of the Fischer wine estate is also known as »Huchenpepi«. Tip: Wine tastings and visits to the fish farm. Tel 02714/6229 | www.huchenfischer.at


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THROUGH WETLANDS AND GARDENS Walks through the renaturalised alluvial forest along the cut-off meanders of the Danube reveal the enormous variety of the world of fauna and flora. It is here that rare fish species such as nase, streber or the famous Danube salmon have found a habitat and sanctuary once more. A splendid view of the wetlands and the northern bank of the Wachua can be enjoyed from the Panoramic Trail. Leading along the edge of the forest from Rührsdorf to Rossatzbach, this is the perfect spot for pleasure walkers.

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES A route of cultural and historical interest connects the churches of the community of Rossatz-Arnsdorf. It is also easy to navigate by bike. The tour begins with the parish church of Rossatz, which is Gothic with a Romanesque core. The next stop is the branch church in St. Lorenz, which can be visited every Friday from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. The Gothic chapel of St. Catherine in Mitterarnsdorf can be admired at any time. In neighbouring Hofarnsdorf, St. Rupert impresses with a wonderful stone pulpit and paintings by »Kremser Schmidt«.

PILGRIMAGES IN THE WACHAU The last stop on the trail through the community of Rossatz is the branch church of St. Johann in Mauerthale (the keys are available in the house opposite). Legend has it that, because of this pilgrimage destination, the Devil wanted to dam up the Danube in order to flood the church. Today, the Wachau railway runs through part of this »failed« damming attempt – the tunnel through the so-called »Devil's Wall« is the shortest railway tunnel in Austria.

INTERESTING FACTS SLOW LIGHT With her project »Slow Light«, Vorarlberg artist Siegrun Applet has created art in the form of light. The churches in St. Johann, Hofarnsdorf and St. Lorenz have been illuminated anew.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Landgasthaus Essl Winzerstüberl Rührsdorf 17 | Tel 02714/6384 | www.winzerstueberl.at Weingut Polz Rührsdorf 22 | Tel 02714/6326 | www.polzwachau.at

INTERESTING FACTS LIFE NATURE WACHAU Tributary branches that flow all year round are a rarity along the Danube. The three residual backwaters of the Venedigerau and the Pritzenau wetlands, as well as the pools of Schopperstatt, Anzug and Sportplatz have been reconnected with the Danube and offer spawning grounds to countless fish species. Danube salmon, Danube roach, striped ruffe and nase have again found a habitat and

sanctuary. Threatened species such as kingfishers, beavers, dragonflies and amphibians also benefit from the linking of water bodies between Rührsdorf and

Rossatz. Walks through the wetlands reveal the great diversity of the flora and fauna. www.life-wachau.at


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MAUTERN AN DER DONAU florianschulte.com

florianschulte.com

www.mautern-donau.at

Mautern's roots stretch far back to Roman times, during which the village was once a Roman military camp. The Romans were also responsible for bringing the art of wine-growing to the »Limes«, the northern border of the Roman Empire on the Danube. The area surrounding the Roman settlement of Favianis, as Mautern was known back then, offered the best conditions for this, and the wine cellars dating back to Roman times are still safe from flooding today. It is for this reason that St. Severin, who settled in Mautern in the 5th century A.D., called his hermitage »Ad Vineas« (To the Vineyards). Today, between Roman walls and vineyards, award-winning innkeepers serve their guests the best from the kitchen and the wine cellar. The traces of the early »vintners« can be admired in »Favianis-St. Severin« Roman museum. Mautern has always been situated on an important trading route: As early as the 15th century, the locality was connected to Stein via a wooden bridge – the first Danube bridge in Lower Austria. Today's Danube bridge, a steel-framed bridge, was constructed in 1895. In the atmospheric town centre, you can stroll past attractive burgher houses. Here, at the gateway to the Wachau, the traditional Wachau costume is also at home, and those who wish to admire golden bonnets and »Kalmuck« jackets are in the right place at the »Trachtenmuseum« (Costume Museum). Attracting attention at the so-called »Rotes Kreuz« (Red Cross) on the Wachau World Heritage Trail is a stone sculpture. Sculptor Peter Paszkiewicz has given himself the task of uniting basic shapes – the concave, the convex and the straight line – in a block of granite. He invites the observer to touch, understand and take a seat.

