Architectonical gems of all eras lurk around every corner, inviting you to embark on a travel of time long past. The town of Hallstatt, on the lake of the same name, gave its name to one of the most important eras of prehistory and boasts many finds from early history and Roman times. There is hardly any European region as rich in churches and monasteries as Upper Austria´s Danube valley. Some of them even date back to Austria¿s first settling period following the migration of peoples (such as Wilhering for example). Gothic-style churches and impressive town houses (i.e. ¿Bummerlhaus¿ in Steyr) were built as of the 14th century. The art of wood carving was perfected, especially in combination with Late Gothic panel painting (winged altar of Michael Pacher in St. Wolfgang), in the splendid winged altar of Kefermarkt. Witnesses of the Renaissance are beautiful Aistersheim Castle and Greinburg among others. In the Baroque and the following Rococo era the artistic work reached its peak with the erection of magnificent churches and monasteries (e.g. Kremsmünster Abbey).
The variety of Upper Austria´s geography has led to different climatic regions.
The most arid areas are to be found in eastern Mühlviertel Region and in the Eferding Basin, with an annual rainfall often less than 800 mm. The Alpine region has the characteristic features of the Alpine climate with an annual precipitation of 1,000 mm. The Dachstein massif belongs to the transitional continental climatic zone (wet, annual precipitation of up to 3,000 mm, depending on location, exposure and altitude).
Upper Austria´s warmest area is the Linz Basin, featuring an annual mean temperature of 9° C. The major part of the Alpine foothills and the Alps have an annual mean temperature of 8° C. At higher altitudes, 2,000 meters above sea level, the mean temperature is 1° C only.
One of the main economic factors in the hill region to the north is agriculture, but this is also Austria´s second most important source of oil and natural gas. Several large-scale hydro-electric power plants have been built along the Danube and its tributary, the Enns.
The region around the provincial capital, Linz with its modern Danube port installations, is a major center for the production of iron, steel (Voest-Alpine Steel Group) and chemicals. Other important industrial sectors include vehicle manufacturing in Steyr and the mining and processing of salt in Hallstatt, Bad Ischl and Ebensee. Moreover, Upper Austria is a major tourism center.
The roots of Anton Bruckner are in Ansfelden, he was influenced by nearby St. Florian´s Monastery. Adalbert Stifter´s literature reflects his closeness to the Bohemian Forest. Many artists that were not born in Upper Austria still found inspiration for great works in the variety of Upper Austria´s scenic landscapes. Gustav Mahler composed and Gustav Klimt painted on the shores of Attersee Lake. Emperor Franz Joseph spend his summer vacation in Bad Ischl and in his wake also Franz Lehàr, one of the most creative composers of operettas.
There are many herds of roe deer, which populate fields and forests. Typical Alpine fauna such as red deer are rather to be found in the higher mountains, while chamois inhabit the rocky areas. The most hunted animals are hares and rabbits, as well as pheasants, partridges and wild ducks. Common predators are foxes, badgers and martens, whereas polecats, ermines and weasels are more rare. Mammals like hedgehogs, shrews and bats are legally protected. Dormouses and squirrels specialize in forest life. Upper Austria´s lakes and rivers feature more than 80 fish species. In the mountain streams and rivers of the mountainous regions you especially find trouts, chars and tenches, while the Danube is home to perches, catfish and eels.
Spruce, beech and fir forests predominate Mühlviertel Region, while in the Salzkammergut Area you mainly find spruce forests. At higher elevations conifers predominate. A mixed forest of willows, poplars, ash and elm trees grows on the pastures along the rivers. On the rich pastures many different wild flowers like clover plants, bluebells, carnations, knotgrass, oxeye daisies, yarrows, crowfeet, wild orchids etc flourish besides various grasses. The Alpine flora is especially colorful and varied. In the spring the Alpine meadows above timberline present a colorful picture of Alpine asters, toadflaxes, poppies, arnicas, various gentians and primroses among others. In the early summer Alpine roses paint the mountain slopes brilliant red.
The Province is bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, and by the Austrian provinces of Lower Austria, Salzburg and Styria.
Upper Austria, with an area of some 12,000 sq km and a population of approx. 1.3 million, is the fourth-largest Austrian province. It is a mountainous country, nearly half of which is covered with forests, lakes and rivers and mountains. Upper Austria has an excellent network of roads and is serviced by an efficient internal railroad system, thus being a major junction, linking Europe´s North with the South and the West with the East.
In the north there are granite and gneiss hills, separated in the middle of the province by the Danube valley from the Alpine foothills, the limestone Alps and the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut.
