Burgenland, Austria

Burgenland is a state of Austria. It's the most eastern part of the country, bordering on Hungary and Slovakia. The state is divided into 3 regions (Nordburgenland, Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland and seven boroughs. It covers 3,965 square kilometers and has about 300,000 inhabitants. The youngest federal state of Austria was part of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1921 and only came to Austria as a result of the Trianon Peace Treaty. The capital is Eisenstadt, after the originally planned capital of the area - Ödenburg (Sopron) - remained with Hungary in 1921 after a referendum.
Today's Burgenland was part of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1918. After the First World War, the so-called "German West Hungary" - that was the part of Hungary in which a significant German-speaking population lived - was ceded to Austria in the course of the Trianon peace negotiations between the Allies and Hungary. In the Greater Ödenburg (Sopron) region, a referendum was held on nationality, which, however, ended in favor of Hungary, despite the clear German-speaking majority of the population. The newly founded federal state, which finally joined the Republic of Austria in 1921, lost its designated capital and only urban center. The small town of Eisenstadt, which had been relatively insignificant until then, became the capital.

The name "Burgenland" is misleading, because although there have always been many fortifications in Burgenland as a border area to Southeast Europe, there are no more than anywhere else in Austria. Rather, the name is derived from the final syllables of the western Hungarian counties of Pressburg (today Bratislava), Wieselburg (today Mosonmagyaróvár), Ödenburg (today Sopron) and Eisenburg (today Vasvár). These four counties were to form the heart of the country. However, none of these four cities and their environs was ultimately assigned to Burgenland.

Until 1921, however, the accession of Burgenland to Austria was questionable, because large groups of Croats live both in today's Burgenland and in neighboring western Hungary, the governments of the newly founded Czecho-Slovakia and Yugoslavia tried to influence the peace negotiations with Austria and Hungary to take, and to claim this area for themselves. The background comes from the idea of Pan-Slavism, according to which the South and West Slavic states would have bordered directly on each other.

Burgenland has always been considered the poorhouse of Austria because it was largely rural. There was hardly any industry and the transport infrastructure was geared more to Hungary than to Austria. This economic structural weakness was also reinforced by the region's peripheral location directly on the Iron Curtain, which made economic, cultural and social relations with the Warsaw Pact neighbors almost impossible.

But after the political events of 1989, in which Burgenland also played a key historical role with the pan-European picnic and border storming of the GDR citizens, the region was suddenly no longer at the end of the world, but right in the middle of Europe. Burgenland was also able to benefit massively from Austria's accession to the EU in 1995 thanks to the target area 1 funding, which is why the state can no longer be classified as backward or structurally weak.



Burgenland is divided into three large regions and includes seven districts and two statutory cities.

Northern Burgenland with the Neusiedler See-Seewinkel region and the districts of Neusiedl am See (ND), Eisenstadt-Umwelt (EU) and Mattersburg (MA) and the statutory cities of Eisenstadt (E) and Rust (E)
Central Burgenland with the district of Oberpullendorf (OP)
Southern Burgenland with the districts of Oberwart (OW), Güssing (GS) and Jennersdorf (JE)



Neusiedl am See


Other destinations

Burg Lockenhaus
Burg Schlaining
Bernstein Castle
Forchtenstein Castle
Burgruine Landsee


In northern Burgenland, the Neusiedler See region is particularly worth seeing. Lake Neusiedl is Europe's largest steppe lake. The national park is Austria's only steppe national park. In southern Burgenland, the colorful landscape with its hills and vineyards fascinates.



German is predominantly spoken in Burgenland. In Burgenland, however, dialects are spoken everywhere, the so-called "Hianzerisch" dialect, which shows very large differences to the standard German language. It's certainly interesting to chat with locals and ask them to teach you a few phrases of their so-called "dialect".

Burgenland-Croatian is a minority language that is particularly widespread in northern and central Burgenland (districts of Neusiedl, Eisenstadt area, Mattersburg and Oberpullendorf) and differs slightly from standard Croatian. Since the 1980s, the cultural self-confidence of the Burgenland-Croats has been on the rise again, and numerous events have been held. A total of around 50,000 people (that is one sixth of the population) in Burgenland are members of the Burgenland-Croatian ethnic group.