PLEASURE TIPS LANDHAUS BACHER NIKOLAIHOF The Nikolaihof is one of the oldest wine estates in Austria and one of the top culinary addresses in the Wachau. The multi-award-winning wines are pressed in accordance with the bio-dynamic criteria of the Demeter Association and partially processed by a historic wine press. The modern guest house is only a few steps away. Tel 02732/82901 | www.nikolaihof.at

Lisl Wagner-Bacher's »L andhaus Bacher« ranks among the world's best culinar y addresses. Award-winning haute cuisine composed of select ingredients, enhanced with regional and Mediterranean accents, served in a comfortably elegant atmosphere and an idyllic garden dining area. Tel 02732/82 937 www.landhaus-bacher.at


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ROMAN MUSEUM Many archaeological finds in Mautern testify to the long presence of the Romans and the fortified settlement of Favianis, which later formed the foundation for Mautern. The Roman Museum in the Baroque granary displays lovingly collected finds of drinking glasses and vases, jewellery and clay pots. Children, in particular, have fun in the »Roman room« with faithfully reproduced murals and in the kitchen, with genuine crockery from five centuries. Opening times: Apr – Oct, Thu – Sat 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., group guided tours possible with prior notification (Tel 02732/83151). www.mautern-donau.at

GOLDEN BONNET MUSEUM Not as old, but no less valuable from a cultural perspective, are the many golden bonnets that are to be admired in the Mautern Costume Museum (Trachtenmuseum) in the Old Chapel of St. Margaret. Visits by prior telephone reservation only. Tel 02732/72643. www.mautern-donau.at

florianschulte.com

MAUTERN ROMAN HALL Mautern Roman Hall (Römerhalle) has established itself as a versatile event room in the region. In addition to weddings and corporate events, it also plays host to regular concerts and cultural events. Tel 02732/83151 www.roemerhalle.at

NATURE AND STONE An interesting overview of the types of stone and diversity of flora and fauna to be found in Lower Austria can be gained while hiking along the »Nature and Stone« themed trail. During a walk lasting from 2.5 to 3 hours, panels provide a great deal of information on shrubs and rock types, various bird and bat species and the deadwood habitatz. www.mautern-donau.at

RIVERSIDE CHURCHES In addition to the parish church of Mautern, a visit to the medieval chapel of St. Margaret as well as the branch church in Hundsheim is worth your while.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: BEST OF WACHAU – BUSINESSES

THE BEST ADDRESSES FOR DINING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS Landhaus Bacher **** Südtirolerplatz 2 | Tel 02732/82937 | www.landhaus-bacher.at Nikolaihof Wachau & ad vineas Gästehaus Nikolaigasse 3 | Kainzstr. 14 | Tel 02732/82901 | 0676/4331828 www.nikolaihof.at | www.advineas.at

INTERESTING FACTS SEVERIN OF NORICUM It is probable that he came from Italy. He is also thought to have been of noble descent, and yet Severin of Noricum opted to live as a monk. The saint ultimately chose »Ad Vineas« as his place of retreat, a hamlet in the vineyards of Mautern, formerly known as Favianis. As Eugippius, his student, reported on the life of this cross-cultural man, it was here that he founded his monastery and, from his hermitage, arranged for the distribution of food and clothing and brought about the release of many a prisoner of war. The themed trail through Mautern begins at the Roman Hall.

florianschulte.com


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GOLD BONNETS & KALMUCK JACKETS The Wachau festival costume is one of the few Austrian traditional costumes to be worn by the population without interruption since its emergence in the Biedermeier period. The gold bonnet (Goldhaube) embellishes the festive dress for women, while the Kalmuck jacket (Kalmuckjanker) is typical for the men.

SILK AND BROCADE The traditional everyday costume for women in the Wachau is a blue printed dirndl, which is worn with a white blouse with frilled sleeves and a dark blue apron. By way of contrast, on festival days and on special occasions, where the ecclesiastical and the secular come together, a festive dress is worn by the women of the Wachau. Small patterned or silk or brocade material with a woven pattern is used for this elegant costume. Worn with the long, ample skirt is a spencer-type top with puffed sleeves which, like the collar, are edged with frills. Placed in the décolleté is a fluted or lace insert. The apron is made of a matching, single-coloured fabric.

GOLDEN BONNET The jewel of the festival costume is the golden bonnet (Goldhaube), an elaborate creation handcrafted from brocade, gold braid and lace. The golden bonnet, which is also part of the traditional costume in other regions, arrived in the Wachau some 200 years ago. The wives of very wealthy citizens, ship owners and wine-growers of that time had these works of art made for them. This skill is only practised by a small number of bonnet makers today.

CHECK, MOTHER OF PEARL AND FEATHER GRASS A typical component of everyday Wachau costume is the Kalmuck jacket (Kalmuckjanker). The robust fabric from which this jacket is made is said to have been used as saddlecloth by the Kalmyk horsemen and thus imported into the region. Impressed by the quality of the material, the boatmen used it to make jackets for their everyday work wear. The vintners were also soon convinced of its properties. With its typical pattern – a small white/brown check – and mother of pearl buttons, it has been part of the traditional Wachau costume ever since. To this day, it is still worn with black trousers and a white cotton shirt. On their heads, Wachau men wear a round, black hat with a narrow, curved brim, decorated with feather grass (Steinfeder). This protected type of grass may only be picked for use with the Wachau costume.

