Where to go in the Upper Austrian Danube region?
Danube dell Passau - Aschach
Forested canyons and rocky slopes give you already an idea about the landscape's character of the Upper Austrian Danube valley. In this area dry and damp ravines, slope forests, oak, hornbeam and beech forests occur, which grew mostly naturally, can be found here. Those diverse forests are replaced in flat areas by mixed forests with many pines.
In the cathedral of Passau you can find the world's biggest cathedral organ. 17.974 pipes and 233 stops resound to the glory of God. Do not miss one of the popular organ concerts in the cathedral! The fortress Oberhaus - one of Europe's largest preserved castle complexes - was founded in 1219 and was the fortress and residence of the prince-bishop of the bishopric Passau.
If you want to gain more knowledge about why it rains, how we get water into the tap and what kinds of fishes are living in the water, you should definitely visit the water adventure world 'Haus am Strom'. Visitors also get an insight into how nature, technology, ecology and economy are forming a symbiosis.
The monastery Engelszell is the only Trappist monastery in Austria which was founded in 1293. It can look back on a changeful and interesting history. The monastery is well known for its liqueurs, Trappist's cheese and most recently Trappist's beer! At the water adventure 'Mini-Donau' which is located just around the corner, you can visit the large aquarium of an exhibition called 'The aliens are coming - new animal and plant species in our homeland'. You can make a new experience by standing face to face with a 2 metres long Danube sturgeon, the 'Giant of the Danube'.
The most impressive natural jewel in this area is definitely the 'Schlögener Schlinge'. This rarity has been created when the Danube carved its way through the soft layers of the Tertiary and created its meander-formed river bed, which it had to retain on the hard granite rocks. In 2008, the 'Schlögener Schlinge' was appointed as 'Naturwunder Oberösterreichs' (natural wonder of Upper Austria). You can get to the famous viewpoint after a short walk of 30 minutes, starting point is the hotel "Donauschlinge".
Eferdinger and Linzer basin
The Eferdinger basin is a fertile plain between Aschach and Ottensheim. The alluvial forests are situated along the Danube, partially only preserved as a small belt. Hybrid poplar forests dominate the area, but you can also find grey alders, white willows and ash trees. The alluvial forests are home to a vast water frog population and some very unique waterplant species.
The cultural area is diversified and scenically appealing. Here, a lot of oxbow lakes and creeks exist.The inflows of the Danube partly possess landscape shaping meander loops and unique forests.The intensively farmed lower terrace is dominant on both sides of the Danube. Different vegetables, specialised cultivation, such as asparagus, and corn grow here. Orchards and forests are rare in this area. wet areas (ponds and marshlands) are also parts of the southern and northern border areas.
Cistercian monastery Wilhering: In 1146, the first Cistercian monks came to Wilhering. A few hundred decades later, in 1895, the monastery grammar school was founded. In the inside of the impressive building, you can still find parts of the Roman and Gothic building phase, such as the entrance of the church, gothic tombs and remains of the early Gothic cloister. Most visitors are totally impressed by the splendorous collegiate church. It is one of the most beautiful rococo churches in Austria. The monastery even houses the gallery of the contemporary painter Fritz Fröhlich.
Danube.changes, Linz: A city break to Linz changes perspectives. It invites you to take a pleasant stop at the Danube banks. Dive into the varied cultural experience at the river banks. In 2014, Linz is looking at Europe's second-largest river: the routing of emperors, kings, cyclists and hikers. The creative space of culture and culinary art. Seductive: A piece of the famous "Linzer Torte" at the river banks. New cultural dimensions like the themed festivals at the Brucknerhaus or many festivals in the city of Linz are inducements for a short trip to Linz.
The Augustinian Monastery St. Florian is the most popular baroque monastery in Upper Austria. From 1848 to 1855 Anton Bruckner worked there as the monastery's organist and is buried below Bruckner's organ, built by Franz Xaver Krisman. The library contains approximately 140.000 books, many valuable medieval manuscripts and early printings. Other features of this historical building are 12 imperial rooms!
Enns - Austria's oldest city, reflects all the great times: Celtic times, roman times - basilica Lorch, middle ages to baroque - old town, castle and the 60m high city tower which surmounts the city, built in the 16th century in the centre of the main square. Climb all 156 steps and enjoy the panoramic view!
Machland and Strudengau
The 'Machland' is characterised by vast alluvial forests, which turn into an agronomical utilised low terrace. At the acclivity of the low terrace, from a nature protection point of view, the most valuable habitats are situated: rough pastures and semiarid grasslands.
Characteristics of the riparian forest is its usage in a silvicultural way, but nevertheless there are white willow meadows and numerous alluvial waters. These waters are important habitats for endangered birds, fish and amphibian species as well as valuable plant species.
The low terrace is the highest and oldest unit of the Machland. Abandoned quarries and orchards are indeed habitats made by humans, but serve as connecting elements. In this area you can find bigger villages.
Celtic village Mitterkirchen: The adventure museum has evolved into one of the most interesting cultural attractions in Upper Austria. In the village from the Hallstatt period with its 20 building constructions you can retrace how people used to live in the Marchland 2.700 years ago. The accessible grave mound gives you an insight into the burial rite in 700 B.C.
The mountain "Predigtstuhl" is popular among climbers and is a good example of the geological forms that shape the natural areas in the Danube valley. Sunlit belays are extreme habitats because of their dryness and nocturnal coolness. This is the reason why most times only mosses and lichens can cope with them. Higher plants have only little starting points here. Many heat-loving species, like the Carthusian pink, occur on shallow soils. On the slopes appear subnatural beech tree and oak tree - hornbeam forests. The latter is a sign for the warm and dry conditions of this habitat.
For more than 500 years now Castle Greinburg keeps watching on the city Grein and Strudengau. Austria's oldest residential castle impresses with elegance and grandeur of its historical festival rooms: The magnificent arcade courtyard, the impressive Knight's Hall and the chapel. The Sala Terrana, which is covered with Danube pebbles, and the diamond vault with its fascinating play of light and shadow are truly unique.
One of the most distinguished highlights of European significance is the historic city theatre Grein. In 1791, a theatre was built by the citizens of Grein in the former granary of the Old Town Hall and has been always in use. Many curiosities can be found here: Original seats that had to be locked/ unlocked with a small key; an old toilet and much more.