The Mühlviertel is a truncated upland, formed by the crystalline of the Bohemian mass, the oldest mineral found in Austria. The Alpine foothills south of the Danube were formed during the tertiary period, when the crystalline and the Alps were separated by the trough of the molasses sea. Later the trough was filled by the gravel of the rising mountains and the Bohemian mass. Glacial river gravel now cover the tertiary deposits of the Alpine foothills. To the south we find the North Limestone Alps with the Sensengebirge, the Höllengebirge and the Totes Gebirge mountain ranges. At the base of the Limestone Alps lie the salt mines of Bad Ischl and Hallstatt, which were formed in salt pans by the evaporation of sea water.
Today´s Republic of Austria is a small country located in the center of Europe. The origins of present-day Austria can be traced far back into history. The country has been populated since pre-historic times, and numerous peoples have passed through it. As a nation at the heart of Europe, Austria has had its full share of the continent´s history, including the suffering. Over the centuries it developed from a border region into a powerful empire and a multinational entity which collapsed at the end of the First World War.
Such as Kremsmünster Abbey for example, boasting a library that contains valuable volumes and art treasures; among them the world-famous "Codex Millenarius" manuscript. In medieval times the most famous writer of Austrian literature was the Upper Austrian minstrel Dietmar von Aist. In 1501 a performance of Conrad Celtis´play "Ludus Dianae" was very well-received. The most famous Austrian Baroque writers were Johann Beer and Simon Rettenpacher. The age of the great Upper Austrian writers began in the 19th century with Franz Stelzhammer, a dialect poet, and Adalbert Stifter, a member of the late classical period. In more recent years writers like Thomas Bernhard and Gertraud Fussenegger strongly influenced German and Austrian literature.
For decades Kremsmünster Abbey has been renown for its musical tradition and its excellent music school. The most important composer of Upper Austria was Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), who worked as an organ player in St. Florian, Linz and Vienna. In 1924 the first "Bruckner Weeks" were held in Linz to celebrate the artist¿s 100th birthday. Linz has been running the annual "Bruckner Festival" since 1974. During the last years other towns (e.g. Gmunden and Bad Ischl) have started to arrange festivals and concert series as well. Some 450 brass bands keep the spirit of traditional Austrian brass music alive. However, Upper Austria is also a place for modern culture. The best-known example is the Ars Electronica Festival, offering a perfect blend of art and latest technologies.
The Provincial Government of Upper Austria, the principal executive authority, is elected by the Landtag. Parties that are represented in the Landtag with a certain number of representatives obtain at least one seat in the Provincial Government. The Provincial Government is responsible for the execution of federal laws and the province´s finances. It consists of nine representatives, four of the ÖVP party, four of the SPÖ party and one of the Greens party. Head of the Provincial Government is the "Landeshauptmann". Since March 1995 Dr. Josef Pühringer is the head of the Provincial Government.
Upper Austria has a total area population density of 116 persons per square kilometer. Some 51% of the population are female. Around 7% are foreigners and about 20% of the Upper Austrians are 60 over.
The economically active population sums up to 45%. 18,6% of the population are retired and some 14,5% attend schools and universities.
The major rivers flowing across Upper Austrian territory are the Danube and its tributary rivers of Inn, Salzach, Enns, Traun and Steyr. The scenery around the lakes of the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut Lake District is among the most beautiful in Austria. The water of the Attersee, the Traunsee and the Wolfgangsee, to mention only three of the best known lakes, is crystal clear and boasts A grade quality.
Classifications are according to the guidelines established by the International Hotel Association and relate to the facilities provided; 5-star for deluxe, 4-star for first class, 3-star for standard, 2-star for economy and 1-star for budget:
***** Deluxe Hotels
**** First class Hotels
*** Standard Hotels, Guesthouses and Inns
** Economy Hotels, Guesthouses and Inns
* Budget Hotels, Guesthouses and Inns
All lodging properties are regularly inspected against rigid criteria to ensure your most pleasant stay. If you want to know more about the Austrian rating scheme, please go to www.hotelsterne.at
The Airport offers daily connection flights to important international airports.
Facilities at the blue danube airport linz include shops, a Travel-Value-Shop, various restaurants, two banks bank, travel agencies and car rental services.
For details on the blue danube airport linz refer to http://www.linz-airport.at
Austrian Mountain Rescue Service
Upper Austria Office
A-4020 Linz, Weissenwolffstraße 17a
Tel +43 7562 6110
Mobile +43 664 1618797
Fax +43 7562 6110
For more detailed information please go to http://www.bergrettung.at
This premium emergency breakdown service can be utilized by anyone (non-members must pay a fee).
ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service: 120
ARBÖ emergency breakdown service: 123
(These three-digit emergency numbers are to be dialed without area code).