SHOPPING TIPS Traditional costume fabric: Kaufhaus Gurtner, Hauptstraße 26, Spitz Kalmuck design & fabric: Brigitta Lipold – LebensKunstRaum Krems Eisentürgasse 3-5, Krems | www.lipold.at Wachau costumes: Gerda Gartler – Steiner Landstraße 24, Krems www.meisterstrasse.at/mode-nach-mass Theresa Hirtzberger – Kremser Str. 8, Spitz www.theresahirtzberger.com Gold bonnets (upon request): Elfriede Kristament, Mautern | Tel 02732/72643


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THE JOY OF MOVEMENT

WACHAU WORLD HERITAGE TRAIL The most beautiful views in the Wachau are to be seen when hiking on the Wachau World Heritage Trail. Over the course of 14 stages, the 180-kilometre-long hiking trail links every community in the region. The route connects three monasteries, 20 castles, ruins and palaces, the wine-growing regions of the Wachau and Kremstal Valley, as well as Jauerling Nature Park and the Dunkelsteinerwald Forest (interactive tour planner at www.welterbesteig.at).

PILGRIMAGE AND TOUR APP Three ferries (Rossatz-Dürnstein, St. Lorenz-Weißenkirchen, Arnsdorf-Spitz) bring hikers from one bank to the other. Hiking enthusiasts who wish to create their own tours, are advised to download the »Wachau Touren App« (Wachau tour app), which will provide help in selecting hikes on the Wachau World Heritage Trail in terms of themes, difficulty, altitude or length. www.welterbesteig.at

ON YOUR BIKE The Danube Bike Trail (Donauradweg) is arguably one of the most famous continuous bike trails in Europe. One of its prettiest stretches runs through the Wachau. Peaceful village streets line the north and south banks, with bike ferries connecting the two. Those taking a little more time can discover hidden jewels in the back country on road and mountain bike stretches. Practical tip: bicycles, e-bikes and even Segways can be rented from many locations.

WATERY FUN Situated directly on the Danube and on cut-off meanders, lidos extend an invitation for summery refreshment. Anyone choosing a sandy beach for bathing on the banks of the Danube would be advised to first ask locals about any prevailing strong currents. Rowing and canoeing are also possible on the Danube. Wachau Waterskiing Club, Aggsbach-Dorf, www.wsc-wachau.at Wachau Canoeing, Dürnstein-Oberloiben, www.kanu-wachau.at

GOLF & CLIMBING Three golf courses lie in close proximity: the 9-hole Maria Taferl course, the Lengenfeld GC with two 18-hole courses and the St. Pölten GC near Goldegg Castle. The Maria Taferl golf course is situated near the famous pilgrimage basilica, standing high above the Danube. www.gc-mariataferl.at | www.golflengenfeld.at The climbing park in Dürnstein is a good place in which to learn and practise rock climbing. Climbing is only permitted in designated climbing parks. www.alpenverein.at/krems/klettern/wachauklettern

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GÖTTWEIG ABBEY

Anyone travelling upstream on the Danube does not require a map to know where the Wachau World Heritage Region begins. High on a hill, Göttweig Benedictine Abbey beams out like an illuminated signpost. Most impressive in the Baroque abbey, which was founded in 1083, is the monumental imperial staircase with famous frescoes by Paul Trogers, the abbey church and former regency and imperial rooms.

INFO ABOUT GÖTTWEIG ABBEY

3511 Stift Göttweig Tel 02732/85581-0 Mail info@stiftgoettweig.at www.stiftgoettweig.at

The collection of prints and drawings comprises some 30,000 works by European masters – the largest collection in Austria outside the Albertina. Annually new selections of these are presented in the special changing exhibitions. Take a browse through Göttweig Abbey: Since 2006, sections have been digitalised and made available on the Internet. www.gssg.at Serving as a backdrop for atmospheric concerts and events are the abbey restaurant, the church, the courtyard and the various rooms of the abbey. Highlights every summer are the open-air concert »Elina Garanca ˇ & Friends: Music under the Stars« in the abbey courtyard or Advent Magic at Göttweig.


Wachau World Heritage Region

APRICOT CULTURE Centuries of experience in forestry and horticulture and the unusual setting in the midst of nature helped provide the Benedictine monks from Göttweig Abbey with considerable expertise in tree cultivation. Today the Abbey has a sustainable diversity in its forests. One species of note is the giant sequoia population in the vicinity of Paudorf. More than 50 guest tree species from all over the world can be admired in the arboretum, which was only founded in 1980. It is here that the Göttweig forest school (Göttweiger Waldschule) is being established, bringing both young and old closer to the vitally important forest. Right next to the enclosure lies an especially »fruitful« wood: an orchard with old varieties of apricot from the Wachau. For several years now this orchard has been open during the warm season. In addition to fruit, the orchard also grows herbs, which are processed in the abbey restaurant as soon as they have been gathered. You can learn all about the apricot on the »MarillenErlebnisweg« (Apricot Experience Trail) in adjoining Angern. Along the trail are apricot trees of up to 17 metres in height owned by Weinhof Aufreiter in Angern. The views toward Göttweig Abbey and a visit to the Wetterkreuz Church above Hollenburg are rewarding. www.marillenweg.at