Hungarians live mainly in individual places in the Warth (district of Oberwart) and in the district of Oberpullendorf. Slovenes live in some towns in the south of Burgenland (Jennersdorf district). Romany people also live in many places in Burgenland, especially in Oberwart.

In the last 10 years, a moderate influx of Slovaks began in northern Burgenland (including Kittsee, Pama, Edelstal), fleeing the horrendous housing prices in Bratislava to neighboring Austria.


Getting here

By plane: In Burgenland itself there is no airport with scheduled flights.
Northern Burgenland is easily accessible from Vienna and Bratislava airports, and southern Burgenland from Graz airport. The airports Sarmellék in Hungary and Maribor in Slovenia also offer flights. If you think a little bigger, depending on flight prices, the airports of Budapest or Zagreb could also be an option for getting to Burgenland.

By train: Northern Burgenland is mostly easy to reach by train. Although the Bruck an der Leitha train station is named after the Lower Austrian town, it is only a few meters away on Burgenland soil in the municipality of Bruckneudorf. All Ostbahn REX trains running from Vienna (main station) to Győr or Bratislava Petržalka stop there. The S60 S-Bahn line runs from Wiener Neustadt via Vienna to Bruck an der Leitha, stopping at all stations. There are also regional trains from Vienna via the Seewinkel to Fertőszentmiklos, Wulkaprodersdorf (via Eisenstadt and Neusiedl) and Deutschkreutz (via Neufeld an der Leitha, Wulkaprodersdorf, Sopron). Trains from Wiener Neustadt to Sopron also stop in Mattersburg. In southern Burgenland, the route of the Styrian Eastern Railway (Graz-Körmend) runs through Jennersdorf.

If you are traveling by train, it is advisable to drive to places in the neighboring regions and continue your journey from there with regional buses. Gateway cities are Wiener Neustadt, Hartberg, Fürstenfeld, Feldbach, Murska Sobota, Szentgotthard, Körmend, Szombathely, Sopron, Hegyeshalom or Bratislava.

By bus: Especially from Vienna, thanks to the many daily and weekly commuters, there are numerous bus lines that go directly to many places in southern Burgenland. Otherwise there are good regional bus connections from the places mentioned above.

By road: From Vienna you can reach the northern part of Burgenland via the A 4 (eastern motorway) or the A 3 (southeastern motorway), the southern part via the A 2 (southern motorway) and then via federal road connections. Important international routes that lead through Burgenland are: E 58 (Vienna-Bratislava), E 59 (Vienna-Graz) E 60 (Vienna-Budapest), E 66 (Graz-Szekesfehervar) as well as the nationally important routes Vienna-Sopron- Balaton and Vienna-Oberwart-Szombathely. Ever since the neighboring countries to the east joined the Schengen area, more and more small border crossings have been opened, many of which are subject to truck driving bans.



The country has a dense and well-developed road network. In the north, the country is criss-crossed by some expressways and motorways, all federal and state roads are asphalted and in good condition. When planning a route by car or bicycle between the northern and southern parts of the country, one should not ignore a transit through Hungary. On some routes, this can be significantly shorter and faster than staying within Austria (e.g. Eisenstadt-Deutschkreutz via Sopron or Seewinkel-Südburgenland via Szombathely).

There is notable rail traffic within Burgenland only in the north with the ÖBB, which operates the Wulkaprodersdorf-Eisenstadt-Neusiedl and Neusiedl-Pamhagen-Fertöd railway lines in addition to the Vienna-Sopron-Deutschkreutz and Sopron-Mattersburg-Wiener Neustadt railway lines. There are also connections in the Neusiedl am See district between Bruck an der Leitha and Neusiedl am See, Nickelsdorf and Kittsee, as well as beyond (Vienna, Bratislava, Győr).

Regional buses run within Burgenland as well as in the nearby neighboring regional centers. Buses usually run hourly on weekdays and irregularly on weekends and public holidays. However, the stops are extensively signposted or equipped with monitor displays, so that the current timetables are always available.