Life Radio - Mhz 100.5
Music from the 70ies, 80ies, 90ies and the latest hits; news; detailed weather reports and reports on traffic and road conditions
Krone Hit Radio - Mhz 92.6 or 93.9
News; traffic information and international pop music
Ö1 - Mhz 97.5
Classical music; features on arts & culture
Ö2 - Upper Austrian Radio - Mhz 95.2
Program broadcast by the Linz-based ORF-Studio - Light and popular music
Ö3 - Mhz 88.8
International pop music; news and detailed reports on traffic and road conditions
FM4 -Blue Danube Radio - Mhz 104.0
Soul, Funk, Reggae, Hip Hop etc. Parts of the program are broadcasted in English; news are provided in English and French
Shopping Hours: Stores are permitted to open 5:00am to 9:00pm, Monday to Friday, and until 6:00pm on Saturdays.
In practice, shops and businesses are normally open 9:00am to 6:00pm (grocery stores open 8:00am); Saturdays until 1:00pm or 5:00pm.
In tourist resorts you will find most stores open in the evenings. Convenience stores at railroad stations and airports have longer opening hours (often until 11:00pm).
For detailed information on Upper Austria´s campsites please contact the Upper Austrian Tourist Information (call +43 732 221022 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Camping outside the campsites requires the permission of the landowners.
Overnighting in trailers outside of campsites is, except for protected rural areas, permitted (subject to eventual regional restrictions); however, setting up camping equipment (i.e. setting up tables and chairs) is not permitted.
Major credit cards, such as Visa Card, Euro Card, Diners Club and Mastercard, are accepted in cities and tourist centers by numerous hotels, restaurants, shops and gas stations. If and which credit cards are accepted is indicated by the logos displayed on the exterior facade of the respective business (usually on the entrance door).
However, a surprising number of Upper Austrian shops and restaurants refuse to accept any credit cards but Bankomats (ATMs) are extremely common in Austria, even in small villages: You can withdraw cash from credit and debit accounts 24 hours a day.
Banknotes are in denominations of Euro 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5. Banknotes look the same and are the tangible currency throughout the Euro Area. Coins are in denominations of Euro 1, 2 and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Cents.
The coins have one side common to all member countries and a reverse side specific to each country. All Euro Coins are tangible currency in the entire Euro Area.
Permissible quantities for the import into Austria from EU countries of articles for personal use that are free of duty charge: 200 cigarettes; 100 cigarillos; 50 cigars; 250 g tobacco or similar mixture of these products.
1 liter alcohol and alcoholical drinks with more than 22% vol alcohol or
2 liters alcohol and alcoholical drinks with max. 22% vol alcohol or
a similar mixture of these products and additional 4 liters
16 liters non sparkling wine and beer
Duty Free purchases are no longer possible for direct flights within the EU.
Import quantities and import quantity restrictions for commodities from non-member states are more rigid. For details please refer to the Website of the Austrian Finance Ministry at www.bmf.gv.at/zoll
Upper Austrian meals are tasty and hearty, offering rich meat dishes and a great variety of dumplings. One should take the opportunity to taste "Innviertel Speckknödel" (potato dumplings, filled with small chunks of bacon) and freshly fried brook trout.
An Upper Austrian meal would not be complete without a delicious dessert which can be either a cake, any baked specialty made with flour (pastry), or a warm or cold after-meal sweet treat. A unique culinary classic, best enjoyed with a cup of fine coffee, is the well known "Linzertorte", a flaky cake lined with currant or raspberry jam, encased and covered by a lattice of cake dough.
With a fine meal, Upper Austrian adults favor drinking either beer or fruit wine, which are of very good quality. There are many small breweries and fruit wine taverns, where you will be introduced to the secrets of production - and can treat yourself to taste the fine produce.
Over 30percent of Upper Austria´s energy consumption is generated by clean hydropower, biomass, solar energy, wind power, and geothermal energy. In contrast to conventional and fossil fuels, renewable sources of energy, such as solar energy, biomass/wood, geothermal energy, wind power, and hydropower, are virtually inexhaustible. What´s more, renewable energy sources are indigenous sources of energy and therefore contribute to reducing the dependency of energy imports.
Residents of EU countries may enter with a valid national ID card as well. Nationals of neighboring countries and of EU member countries as well as citizens of numerous other countries are not required to obtain a visa for Austria for a period of up to three months if traveling as a tourist.
For more detailed information please refer to http://www.bmf.gv.at/zoll
Foreign currencies and travelers cheques are exchanged at the official exchange rates at all banks; exchange counters at airports and railway stations additionally charge a "handling fee". Changing cash attracts a negligible commission but the exchange rate is usually 1% to 4% lower than for cheques.
The sale of leaded petrol is forbidden in Austria; for cars without a catalytic converter an additive is available at gas stations.