A VISIT TO THE MONASTERY In the course of its 900-year history, the Benedictine monastery has not only been active in looking after what today amount to 30 parishes in the region, some of which are up to an hour’s drive away. It has also established itself as a spiritual and cultural centre. More can be discovered in the »Monastery Life« permanent exhibit where visitors can trace the daily routine of the 40 monks: from the 6 a.m. vigil to vespers at 6 p.m., guests are also invited to join in prayer. The monastery is open to everyone. Those who are specifically seeking peace and contemplation will find inner balance with courses on fasting or spiritual exercises. For guests who wish to switch off from daily life without taking a specific course, the »A visit to the Monastery« (Zu Gast im Kloster) course is available from March until October. This mix of plenty of leisure time, the unique atmosphere on Göttweig Mountain, the opportunity to participate in the monks' choral prayer or to have a discussion with a monk brings rest to body and soul. | Tel 02732/85581-0

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WACHAU WORLD HERITAGE TRAIL Heavenly peace, delightful nature and fascinating insights and outlooks can be enjoyed while hiking on the Wachau World Heritage Trail. Past picturesque wine-growing villages and pretty Renaissance towns, through shady sunken lanes and sun-drenched vineyards, past flower-filled gardens to magnificent cultural monuments, always with a view of the winding river valley – Wachau World Heritage Trail has greatly enriched the offerings for exercise lovers in the Wachau. Over 14 stages, distributed across some 180 kilometres, it connects the most beautiful spots in the Wachau. Roughly 14 days are required to leisurely explore the Wachau in its entirety on foot. The southern and northern banks can each be hiked in approx. one week. Three ferries make it possible to cross from the northern bank to the southern one. Among the route's highlights are the idyllic vineyard hikes along the famous primary rock terraces. Probably the most far-reaching view can be enjoyed from the lookout post on the Jauerling, at a height of 960 metres, one of the highest points along the entire course of the Danube. The Jauerling Circuit can be added as a bonus for anyone with even more stamina and time on their hands. The Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal app is recommended for simple and convenient planning of tours via Smartphone. More extensive information, as well as detailed route descriptions and GPS tracks is available for downloading from www.welterbesteig.at

The exact route descriptions, all information and GPS tracks are available for downloading under www.welterbesteig.at Among the noteworthy attractions and rewarding stopping off points are the Aggstein Castle ruins or the Benedictine abbeys of Göttweig and Melk. Incidentally, the Way of St. James runs between the two abbeys.

WACHAU.HIATA Anyone also wishing to learn interesting details about the Wachau during their hike should find out about guided hikes with certified »Wachau.Hiata« wine and hiking guides. Their name goes back to the vineyard custodians, whose job it once was to protect the most precious and noble property in the Wachau: the grapes. The Wachau.Hiata are all connoisseurs and lovers of the region, who knowledgably and charmingly take care of their Wachau visitors and show them the region from its friendliest side. A diverse programme with different thematic focuses is offered every year. www.wachau-hiata.at The exact dates, route descriptions and contact details are currently to be found under www.welterbesteig.at.


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GOOD NEIGHBOURS Good neighbours are valuable. The people of the Wachau know this too and are rightly proud of theirs. Both upstream and downstream, in the Dunkelsteinerwald Forest and the Southern Waldviertel region, there are cultural treasures and beauties of nature that reward anyone visiting the Wachau.

LEGENDARY NIBELUNGENGAU Lying upstream from the Wachau is the Nibelungengau region. Its name comes from the »Nibelungenlied« or Song of the Nibelungs, in which Rüdiger von Bechelarn, and hence Pöchlarn, are made famous. Providing a reminder of this is the Nibelung Memorial (Nibelungendenkmal) at the Danube Pier. A famous son of the town is the painter Oskar Kokoschka. Every April, revues and cabarets are held at the »Ybbsiade« festival, in the upstream town of Ybbs. The hydropower plant at Ybbs-Persenbeug and its system of locks is equally worth seeing. An exhibition immerses visitors into the fascinating world of electricity generation from hydropower. On the other bank of the Danube, in Artstetten Castle, heir apparent Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie found a highly picturesque final resting place. The Baroque castle and museum at Leiben are worth a visit too. High above the Danube lies the scenic pilgrimage site of Maria Taferl, with its miraculous image and pleasant guesthouses. Towering just a short walk from Melk is the Renaissance Schallaburg Castle. The Dunkelsteinerwald Forest idles in the back country of the southern bank of the Danube. RIVERSIDE HIKES Over a total length of 110 kilometres, the Nibelungengau long-distance trail runs north and south of the Danube. It links the Upper Austrian Danube Trail in the west with the Wachau World Heritage Trail in the east. From panoramic paths, it leads through attractive countryside and to excursion destinations steeped in history. The eight stages are between 20 and 22 kilometres in length – there is a route to suit every ability and taste. On the northern bank, the trail starts in Sarmingstein. Over some 80 kilometres, it travels through forests and a wildly romantic gorge, before arriving in Leiben. In adjoining Emmersdorf, the Nibelungengau long-distance trail ultimately converges with the Wachau World Heritage Trail. The southern route between Ybbs and Pöchlarn offers 30 kilometres of comfortable hiking trails, which largely run directly along the Danube towpath. All route descriptions, information and GPS tracks can be found under: www.nibelungengau.at.

