In the course of history many valuable buildings and monuments were destroyed.
This is particularly true for the period of Romanticism, from which only sparse remains have been left (parish church of Guessing, Fischerkirche Rust).
From Gothic times many churches (Fischerkirche Rust with murals and Holy Trinity altar; Oslip, Eisenstadt cathedral, Mattersburg, Stadtschlaining, Gaas and Eberau) and castles have remained.
The Renaissance period has only left scarce traces, due to the Turkish Wars in the 16th centuries and other fierce battles only few fortifications and castles, like Castle Forchtenstein, have survived.
During the Baroque, the nobles of the land (Esterházy, Batthyány, Náasdy and Stotzingen) had numerous churches, castles and mansions built. Artists and architects like Lukas von Hildebrandt, Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Martino Altomonte showed their skills in the Burgenland.
The churches in Frauenkirchen (by Martinelli) and Loretto are significant pilgrimage churches. The most splendid castles outside of Eisenstadt were built in Halbturn (Lukas von Hildebrandt, frescoes by Maulbertsch), Kittsee and Kobersdorf.
During the Classicism buildings from former time like Castle Esterházy in Eisenstadt or Castle Draskovich in Guessing were rebuilt or extended.
The Burgenland is open to the west and characterized by continental influences.
In the northern part the Pannonian climate dominates. It blesses the whole
region with the most sun and the highest average temperatures of Austria. The
highest temperature has been measured in Andau: 39,3°C in July!
The water of Lake Neusiedl reaches 26°-30°C in August.
Typical characteristics are high humidity (due to the evaporation of Lake
Neusiedl), a light and refreshing breeze in summer and mild temperatures until
late autumn, cold winters and little snow.
In the hilly region of central and southern Burgenland the summer is not that
hot and the winter quite mild.
In the Burgenland, agriculture plays a significant role: 49.8% of the area is used for agriculture and forestry; 15% of the population
work in these sectors.
The province is also major producer of fruit and vegetables and supplies nearby Graz and Vienna.
The Burgenland is also a famous for wine-growing, which was already practised by the Celts about 2700
After Lower Austria, the Burgenland is the second largest wine-growing region of Austria (36.1% of Austria´s overall wine-growing area) centering around four areas: Lake Neusiedl, Lake Neusiedl hills, central Burgenland and the south.
The Pannonian climate and the sandy ground are ideal conditions for excellent
grapes to grow.
A rather rare branch of industry developped from the large reed belt
surrounding the lake.
Tourism is another major industry, the areas around the lake are favorite holiday destinations, especially for the population of Vienna. The two spas, Bad Tatzmansdorf and Bad Sauerbrunn have a long tradition.
Due to the unique biotope of Lake Neusiedl, the fauna of the Burgenland is extraordinarily diverse. The lake with its white belt of reed and the region of the Seewinkel are among the largest bird paradises of Central Europe. The reed belt and the surface of the lake serve the birds as feeding, breeding and resting place. At times you can see more than 280 very rare species of birds like the cormorant, the spoonbill, the common heron, the crane, the sea swallow, the greylag goose, the stock duck, the quail, the hoopoe, the golden oriole and the kingfisher.
In summer the shallow lake has temperatures of up to 30 ¡C, in winter it is usually frozen. This makes it a classic habitat for carp and pike.
In Rust and the villages of the Seewinkel breeding storks can be found on the roof tops. On the flat pastures we even find the great bustard, a goose-like bird.
The unique qualities of this landscape were discovered a long time ago. At the beginning of the Thirties, Lake Neusiedl and the surrounding steppe was put under environmental protection; large parts of the landscape were bought by the Austrian Association of Environmental Protection. In 1956 the WWF leased approx. 400 hectares in the region of the Langen Lacke. In 1993 the Nationalpark Neusiedler See-Seewinkel was established, the first cross-boarder national park in Europe. Here we also find old world otters, hamsters, weasels, frogs, toads, water newts, salamanders, vipers and adders.
In the north of the Burgenland we mainly find oak-hornbeam woods, in the south oak-beech woods. It is also an ideal place for the Adriatic oak, the pubescent oak, the chestnut, the lime tree, the Tatarian maple, the cotoneaster and the Fendler bush to grow.
On the warm and dry sandy and rocky ground in the north we find the typical wood steppe fauna.
The salt steppe of the Seewinkel (Illmitz, Apetlon, Podersdorf) is almost desert-like. When the salt lakes dry out in summer, the ground appears white. The evaporation of the water is higher than precepitation. Only plants well-adapted to such extreme conditions can survive the hot summers: seep weed, fennel-leaved pondweed, sea rush, sheep´s fescue and comphor-fume.
About 278,000 inhabitants live in Austria´s easternmost province, which covers a surface of 3,965 km2. The regional capital is Eisenstadt with 11,000
inhabitants. The Burgenland consists of seven political districts (Eisenstadt
and surroundings, Güssing, Jennersdorf, Mattersburg, Neusiedl am See,
Oberpullendorf and Oberwart) and 167 municipalities.
These are the towns with their own statute Eisenstadt and Rust, 9 towns and 56 market municipalities.