The Burgenland is also ideal as a cycling country thanks to the few mountains. Numerous regional and long-distance hiking trails are signposted and suitable for everyone.


Sightseeing features

The list is roughly from north to south and is not intended to represent a judgement:
In Kittsee near the Slovakian border is the Old Castle Kittsee, which originally dates back to the 12th century. It was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt in the 14th century and has changed little since then. In the village there is also a baroque new chateau, the Batthyány chateau.
The Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park (crossing the border with Hungary, Fertõ-Hanság Nemzeti Park) is the only steppe national park in Central Europe and, with its wide reed belt, salt marshes and periodically wet meadows, offers excellent conditions for birds and other animals that are otherwise hardly native to Central Europe. In addition, the large bathing resorts on the lake are also popular centers for water sports (swimming, sailing, windsurfing and much more); in winter, in some years, you can even skate or ice-sail on the frozen lake.
The Basilica of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Frauenkirchen is a baroque pilgrimage church well worth seeing with mighty dimensions for this small town.
City of Eisenstadt: The state capital is home to two of the state's most important cultural monuments, the baroque Haydn House and the baroque Esterházy Palace.
Sankt Margarethen: near this town on the road from Eisenstadt to Rust is the Roman quarry, in which sculptures are exhibited today and open-air performances of operas and classical concerts take place. Next to it is the Fairytale Park, a large theme park for children. South of the village is the site of the Pan-European Picnic. In August 1989, several thousand GDR citizens gathered near Sopron and then spontaneously broke through the no longer secured border to get to West Germany; only a few weeks later the Berlin Wall was to fall. At the site of the Pan-European Picnic, directly at the state border but only a few meters into Hungarian territory, there is now a memorial and a small exhibition on this event.
Rust: Known as the town of storks and viticulture, the smallest statutory town in Austria right on the shore of Lake Neusiedl is also known for its listed old town from the 16th-19th centuries. Century. The neighboring community of Mörbisch to the south also has numerous historical courtyard rows with farm buildings.
Forchtenstein Castle is a mighty fortress building, the core of which dates back to the 14th century and was owned by the princely Esterházy family from the 17th century. Today the castle houses one of the largest private museums in Austria.
Lackenbach Castle is located in the village of the same name in the district of Oberpullendorf. The center of the Renaissance building from the 16th century is the arcaded courtyard surrounded by bastions. The landscaping of the castle park with avenues and moats is also worth seeing. But the village is also the location of one of the saddest chapters in the history of Burgenland. From 1940 to 1945, the "Gypsy detention camp Lackenbach" was located in Lackenbach, in which mainly members of the Roma ethnic group were imprisoned by the National Socialists and were forced to do forced labour. A few thousand people died as a result of murder, deportation to other camps, overwork or exhaustion. Today there is a memorial stone on the site of the concentration camp.
The birthplace of Franz Liszt is located in the village of Raiding (Oberpullendorf district) and is now a museum. The modern Franz Liszt cultural center with a concert hall is also located in the village.
Bernstein: The mighty Bernstein Castle dates back to the 12th century and was later given a baroque style. The Amber Rock Museum Potsch at Hauptplatz 5 documents the mining and processing of precious serpentine in the area around the city in the past and present.
Lockenhaus: castle (13th century) and parish church (17th century). Between Lockenhaus and Rechnitz is the cross-border nature park Gewrittenstein-Írottkő with extensive hiking opportunities and a lookout tower, which is exactly half in Austria and half in Hungary and allows great distant views of both countries.
City of Rechnitz: The main square is a well-preserved baroque ensemble. Outside the village there is a memorial for several dozen Jews who were murdered in the vicinity of the village and who passed here in 1945 on the death marches in thousands from Hungary to Western Europe.
Güssing Castle, picturesquely situated on an extinct volcano above Güssing, now houses the oldest fortification in Burgenland, the Batthyány Museum with several collections (Castle Museum, Princely Collection, cast iron collection, history of the castle and rulers, collection of pewter figures).
In the Geresdorf Ensemble open-air museum near Güssing, more than 30 historic residential and farm buildings from southern Burgenland have been set up as a village ensemble. They house a variety of farmer's utensils and tools. The information center also includes a tavern.