KREMSTAL VALLEY The Kremstal Valley extends along both sides of the Danube in the area around Krems, between the Wachau and the Kamptal Valley. The region is shaped by wine cultivation, and its wine cellar alleys and sunken lanes can be explored especially well on bicycle or foot. There is plenty to see: from the splendid Göttweig Abbey to the Senftenberg castle ruin, from wine worlds and nature trails to the cultural treasures of Krems and its surroundings. | www.das-kremstal.at

NIBELUNGENGAU INFO-CENTRE YBBS Stauwerkstraße 86, 3370 Ybbs Tel 07412/55233 Mail ybbs@donau.com Open: May – September

INTERESTING FACTS TIP FOR ANDROID SMARTPHONE AND IPHONE USERS For easy and convenient route planning, we recommend the WachauNibelungengau-Kremstal app. Fur ther information as well as detailed route descriptions with GPS tracks are available at www.nibelungengau.at.

MIDSUMMER FIRE The Wachau and the Nibelungengau celebrate the summer solstice with impressive fireworks, torches and midsummer bonfires. An especially good vantage point for enjoying the fiery spectacle is from a ship. www.sonnenwende.at


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AROUND THE WACHAU SCHALLABURG RENAISSANCE CASTLE An excursion to the south is worth the effort. Starting from Melk, just five kilometres in this direction are enough to be able to dip into the flair of Italian palazzi. It was the noble Losenstein family that expanded the medieval great hall into the most beautiful Renaissance castle north of the Alps as their ruling seat. This composition of a residential castle from the Romantic period, the Gothic chapel and the armoury hall, and the arcade courtyard with its impressive terracotta adornments, is architecturally unique. The historically interesting ambience of the Schallaburg offers an impressive backdrop for annually changing, top-class exhibits on topics of cultural history, ethnography and contemporary issues. A walk in the historic garden provides fascinating insights into Renaissance garden art. A programme of events for the entire family, in which juice and cider – flagships of the region – play a major role, invites repeat visits. www.schallaburg.at

PROVINCIAL MUSEUM AND CULTURAL DISTRICT IN ST. PÖLTEN St. Pölten is one of Austria's oldest cities and at the same time the youngest provincial capital. It wasn't until 1986 that St. Pölten was elevated to the provincial capital of Lower Austria. Particularly the architectural contrasts are impressive: Baroque and Art Nouveau characterise the city centre. The City Hall shows a cross-section of Austrian architectural history – and is a good starting point for a sightseeing walk: a Romanesque vault, Gothic niches, a Renaissance tower, a Baroque facade and the »imperial stucco ceiling« in the Mayor's room. Move on across Herrenplatz to the fresco-adorned cathedral, the pompous Baroque Palace of the English Maiden, the Carmelite courtyard, the historic Lion Pharmacy and the handsome Art Nouveau houses. Contemporary architecture comes as a surprise in the Government Quarter and the cultural district. The Bell Tower is a highly visible landmark. The Festspielhaus (festival theatre) is home to the Tonkünstler Orchestra. The Lower Austrian Provincial Museum is located in the midst of the Government Quarter, in the so-called »State House«. The natural history section presents the diversity of the Lower Austrian province and highlights distinctive features of the region. The art history section gives an overview of the development of art in Austria, with a special focus on Lower Austria. | www.st-poelten.gv.at

MOBILITY DAY IN THE WACHAU An innovative mobility concept makes usage of cars in the Wachau entirely superfluous. With the Wachau Day Pass, all towns and attractions are conveniently accessible in an environmentally friendly way.

THE »NIEDERÖSTERREICH-CARD«

Holders of the Niederösterreich-CARD (Lower Austria Card) receive this Day Pass once per year and for one day can ride free of charge on the comfortable low-floor buses of the Wachau lines WL 1 to WL 7, as well as easily changing to the other bank of the Danube with three ferries. In Spitz and Weißenkirchen the ferries also carry cars; in Dürnstein just bicycles.