The Burgenland borders on the two Austrian provinces of Lower Austria and Styria in the west, Slovakia in the the northeast, Hungary in the east and Slovenia in
Covering a relatively narrow strip of land along the Austrian-Hungarian border,
the Burgenland stretches from the Danube in the north to the Slovenian border
in the south. From north to south the Burgenland has an overall length of 166 km.
At Sieggraben, the shortest east-west distance amounts to only 5 km.
The northern Burgenland is characterized by the transition from the foothills
of the Alps, the Leitha and Rosalien mountains, to the Hungarian lowlands with
Lake Neusiedl, Central Europe´s only steppe lake. On the slopes of the Leitha
mountains as well as around Lake Neusiedl, there are large vineyards.
The middle part of the Burgenland is marked by wooded terraces with large
valleys, bordered by the ridges of the Bucklige Welt, the Ödenburg mountains
(606 m) and the Günser mountains with the Geschriebenstein (888 m), the highest
peak of the province. Here you find most of the castles like Deutschkreutz,
Lackenbach, Nikitsch, Landsee, Kobersdorf, Lockenhaus etc.
The southern Burgenland is formed by long ridges followed by large valleys,
which continue as plains towards the east. In the south, the wide Raab valley
opens towards Hungary.
In the Burgenland, the transition from the Alps to the Hungarian lowlands
takes place. The Leitha and Hainburger mountains in the north, the Bucklige Welt in the west and the Rechnitzer Schieferinsel in the middle part of the Burgenland belong to the Alps.
In the Tertiary period, large parts of the land subsided and formed the Vienna
basin and the Pannonian lowlands, which were flooded by the sea and filled with
the detritus of the surrounding mountains.
The Neusiedl bay forms the western part of the small Hungarian lowlands, which
border the Hainburger mountains in the north and the Leitha mountains and the
Ruster ridge in the west. Large parts of the Neusiedl bay belong to the Parndorf
plate, which developed from gravel of the Danube during the earliest Tertiary.
In the Seewinkel there follow 10 to 15 meters of huge ice-age Danube gravel. Lake Neusiedl, which has no outlet, was created when its tectonic ground subsided after the end of the Ice Age 10,000 - 20,000 years ago.
The water resources of this only 1 to 2 meters deep steppe lake depend heavily on climate changes.
From 1865 to 1870, the lake even fully dried up.
Along the Ruster ridge, which leads to the Eisenstadt bay in the west, one
finds Leitha limestone. Obtained also in the famous Roman quarry of St. Margarethen, these sea sediments are used as an excellent building material and as decoration stones.
Towards the south, on the edge of the Pannonian lowlands, lies the Landseer bay,
where volcanic eruptions occured 4 million years ago (Pauliberg and Stoober
The Hirschstein and Geschriebenstein ridges consist of crystalline slates
In the south the Southern Burgenland rise divides the Styrian basin and the
- Mid Stone Age (first traces of human settlement)
- Early Stone Age (settled farming)
- Bronze Age (find of crouched burials and urnfields)
- Early Iron Age (settlement of Celts)
In Roman times the Burgenland was the heartland of the province of Pannonia. Following the battle of Augsburg (955) German settlers from Central Europe moved eastwards. The Burgenland was conquered and a close line of fortifications, which partly still exists today, was built.
In 1459 the Burgenland became a part of Austria. The Peace of Ödenburg (1462) ended this union and the region became a part of Hungary under King Matthias Corvinus. Maximilian I conquered the province again and in 1647 Emperor Ferdinand II left the region to Hungary without resistance.
In 1918, after the decline of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the people of the Burgenland voted for a union with Austria. This treaty was confirmed by the Peace of Saint-Germain and Trianon, only the region of Ödenburg had to hold a referendum.
The referendum caused the affiliation with Hungary. It was renamed Sopron. Therefore Eisenstadt became capital of the Burgenland (instead of Ödenburg) in 1925.
Over the centuries the Burgenland region has been the scene of fierce battles
and thus the land was devastated and desolate. In the eighth century, when
the Pannonian plain was part of the Franconian empire, Bavarians and
Slavs started to move into this area.
After repeated attacks by the Turks or Hungarians Croatian refugees
settled in the plain.
Even today about 12% of the population belongs to ethnic minorities.
The Croats (7% of Austria´s population) live in separate villages
(linguistic islands) found all over Burgenland, while the Magyars
(2% of the entire population) are found almost exclusively
in the district of Oberwart and in the south.
In the province of Burgenland we also find the largest percentage
of Protestants (14%).
The arrangement of villages and farmsteads is strictly geometrical,
proof of planned settlement. The villages of the north Burgenland
are based on the Angerdorf, a village form where the main road
through the village widens in the centre to form a large square,
which was used for grazing the cattle.
The farm model most frequently found is the Streckhof, where the living quarters, the kitchens, the bedrooms, the stables and
the barn are built one behind the other, under one roof.
The long period of submission has left its marks on Burgenland,
that is why city centers are almost non-existent.
