Pill making and Celtic tombs
Quality of experience: ******
The Upper Austrian capital Linz has a variety of interesting sights that entice visitors into going on an extensive sightseeing tour, e.g. through the historical center with main square and Landstrasse to the Castle Museum, the Botanical Garden, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Musical Theatre at the Volksgarten, Lentos Museum and the Ars Electronica Center – to name just a few of the key sights. The Pöstlingberg, a hill that is another landmark of the city, is sure to bid you farewell when you leave.
Soon you pass Steyregg and its splendid 11th/12th c castle, but the latter only opens its gates for events taking place there.
Now you leave the Danube for a while and head toward Mauthausen. It was founded by the Babenbergs as a place to exact tolls (“Mautstätte”, hence the name “Mauthausen”, literally “toll house”). It gained notoriety as the site of the biggest Austrian Nazi concentration camp (now a memorial site).
At Castle Pragstein you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about making pills and mixing ointments, as it is home to Austria's only pharmacy museum.
At Au an der Donau or at the latest at Mitterkirchen im Machland you can take a side trip to Perg, the district seat for an enjoyable break. Alternatively you could combine your next stop with a visit to the Celtic village in Mitterkirchen, an open-air museum. It helps you vividly understand daily life in 700 B.C. Not far from there you can also visit Baumgartenberg Abbey. The abbey church is considered a gem of the Baroque era due to its magnificent stuccowork. From here the river guides you at a leisurely pace to Grein, the “Pearl of the Strudengau.”
You start your tour on Flussgasse (street) in Linz, near the new city hall. From there you can easily find the Danube dam, which runs directly along the river and affords a nice view of the Danube bend in Linz and also of the Pöstlingberg (hill).
You continue on the Danube Bike Path, passing Steyregg, a name all castle enthusiasts should note, and then on to St. Georgen an der Gusen. To do this, you turn left off the Danube Bike Path in Abwinden, as it ends there anyway due to the waterworks, and cycle parallel to the train tracks to St. Georgen. On hitting the L569 you take a right toward Langenstein. After a twisty ride through Ufer, you finally pick up the bike path in Mauthausen and are right along the Danube once again.
The route continues along the Danube without any major contact with towns (except Au an der Donau) until you reach Mitterkirchen im Machland. That means lots of nature. Here a side trip to Perg is possible. On arriving in Mitterkirchen, you can look forward to a bit of culture. Here a prehistoric Celtic village has been impressively reconstructed and brought back to life. Just beyond the Celtic village, a side trip to Baumgartenberg is recommended. The abbey is worth a visit and the coat of arms of Upper Austria originated there.
Afterwards a long ride along the Danube awaits you before you arrive in Grein, a city with two key tourist attractions: Stadttheater Grein, Austria's oldest still playable theater and, stately Greinburg Castle and its magnificent interior.
TIP: In Grein we recommend that you take a Danube ferry to switch to the south bank.
From Munich follow the A8 to Salzburg. In Austria follow the A1 to Linz.
From Munich take the train to Linz, and continue in Linz with the tram to the stop Rudolfstraße.
Urfahraner Jahrmarktgelände (Free parking at Urfahr fairgrounds)
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