Things to see and do - Linz
Leaving for Austria
Around Linz :
Nearby tourist sites
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Around LinzBy car, 80 km, 2 days
Capital of High-Austria, Linz extends onto the two riverbanks of the Danube and has a captivating ancient centre. In Markt St. Florian, the Hohenbrunn castle sits with its refined facades in agreeable nature. Enns is above all known for its rich, baroque style St Laurent basilica and for its old town that has a belfry that mixes late Gothic with Renaissance style. At Steyr, the central square is adorned with superb bourgeois houses with a corbelled first floor. At the centre of this urban collection is a break in style with the Rococo town hall.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
The Church of the Great Seminary was built in the early 18C for the Teutonic Order by Johann Michael Prunner, according to the plans of the famous architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. The exterior is highly ornate and to have succeeded in investing such a small building with great majesty is a masterly tour de force. The vaulting is adorned with graceful stuccowork by Paolo d'Allio, while the high altar offers a moving Crucifixion painted by Martino Altomonte.
Excavations have found ancient origins for this ordinary-looking chapel with a Gothic chancel. The present building is a remodelled Palatine hall of a royal Carolingian residence, which itself was built on Roman ruins in the 8C.
This 537m-high hill near Linz offers an extensive view beyond Urfahr, a huge built-up area that has grown on the left bank of the Danube, where the Linz basin spreads out. Visitors can make out the business districts with their shopping avenues and large suburbs with factory chimneys. Southwards, rise the foothills of the Alps as a backdrop to this fine urban landscape.
The main square was already the same size in the 13C. In the centre, the Trinity Column (Dreifaltigkeitssäule), erected by the States of Upper Austria in 1723, commemorates the town's escape from plague (1713), fire (1712) and Turkish invasion (1704). With its statues and cherubs in white Salzburg marble, it is a good example of the Baroque columns that were erected in many towns of the Habsburg Empire.
Too large for a hunting lodge and too open to the countryside, due to its many windows and arcades, to have made any pretence at defence, Hohenbrunn Castle refinely displays its façades like a Palladian villa, in an attractive natural setting. It was built from 1722 to 1732, for a prior at St Florian Abbey, on land that he had inherited from his family. Its square-plan buildings enclose a central courtyard. It is the only castle that can be attributed with any certainty to Jakob Prandtauer, who also built the abbeys of Melk and Herzogenburg and put the final touches to St Florian Abbey, which was completed by a foreman working at the abbey, Jakob Steinhueber, after his death. The castle owes its name ("Hoher Brunnen": high fountain) to a pumping appliance originally installed in a tower flanking the south façade. The building was in a bad state of disrepair in 1963 when it was purchased from St Florian Abbey, then restored under the auspices of the provincial authorities. Since 1967, it houses an interesting Hunting Museum, with numerous weapons, models, plaster casts, footprints and stuffed animals, thus providing a fascinating exploration of hunting in Upper Austria. Also, note the porcelain collection that is unparalleled in Europe.
This basilica was built on a site of ancient Lauriacum in the late 13C. Its Baroque ribbed vaulting is more recent. The tabernacle, a Pietà and a Madonna are fine Medieval works. Vestiges of a Gallo-Roman temple, a 4C Christian church and a Carolingian basilica have been unearthed. In front of the church stands an ossuary with a façade sculpture depicting Pontius Pilate as a Turkish Great Vizier.
The late-Gothic and Renaissance 60-m high belfry standing in the centre of the square is the town's landmark. In 1564, Enns' citizens built it to house bells and as a watchtower. It is adorned with the Imperial eagle and Habsburg coat of arms. A magnificent panorama, stretching across town and as far as the Pre-Alps on a clear day, rewards the brave visitors that climb up its 157 steps.
Its imposing town houses are all mainly Gothic in style and often feature late-Gothic or Renaissance arcaded inner courtyards. Those lining the Hauptplatz, as well as n° 5 in Mauthausnerstrasse and n° 4 or 20 in Linzerstrasse have magnificent façades. The Lauriacum Town Museum displays an outstanding collection of Roman remains and is also housed in an arcaded residence, the former Mint.
The ???former Dominican St Mary's Church, flanked on the north by the Eisengasse, a picturesque alley winding down to the Enns, has rich Baroque decoration, including a heavily-gilded high altar, a Virgin and Child from 1704, stucco-framed paintings and a Rococo pulpit.