What to do

All kinds of water sports can be practiced on Lake Neusiedl. The surf spot Podersdorf am See, where the Surf World Cup takes place every year, is particularly popular here. There are surfing and kite schools in Breitenbrunn, Pordersdorf and Neusiedl am See.

But the Neufelder See (in Neufeld an der Leitha) is also ideal for swimming. The flooded former coal mine is also a Mecca for divers. Numerous other beautiful bathing ponds can be found throughout the state. The Ritzing lake (Oberpullendorf district) is considered one of the most beautiful in Austria.

Centers for wellness tourism have been created at great expense in recent years in central and southern Burgenland. In Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Stegersbach and Lutzmannsburg, thermal baths with every comfort have been created.



Virtually the entire Burgenland is a wine-growing region. After the great wine scandal in the 1980s, winegrowers began to focus more on quality, and today Burgenland wines - white and red - can definitely keep up with the world's best. A particular specialty is Storm, which you can only get between August and November. This is not yet fully fermented, young wine (German: "Federweißer"). Storm of a sour wine (e.g. Uhudler) in combination with freshly roasted sweet chestnuts is particularly recommended. You can also taste and buy the wines of the region in several regional wine shops (e.g. Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Gols), but you can also do tastings and purchases directly from the farm, or simply the house wine or seasonally also Most and Sturm at Buschenschanken and Heurigen along with a Brettljause.

From Burgenland come u.A. the mineral waters Römerquelle (Edelsthal), Juvina (Deutschkreutz) and Güssinger (Güssing) known throughout Austria

Goose soup Burgenland style, goose soup with crumb dumplings
Liver roulade Burgenland style



Although Burgenland is largely rural, you will find a quite remarkable, small but fine, rock music scene. There are always rock concerts by local bands. Good addresses for alternative events are, for example, the KuGa in Großwarasdorf or the Cselleymühle in Oslip.
Nova Rock, a large, open-air rock music festival lasting several days, takes place in Nickelsdorf every year in mid-June. Headliners are mostly big calibers like Metallica or Green Day.
You should also keep an eye out for local fairs and fire brigade festivals.
The many wine taverns that offer regional delicacies and homemade wines are particularly popular with young and old. In summer, Tamburizza evenings often take place in these locations, especially in northern Burgenland. The tambura is an instrument from Croatian folk music.


Practical hints

Burgenlanders are generally known to be hospitable and sociable. When entering a shop or restaurant, you are usually greeted with a hearty "Grüß Gott!" welcomed that should be reciprocated. At Heurigen, in particular, it is easy to be approached by locals who are interested in where the tourists come from and tell them about their region.



There is little to fear in terms of crime in Burgenland as long as the usual safety precautions are observed. Since the border controls with neighboring countries were abolished, many locals have complained about a massive increase in crime, especially property crimes such as burglaries or car thefts. However, this perceived increase has not yet been statistically confirmed; on the contrary, crime has actually decreased slightly since 2007.

The emergency numbers are:
Fire Department: 122
Police: 133
Rescue: 144
European emergency number: 112



Burgenland has an area of 3,965.20 km² and shares a 397 km long national border mostly with Hungary, but also with Slovenia and Slovakia to a small extent. Almost 40,000 hectares of Burgenland (almost 10% of the total area) belong to the Esterhazy Foundation; making it the largest private landowner in Burgenland and one of the largest in Austria.

The highest elevation in Burgenland is the 884 m high Gewrittenstein (Írott-kő), through the summit of which the state border runs. The lowest point is the Hedwighof in the municipality of Apetlon at 114 m, which is also the lowest point in all of Austria. The deepest community is Illmitz at 116 m.

Depending on the definition, Lake Neusiedl, which is characteristic of North Burgenland, is the largest or second-largest lake in Austria (after Lake Constance).

There are many mineral and thermal springs in Burgenland.