Accommodation in Austria is devided into five official categories:
****first class accommodation
***high class hotels, B&Bs, inns
**middle class hotels, B&Bs, inns
plain hotels, B&Bs, inns
Minimum age: paragliding and hanggliding: 16
powered flying, ballooning and parachuting: 17
Pilot´s license issued in Switzerland and Germany valid in Austria,
holders of licenses from other countries may obtain a temporary license for Austria
(for touristic/sportive use only).
In towns the shops are usually open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-noon.
Some shops are closed lunchtime (noon-2pm). Grocers open at 8am and close at 6.30pm.
Every first Saturday of the month the shops stay open until 5pm (in towns).
In busy holiday regions the shops are open on weekends.
The import and export od foreign currency is not subject to restrictions.
Austrian Schillings may be imported at any amount, only ATS 50 000 may be exported.
1 Austrian Schilling (ATS) = 100 Groschen
notes: ATS 20, ATS 50, ATS 100, ATS 500, ATS 1000 and ATS 5000;
coins: ATS 1, 5, 10 and 20, Groschen: 10 and 50
Foreign currencies are exchanged at all banks and exchanges to the current
Rates of exchange:
ATS 100 = DM 14,21DM 1 = ATS 7,00
ATS 100 = sfr 11,95sfr1 = ATS 8,40
Eurocheques are accepted everywhere and can be made out up to the amount
of ATS 2.500. Up to the same amount you can withdraw money with an
Eurocheque-card at the cash dispensers. If you lose your Eurocheque-card
you have to turn to the Central Service for "lost" notices of Eurocheque-cards
in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) (Tel. from Austria:00 49/69/74 09 87; day and
night service); the card will then be blocked immediately.
The international credit cards are accepted by most banks, bigger hotels
and restaurants, car rentals and many shops.
If you lose your credit card you have to inform the respective organisation:
American Express (Tel.00 49/69/72 00 16), Diners Club (Tel.00 49/69/26 03 50),
Eurocard (Tel.00 49/69/79 33 19 10), Visa (Tel. 00 49/69/79 20 13 33)
Customs and immigration regulations
Austria is an EEC member state, forming a single economic market with the other
Movement of goods for private purpose is free, an upper limit is set e.g. for
persons over 17: 800 zigarrettes, 10 l of spirits and 90 l of wine.
Duty free allowances for travellers coming from non-member states: 200
zigarrettes or 50 zigars or 250 g of tobacco and 2 l of wine or other alcoholic
beverages up to 22 vol% and 1 l of spirits.
The same limits apply to goods bought in duty free shops.
Citizens of Non-Eu-countries can enlist the tax-refund. When buying products
to the value of more than ATS 1000 please ask for the Tax-Refund-Cheque or
the form U34.
To enter Austria you need a valid passport. Stay permitted for three month.
Available in Austria: lead free normal (91 octane), Euro-Super (lead free 95 octane) Super Plus (98 octane, lead free with lead substitute for older vehicles),
Diesel and liquid gas.
When importing animals the owner must have a valid health certificate containing
proof of a rabies vaccination. Date of vaccination must lie between 1 year and 30 days prior to date of import.
Medical aid in all surgeries and hospitals.
If you do not have a valid medical insurance for Austria
(within the EEC E111) you will have to be charged for the treatment.
roads 100 km/h, motorways 130 km/h
The Alpine roads are quite often single-lane, winding and quite challenging
for those not used to driving in mountainous regions.
The passes are often closed in winter.
Passes open all year round: Brenner pass, Reschenpass, Fernpass and Arlberg pass
January 1: New Year´s Day
January 6: Three Kings
March/April: Easter Monday
May/June: Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Corpus Christi
August 15: Assumption Day
October 26: National Holiday
November 1: All Saints Day
December 8: Immaculate Conception
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: Boxing Day
Christmas: 2 weeks
February: half term 1 week
March 19 (St.Joseph)
Easter: 1 week
July/August/beginning of September (8 weeks summer holidays)
Opening hours of the post offices: 8am-12noon and 2pm-6pm
Main post offices in bigger towns: 24 hours service
Postage for foreign countries: letters ATS 7, postcards ATS 6
Telephone calls within Austria are graded according to zones and
cost less from 6pm to 8am as well as on weekends.
Public pay phones: for local calls you need coins of ATS 1, for
long-distance calls coins of ATS 10.
Telephone cards are available at the post offices to the price of
ATS 95 and ATS 50.
Dialling from Austria to
Dialling to Austria from Germany, Italy, Switzerland 0043
After the respective national dialling code the local dialling code must
be dialled without "0".
Information about telephone numbers
Europe (without Germany)1613
The province of Burgenland lies between the climatic zones of middle and southern Europe, between the lake and continental climate. The Pannonian climate is responsible for the longest duration of sunhine in middle Europe and the highest average temperatures throughout Austria.
Summers are extremely hot and with low rainfall. Due to the evaporation of the Neusiedlersee lake the humidity in the northern Burgenland is quite high, which is extremly favourable for the growth of wine.
The long, mild autum tempts more and more guests to come to Burgenland in the months of September and October.