Excursions & Recreation

Loosdorf, Melk/Danube  Austria

 

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The region of Lower Austria (Nieder-Österreich) is characterised by natural beauty of forests with creeks and rivers, hills and mountains. This offers tourist a variety of possibilities for long walks, bicycle trips, steamer excursions on the river Danube.

 

The Wachau is one of the most picturesque parts of the Danube valley. It stretches out from Melk in the west to Krems in the east. It has century old villages, abbeys and castles. It is well known for its fruits (apricots, peaches, apples, plums) and is internationally famous for its wines and wine shops. The 35 km long Wachau is on the UNESCO list of world heritages.

 

Melk (in the medieval  Nibelungen song mentioned as ‘Medelike’) is the starting point for many of the trips in the Wachau. The Benedict monastery of Melk is the most known abbey of the Wachau. Melk also has a shopping street with medieval buildings and a  beautifully situated swimming pool.

 

The castle Aggstein, on the southern side of the Danube, has a view on the Danube. It is situated on a hill with a steep road.

Near Dürnstein, on the northern side of the Danube are the ruins of Dürnstein castle, where Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner in 1193, when he was found by the minstrel Blondel. Dürnstein also has a monastery. More to the east the towns Stein and Krems are found.

Krems has an old city centre with medieval buildings. In the 12th century Krems probably was a more important market town than Vienna for it appeared on an old Arab map, on which Vienna did not. Krems has many museums and restaurants.

 

Boat trips between Melk, Krems and various other places offer a good view of the Wachau. Many tourists make day tours, sometimes even week tours on the specially made bicycle roads along the Danube.

 

Near Krems, but on the southern side of the Danube lies Mautern. Here was one of the many Roman forts that had to defend the northern border of the Roman empire. A stone wall of the fort is still remained. Mautern has a Roman museum with a reconstructed Roman building. On a hill nearby lies the beautiful Benedict monastery Göttweig.

 

 

 

Near Loosdorf you find on the forested hill the legendary Renaissance Castle Schallaburg. It has an unique court with arches, called 'Arkadenhof'. The Museum Schallaburg is home to major cultural exhibitions. The special exhibition of 2014 deals about the First World War. The castle can be reached by car and from Loosdorf even a few walking routes lead to the castle.

 

Near Melk, on the northern side of the Danube, you can find Artstetten castle. It was the summer residence of the imperial family. In the family crypt Archduke-heir Franz Ferdinand and his wife duchess Sophie of Hohenberg have been buried. The castle museum has a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life of Franz Ferdinand and the time in which he lived.

 

South of Loosdorf the Alp mountain range starts and mountain walks with or without cable line can be made in resorts such as Mariazell, Lilienfeld. From the main railway station of St. Pölten you can take a train of the Mariazell railway line. It is a narrow gauge railway line and it operates with old, but still well working original engines from the 19th century.

 

Vienna at ca. 70 km distance from Loosdorf can be easily reached by train or highway.  Well known attractions are palaces such as Schönbrunn, the Art Historical Museum and other museums in the Hofburg, Belvedere, and  the Palais Harrach.

Throughout the year cultural events take place in Vienna and the region. Vienna has been  a cultural centre for decades and has museums, theatres among which the Staatsoper, Volksoper, Theater an der Wien and the Burgtheater. Famous churches are the cathedral Stephansdom and the Karlskirche.

The New year concerts and the Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule) are known all over the world.

With children a visit can be paid to the attraction park Prater with the Viennese Ferris wheel (Wiener Riesenrad) and many other attractions, cafés and terraces. 

You also can go shopping in shopping areas such as the Kärnterstrasse and the Mariahilferstrasse or at Westbahnhof City.