The geographic center of Burgenland (coordinates: ♁47° 28′ 41.2″ N, 16° 34′ 17.8″ E) is in Unterpullendorf (municipality of Frankenau-Unterpullendorf) and was identified by Burgenland geographers with the “Center Stone “ (Basalt stone from the Pauliberg). In the south, Riedel are characteristic of the landscape.

In 2021 the border between Burgenland and Styria was changed in the Burgauberg-Neudauberg and Neudau area. This border shift was triggered by flood protection and the associated regulation of the Lafnitz. Burgenland grew by 6000 square meters at the expense of Styria.


Natural structure

In terms of landscape, Burgenland is divided into three regions, with central Burgenland sometimes being assigned to southern Burgenland: northern Burgenland, central Burgenland and southern Burgenland.

North Burgenland
In terms of landscape, northern Burgenland north of the Sopron Mountains belongs largely to the Pannonian Plain and includes the free cities of Eisenstadt and Rust as well as the districts of Eisenstadt-Umwelt, Mattersburg and Neusiedl am See. Here is Lake Neusiedl, a steppe lake surrounded by a wide reed belt, the "sea of the Viennese". In its vicinity, the Lange Lacke nature reserve offers a refuge for rare bird species. In 1992, the Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park was established in this area, which continues across borders in the Hungarian Fertő-Hanság National Park.

Central Burgenland
Central Burgenland, consisting of the district of Oberpullendorf, is hilly and is separated in the south by the Günser Mountains, in which the 884 meter high Gewrittenstein is located, from southern Burgenland, which is also hilly. The loamy soil is characteristic of Central Burgenland. In between are some hills of basalt, which are part of the extinct Transdanubian volcanic region. The entire area is drained by the Rabnitz, which flows eastwards to the Danube.

Southern Burgenland
Southern Burgenland consists of the districts of Güssing, Jennersdorf and Oberwart. The hilly terrain falls away from the East Styrian hill country and the Günser mountains towards the south-east. The highest elevations in this part south of the Günser Mountains are just over 400 meters above sea level. The south is shaped by the Raab River and its many tributaries.

bodies of water
Almost the entire area of Burgenland drains via the Raab into the Danube. While the Neusiedler See is tributary via the Einserkanal, in southern Burgenland the Pinka and the Raab determine the waters themselves. In the extreme north, the Leitha forms the historical border river to Lower Austria. The Wulka rises in the Rosaliengebirge and flows into Lake Neusiedl. The Zöbern is a left tributary of the Güns and flows into it in the Burgenland market town of Lockenhaus. The Tauchbach or Tauchen (Hungarian: Tava) is an approximately 40 km long tributary that flows into the Pinka on the left.

The most important lakes, after Lake Neusiedl, are Lake Neufeld in the Eisenstadt area, as well as Lange Lacke, Darscho and Zicksee in Seewinkel.



Burgenland shares the Illyrian climate in southern Burgenland and the Pannonian climate in the remaining parts of the country. Central and northern Burgenland is more continental than the south of the country. The average temperatures here are between −2 °C and −4 °C in January and around 21 °C in July.

On August 8, 2013, a new temperature record for Burgenland was reached in Neusiedl am See with a maximum temperature of 40.3 degrees Celsius.


Natural reserve

Various levels of protection have been set up in Burgenland to preserve habitats and landscapes. Another important goal is diversity, uniqueness, beauty and the recreational value of nature and landscape. This protection includes several protection areas or levels, some objects or areas are wholly or partly in several categories:
There is a national There is a national park, the Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park, which forms the Austrian part of the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape Fertő/Neusiedler See. See also: National Parks in Austria and World Heritage in Austria

There is also:
29 nature reserves, see the list of nature reserves in Burgenland
8 landscape protection areas, see the list of landscape protection areas in Burgenland
a protected part of the landscape, see the list of protected parts of the landscape in Burgenland
15 European protected areas, see the list of European protected areas in Burgenland
5 protected habitats, see List of protected habitats in Burgenland
6 nature parks (list for all of Austria)