Discover Lower Austria's treasures with the NÖ CARD. Tel 01/535 05 05 www.niederoesterreich-card.at

Wachau Day Passes are available for purchase in the buses, on the ferries, as well as in the Wachau Info Centre in Melk, the information desks in Spitz and Emmersdorf, and at Krems Tourismus. All timetables at www.vor.at


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GRAFENEGG CASTLE About 15 km from Krems, the turrets and battlements of Grafenegg Castle stand out in the midst of a huge landscape park. Right next to it: puristic lines in concrete, the open air stage »Wolkenturm« and the concert hall »Auditorium Grafenegg«, completed in 2007. Just as the romantic historicism of Grafenegg Castle is joined to the contemporary concert buildings despite all contradictions, the programme of the annual Grafenegg Music Festival likewise unites old and new, history and modern times. Every summer, under the aegis of piano legend Rudolf Buchbinder, this festival invites the public to watch and listen. Concerts with different thematic emphases are presented. For the culinary aspect at Grafenegg Castle, Toni Mörwald swings the baton (or cooking spoon), and whoever wants to let his or her palate sing is in good hands with the gourmet chef and his dinner suggestions. www.grafenegg.com

LOWER AUSTRIA'S GARDENS 33 gardens – from idyllic herbal gardens to imperial castle gardens – present themselves collectively as »Lower Austria's Gardens«. Members include garden attractions such as the show and model gardens of the Lower Austrian Horticultural Show »DIE GARTEN TULLN«, as well as luxuriant castle gardens such as those of Grafenegg, Schloss Hof Palace, Artstetten, Schallaburg and Rosenburg. The atmospheric gardens of the abbeys Melk, Altenburg, Seitenstetten, Zwettl and Klosterneuburg are all included, as well as experimental garden projects. One of the last remaining large wetland areas in Europe, the Danube Wetlands National Park, is included with its floodplain adventure area »Schlossinsel«, as is the Maissau Amethyst World with its theme gardens. The »Kittenberger Adventure Gardens« and the »Noah's Ark« show gardens in nearby Schiltern bei Langenlois, where primarily old cultivated plants and rarities thrive, are well worth a visit. www.diegaerten.at

SUGGESTED READING EDITION ARAMO (HG.): »WELTERBESTEIG WACHAU« (»Wachau World Heritage Trail«) A literary hiking companion 14 authors walked the 14 stages of the Wachau World Heritage Trail and captured their impressions of it. Contributions from the following, among others: Clemens Haipl, Lorenz Langenegger, Urs Mannhart, Mieze Medusa, Angelika Reitzer, Julian Schutting, Christoph Simon, ... www.aramo.at

WALTER GROND (HG.): »DRAUSSEN IN DER WACHAU« (»Outside in the Wachau«) The rather different travel guide This »rather different travel guide« with the title »Outside in the Wachau« takes an unconventional, literary look at the places of longing, the clichés, places and paths in the Wachau. Among other things, Peter Turrini tells about experiences with Billy Wilder during their shared journey through the Wachau. www.haymonverlag.at

WANDERVERLAG ROTHER (HG.): »WELTERBESTEIG WACHAU UND JAUERLING-RUNDE« (»Wachau World Heritage Trail and Jauerling Circuit«) Rother, the renowned German publisher specialising in hiking, published the new hiking guide »Wachau World Heritage Route and Jauerling Circuit« the beginning of October 2011. Clear tour information, informative route profiles, and full-colour hiking cards showing the exact route and concise but exact directions make all route suggestions easily understandable. | www.amazon.at


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ON THE GO WITHOUT A CAR On holiday you can easily leave your car behind. Especially in the Wachau, where everyone can easily and conveniently get to all the attractions, thanks to the environmentally friendly mobility concept. With your chosen mode of transport you can comfortably combine it all: From rental bicycles to Danube ships, from the bus to the Wachau railway, or from the ferry to e-bikes and Segways. Mobility information at: www.vor.at

WACHAU WORLD HERITAGE TRAIL Walking is probably the most intense and nicest way to get to know an area. Enjoy views and insights along the 180 km Wachau World Heritage Trail through all the villages in the Wachau. The well-marked 14 stages of the long distance hiking trail, as well as the 7 stages of the Jauerling Circuit, fascinate the hiker with the contrast between gently sloped vineyards and the rugged, forested higher terrain. An interactive hiking map with GIS routes may be found at: | www.welterbesteig.at

DANUBE BICYCLE PATH The Danube bicycle path runs along the Danube, just a few steps away from it. It follows both the north and south banks of the river on almost continuously structurally separate bicycle paths. A glance at the signs shows the direction for side trips to the side valleys and to other bicycle paths. www.donau.com

NEXTBIKE With the »nextbike« bicycle rental system you can rent comfortable 3-speed bicycles 24 hours a day at about 40 borrowing stations in the Wachau – on both banks of the Danube – and return them to any desired nextbike station. You need to register with your bank data or credit card. Bike rental for one hour costs € 1,– and 24 hours cost € 10,–. www.nextbike.at

E-MOBILE AND SEGWAY »e-mobil in niederösterreich« is a large-scale initiative in Lower Austria. The Wachau is a pioneer region in this respect as well. City bikes or mountain bikes, supported in an environmentally friendly way by e-motors, can be borrowed at many locations and charged up at five public charging stations. In Spitz, there are also Segways for rental. Guided tours (e. g. to the Aggstein Castle ruins) are offered. www.wachau.at/e-mobil