Dogs and cats require an inoculation against rabies (lyssa), which has to be done not less than 30 days and not more than 12 months before entry. Muzzle and leash is needed for dogs.
Up to two other domestic animals, such as rabbits, guinea-pigs, and small birds can be taken per person.
Riding horses from a European Union member state require a vaccination certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian. If you take a horse from a non-Union territory then you must bring a "Carnet ATA" and allow it to be examined at the border by a veterinary surgeon. For this reason entry with a riding horse is only possible upon prior notice.
The Ambulance/Doctor-On-Call emergency number is 144. Information on local medical emergency services is available at the local gendarmerie and police stations as well as in the telephone book and in daily newspapers.
Pharmacies operate a rotating system for night and Sunday duty; when closed a notice is displayed giving the addresses of the nearest pharmacies that are open.
In general, Austrian traffic regulations and traffic signals are similar to those in force in other European countries. Don´t drink and drive! Permissible alcohol limit 0.5 o/oo!
Seat belts must be worn and children under the age of 12 may not sit in the front seat unless a special child´s seat has been fitted. Both driver and passenger on a motorcycle must wear helmets, and the vehicle must have lights on at all times. Using a hand-held mobile phone while on the road in Austria is prohibited and fined; drivers need to take advantage of a handsfree system. Winter tires are required with snow-slippery roads.
Speed limits are 50 kph in built-up areas, 100 kph outside built-up areas and 130 kph on motorways.
January 01 is New Year´s Day; January 06 Epiphany; May 01 Labor Day. August 15 Assumption; October 26 National Holiday; November 01 All Saints´ Day; December 08 Immaculate Conception; December 25 Christmas Day and December 26 St Stephen´s Day.
The actual dates of Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, and Corpus Christi depend on the respective ecclesiastical year. Please see an Austrian calendar for details.
Upper Austria is serviced by the Westbahn track, featuring a frequent intercity service from Vienna to Salzburg. In addition, Wels and Passau can be accessed by trains running from Vienna to Germany.
Upper Austrian EC stations include Linz, Schärding, Attnang-Puchheim and Wels. Linz is linked to Mühlviertel region while Attnang-Puchheim is joined to scenic Salzkammergut Lake District and the more mountainous Region Innviertel.
For schedules please refer to www.oebb.at
Fire Brigade: 122
Mountain Rescue Service: 140
The Post Office at Linz Railroad Station is open until 09:00 pm on workdays. A (restricted) range of services is available there on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays as well. Stamps are available at Post Offices. Mail boxes are painted yellow.
The fixed telephone network is run by Jet2Web Telekom and is scaled according to two time zone rates (business, free-time) as well as 2 local and 17 zone rates for countries abroad. For call boxes and card-operated pay phones there is only one Austria-wide zone. There are also other providers, for fixed as well as mobile telephone networks, with various tariffs. Mobile GSM phones can be brought along into Austria and may be used here as well, insofar as they are able to be operated (if an open network access exists).
The change from CEST time to CET time (Central European Time) takes place on the last Sunday in October. At 3:00am clocks are turned back to 2:00am, this means that the night is one hour longer than usually. Change to the CEST time takes place on the last Sunday in March, when at 2:00am the clock is put forward to 3:00am.
The following times are applicable for the next years:
CEST: March 31, 2008 - October 25, 2008
CET: October 26, 2008 - March 29, 2009
CEST: March 30, 2009 – October 26, 2009
CET: Oktober 27, 2009 – March 28, 2010
The time is always changed in the night from Saturday to Sunday.
The toll is effected by purchasing a "Vignette" toll sticker which is to be attached to the windscreen. With motorcycles, the sticker has to be attached to a clearly visible part, that is difficult to be removed.
The toll sticker is available as a yearly sticker,
as a two-month sticker and as a 10-day sticker.
The "Vignette" toll sticker can be purchased at Austrian automobile clubs (ÖAMTC and ARBÖ), at post offices, tobacconists´ shops and gas stations. Neighboring states sell toll stickers at the local automobile clubs and at gas stations close to the Austrian border.
For detailed information on the Austrian "Vignette" toll sticker please go to www.vignette.at
Tick-borne encephalitis is caused by an arbovirus, transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. Its distribution is confined to warm and low-forested areas in parts of Central Europe, particularly Austria, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Germany and throughout all the republics of former Yugoslavia. The forests are usually deciduous with heavy undergrowth. Those normally at risk are foresters and those clearing such areas, but increasing contact will occur with increased recreational use, such as camping and walking.
The immunization consists either of three different shots, which should be injected one year before leaving their country of origin, or of an injection after a tick bite, which is available from every doctor in Austria.