Linz travel guide
Austria’s third largest city and the capital of Upper Austria is Linz, sitting close to the Czech border in the north of the country. Founded by the Romans, it is a significant city historically because it was once an important trading crossroads between Bohemia and Italy and numerous countries to its east and west. However it is now equally popular for its tourism and our Linz travel guide will outline the main attractions in this harmonious fusion of past and present; sliced through by that most romantic of rivers, the Danube.
Linz’s Main Square has seen a great deal of life in its time and it continues to be a central place from which to watch the world go by, especially during the summer months when the restaurants and cafes put out tables for this purpose. Before wining and dining, however, a leisurely stroll down the narrow, cobbled lanes which spider off from the square will be richly rewarded by sightings of baroque-fronted buildings, inner courtyards, mediaeval arches and Roman fountains. When you return to the square, you can admire the Trinity Column which commemorates coming safely through war and fire and plague.
Some illustrious people have connections with Linz: the mathematician, Johannes Kepler; the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein and the musician, Anton Bruckner, who was the cathedral organist, so look out for tributes to these as you move around the city. Linz is also not without its links to some notorious personages, namely Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief organisers of the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler, who spent his childhood in Leonding in south-west Linz, and whose parents are buried there.
Linz also houses Austria’s oldest and its largest churches. St Martin’s Church was first documented in 799 AD and it displays artefacts from Roman times, while the neo gothic New Cathedral is particularly famous for its stained glass windows, including the Linz window, depicting the history of Linz.
The cityscape of Linz is particularly impressive at night when you see the fusion of ancient and modern buildings. The Ars Electronica Centre is an interactive playground for exploring the digital revolution, while the Lentos Museum of Art displays world-class artistic masterpieces from the last two centuries. The Museum of the Federal Province and the Castle Museum will ensure you are sated with knowledge and understand of Upper Austria’s cultural and scientific history.
Bergschlöss, on Gugl Hill is a grand baroque venue for cultural events, while in the summer hauntingly beautiful music emanates from concerts in the inner courtyards of Arcade Courtyard. In winter, Linz is transformed into a winter wonderland with Christmas markets and glittering lights, advent scenes and decorations to delight even the hardest heart. And of course, what could be more delightful than a romantic cruise along the Blue Danube, by day or night, to get the full measure of one of Austria’s most extraordinary cities?