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www.segway-wachau.at


Wachau World Heritage Region

BUS CONNECTIONS From the train stations in Krems and Melk, both banks of the Danube are completely accessible via two bus lines, the south bank every two hours (bus WL2), the north bank hourly (bus WL1). The Spitzer Graben Valley is also linked with Mühldorf (bus WL5). From Easter to 26th October, buses run to Maria Laach and to the Jauerling Nature Park (bus WL7) or to Göttweig Abbey (bus WL4) every weekend on demand (for as little as 1 passenger). www.vor.at

FERRY Between Mautern and Melk there are no bridges in the Wachau. To get to the other bank of the Danube, you take the ferry. In Spitz and Weißenkirchen the ferries also carry cars; in Dürnstein just bicycles. From Dürnstein, a ride with the water taxi is also possible: With advance reservations, any location at all can be serviced; even a vineyard tour including sampling of the wine from the passing locations is possible. www.wachau.at

SHIPS The docking times of the two large shipping lines BRANDNER Schiffahrt and DDSG are coordinated with the train and bus schedules. From the white Danube ships you have a stunning view of the world heritage landscape. Between Krems and Melk there are stops in Dürnstein, Weißenkirchen, Spitz, and upon request also in Aggsbach Dorf and at the new pier in the Emmersdorf town centre. There are also various combined offers with rail and ship. www.brandner.at

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www.ddsg-blue-danube.at

WACHAU RAILWAY The Wachau railway has been operating away from the main street, between ancient masonry, vineyards and blooming slopes, ever since 1909. Today it connects Krems with Emmersdorf, across from Melk. As an adventure railway it also offers nostalgic, theme or charter rides. www.noevog.at

SLOW TRAINS With no hurry at all, but family friendly and with lots of information, the Krems-Wachau-Express chugs from the Krems pier through the car-free pedestrian zone to the Art Mile. In Dürnstein, the historic centre as well as the vineyards as far as Loiben are along the route. www.kuenringer.at

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DONAU INCOMING – YOUR RELIABLE PARTNER! We are travel experts for the Lower Austrian Danube region and will be glad to help you with our knowledge of the region when organising your travel adventure.

BOOK WITH US! From our seat in the heart of the Wachau, we put together customised travel experiences according to your individual wishes. We can not only draw from a large pool of regional experiences, but are also glad to utilise all our creativity and our knowledge of the region for you, in order to make your perfect holiday adventure possible. We offer customised packages for every customer segment!

WE MAKE IT POSSIBLE! We have countless partners in the entire regional tourism branch whom we know personally. Numerous winemakers and comfortable traditional wine taverns offer informative and entertaining wine tastings. Boat trips on the Danube are a special pleasure, either through the picturesque Wachau or starting from Vienna, heading either upstream or downstream. Active types get on a bike, paddle or row on the Danube, or hike through the vineyards. Are you looking for the right Austria Guide for a special guided tour, just the right winemaker for a wine tasting, or a regional producer? Or maybe you need ideas for a special experience in our region? If desired, we will be glad to actively support you with your travel planning! We are your central and competent point of contact for individual or group travel along the Lower Austrian section of the Danube. Please contact us! Donau NiederĂśsterreich Tourismus GmbH 3620 Spitz/Donau, Schlossgasse 3 Tel 02713/300 60-0 | E-mail urlaub@donau.com Further information at www.wachau.at


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EVENT TIPS IN THE WACHAU-NIBELUNGENGAU-KREMSTAL VALLEY AREA Over the course of the year, a whole string of cultural and sporting events take place in the Wachau. Some of them attract international attention. Here is a selection of the annual festivals and events: More information at www.wachau.at

SPRING

SUMMER

WACHAU GOURMETFESTIVAL The best restaurants in the Wachau serve up exclusive menus in April. In addition: Cooking shows, table talks und exceptional wine tastings. www.wachau-gourmet-festival.at

MIDSUMMER FIRE The summer solstice is celebrated in a big and »fiery« way in the Wachau and the Nibelungengau. An especially good vantage point for enjoying the numerous fires is from a ship. www.sonnenwende.at

IMAGO DEI EASTER FESTIVAL This festival in Krems is dedicated to a variety of themes connected with the Easter ritual, with timeless music from different ethnicities, epochs and religions. www.klangraum.at YBBSIADE The »Ybbs jester« is awarded annually at the largest cabaret festival in the German-speaking world. Well-known cabaret artists perform each year for two weeks in April. www.ybbsiade.at LITERATURE AND WINE Göttweig Abbey and the Lower Austrian Independent Literature House (ULNÖ) in Stein are the venues for the 2-day series of events. | www.ulnoe.at DANUBE FESTIVAL On two weekends in the spring, Krems becomes an international platform for new performing arts and experimental music. www.donaufestival.at WEINSTEINBIKEWACHAU (»Bike the Wachau between wine and stone«) The mountain bike tour runs »between wine and stone«. Two races take place the middle of May between the high-up wine slopes of the rear Spitzer Graben Valley. | www.weinsteinbike.at INT. BAROQUE DAYS AT MELK ABBEY Each year at Whitsun the Benedictine Monastery at Melk is filled with the sound of Baroque music under the leadership of chamber singer Michael Schade. www.barocktagemelk.at

MELK SUMMER FESTIVAL Lower Austria's oldest summer theatre unites a sensory experience of classical theatre with music and the unique ambience between the Danube, the alluvial forests and Melk Abbey. www.sommerspielemelk.at GLATT & VERKEHRT (»right and wrong sides«) Austria's most important world music festival offers traditional and contemporary folk music each July at various event venues. www.glattundverkehrt.at RIESLING FESTIVAL The Riesling Festival in Weißenkirchen takes place in the most beautiful arcade courtyard in the Wachau, at Teisenhoferhof. | www.weissenkirchen-wachau.at WACHAU FESTIVAL Comedies are on the programme for this summer theatre, which takes place at Teisenhoferhof in Weißenkirchen in July and August. www.wachaufestspiele.com WACHAU CYCLING DAYS In mid-July, hundreds of cyclists come to the starting line for the Wachau Cycling Days. There is a choice of two routes with a length of either 177 km or 97 km. www.wachauer-radtage.at

WACHAU MARATHON This high-class running festival is very popular. Each year in September, about 10,000 runners explore the Wachau. www.wachaumarathon.at ATELIER ON THE DANUBE Starting in 2006, Pöchlarn has been hosting an annual 11-day symposium for artists from around the world. Within this framework, an international jury awards the Pöchlarn Art Award. www.atelieranderdonau.at GLATT & VERKEHRT HERBSTZEITLOS (»right and wrong sides autumn«) A musical epilogue to the World Music Festival Glatt&Verkehrt, in and near the Klangraum Krems Minorite Church. www.glattundverkehrt.at WINTER ADVENT IN THE WACHAU Enchanting Advent markets in the Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal Valley region get you in the mood for the loveliest family celebration of the year. www.wachau.at WACHAU IN ECHTZEIT The Wachau presents itself from its most festive side with Advent markets and a whole series of events at monasteries, churches, castles and wine estates, curated by Ursula Strauss. www.wachauinechtzeit.at DÜRNSTEIN SYMPOSIUM Politics | Philosophy Religion Starting on Ash Wednesday, thinkers from around the world spend 5 days discussing values and concepts that are used in political discourse. www.symposionduernstein.at

AUTUMN EUROPEAN LITERATURE DAYS IN SPITZ This authors' convention with an international line-up takes place annually in Spitz in October. | www.literaturhauseuropa.eu

You can find all events here, or under www.donau.com/ veranstaltungen


INTERESTING FACTS Rich cultural treasures, one of the most enchanting river valleys in Europe and an internationally renowned wine-growing region: The Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage Region, is a unique artwork as a whole, and a favourite meeting place for bon vivants from all over the world. All 13 villages are connected by the long-distance hiking trail »Wachau World Heritage Trail«, which leads you to the most beautiful spots.

Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus Regional Office Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal Valley 3620 Spitz/Donau, Schlossgasse 3 Tel +43 (0) 2713/300 60-60 | Fax Extension 30 E-mail urlaub@donau.com www.wachau.at | www.welterbesteig.at

We will be glad to advise you at the info points in Ybbs, Melk, Emmersdorf, Spitz, Weißenkirchen, Dürnstein and Krems as well.

Kamptal-WagramTullner Donauraum Wachau-NibelungengauKremstal

Römerland Carnuntum – Marchfeld

Donau

Bratislava

St. Pölten

Wien

Mostviertel

Brochures, advisory service and reservations:

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Donau Linz

Bratislava

St. Pölten

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Eisenstad senstadt senstad

Salzburg

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Innsbruck Graz Klagenfurt

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IMPRINT: Editor and publisher: Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH, A-3620 Spitz/Donau. Photos: Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Andreas Hofer, Steve Haider/www.steve.haider.com, Klaus Engelmayer, Popp und Hackner, Gregor Semrad, Lachlan Blair, Wulz, Gerald Lechner, Niederösterreich Werbung, Lackinger, Lois Lammerhuber, Robert Herbst, Franz Hauleitner, Othmar Bramberger, Markus Haslinger/www.extremfotos.com, Manfred Seidl, diejun, Weinhäupl, Christian Bogner, Rita Newman, wein franz, Wolfgang Stich/www.panos.at, DI Robert Herbst/www.pov.at © Naturparke Niederösterreich, Augustin Baumgartner, OÖ.Werbung/Popp, Getty Images, Konstantin Gona, as well as from our service partners. Concept, Text: Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Arbeitskreis Wachau and Kinz Kommunikation, Wien. Graphic design: spreitzerdrei werbeagentur. Printing: sandlerprint&more, A-3671 Marbach/Donau. Despite careful editing no guarantee for correctness/completeness. 2016 edition.

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The Wachau: a world heritage region  

Tips, interesting facts and special features for your stay in one of Europe's loveliest river valleys - the Wachau

The Wachau: a world heritage region  

Tips, interesting facts and special features for your stay in one of Europe's loveliest river valleys - the Wachau

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