Administrative division
Burgenland consists of 171 independent municipalities and is divided into seven political districts and the two free cities of Eisenstadt and Rust. In 2019, Burgenland had the lowest average number of inhabitants per municipality of all Austrian provinces, with an average of only 1716 inhabitants per municipality, see also municipalities in the states of Europe. All of Austria had an average of 4227 inhabitants per municipality in 2019., the Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park, which corresponds to the Austrian



Circa 400 BC the Celts settled in what is now Burgenland. Around the time of Christ's birth, Burgenland became part of the (ancient) Roman Empire; its territory belonged to the province of Pannonia. Roman rule ended in 378 AD. The country was then settled by the Ostrogoths. The Huns ruled here from 433 to 453 AD. In 454, the future Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great was born in the area of Lake Neusiedl. The Lombards followed the Huns from 490 to 568. From 600 to 800 the country was ruled by the Avars. At the end of the 8th century, the Frankish king Charlemagne defeated the Avars and the country was incorporated into the Frankish Empire as part of the Awarenmark. After 800 the first German settlement took place under Charlemagne. In the 9th century it was part of the Slavic Principality of Lake Balaton and the Great Moravian Empire. In 907 the Magyars conquered the country.

Around 1260 the Counts of Güssing owned 25 castles in the area. The Counts of Mattersdorf-Forchtenstein, who came from Aragon in Spain, also owned large estates in what is now northern and central Burgenland. At the time of the first Turkish siege of Vienna in 1529, the villages in the Seewinkel were devastated. Around 1530 Croats were settled in today's Burgenland. The area, part of the Kingdom of Hungary, which had been populated predominantly by Germans since the Turkish wars, had been leased by the Hungarian kings in the Middle Ages to the Habsburgs as archdukes of neighboring Austria below the Enns and as dukes of Styria, which was also adjacent. When Habsburg inherited the Hungarian royal crown in 1526, this lease became obsolete. In 1622 Nikolaus Esterházy was enfeoffed with the rule of Forchtenstein and in 1648 with Eisenstadt.

From 1648 to 1921 the area was under Hungarian administration. In 1664 the country suffered from the Turkish War and in 1678 from the Kuruc War. At the time of the second Turkish siege of Vienna, northern Burgenland was hit hard again.

After the Austro-Hungarian settlement in 1867, the area later called German-West Hungary was also subjected to the Magyarization that began throughout Old Hungary, i. H. the attempt to successively convert or assimilate the non-Magyar peoples of the Kingdom of Hungary, who made up around 50% of the total population, to Magyars (Hungarians). This contrasted with the right of self-determination demanded by Woodrow Wilson at the end of the First World War for the peoples of the Danube monarchy.

After the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918, the newly founded state of German-Austria claimed, among other things, the German-speaking part of western Hungary for itself. In the Treaty of St. Germain concluded between Austria and the victorious powers of the First World War, the area was granted to Austria in 1919; Hungary had to commit to ceding it in the 1920 Treaty of Trianon. After the establishment of the short-lived Republic of Lajtabánság under the leadership of the volunteer commander Pál Prónay in October 1921, the area was occupied by the Austrian army in the following month and officially handed over from Hungary to Austria on December 5, 1921. The attitude of the German-speaking settlers in western Hungary to the union with Austria was (rather) inconsistent for economic reasons. After violent protests in Hungary, a referendum was held in December 1921 for Ödenburg (Hungarian: Sopron), which was intended to be the capital of the new federal state, and its surroundings, which led to Ödenburg remaining in Hungary. The overall result of the referendum was a clear two-thirds majority in favor of remaining with Hungary, as numerous voters from the interior of the country were consulted. The communities around Sopron voted for Austria (but still stayed with Hungary, since the voting area was only counted as a unit); the majority of the population in the city of Sopron voted to remain with Hungary.

Finally, in January 1923, the town of Luising, now part of the municipality of Heiligenbrunn, was added to Austria.

The admission of the province to the Republic of Austria was regulated in the Federal Constitutional Law on the position of Burgenland as an independent and equal province in the federal government and on its provisional establishment of January 25, 1921.

The state name Heinzenland (after the Hianzn dialect, see also the short-lived Republic of Heinzenland) was propagated by some advocates of incorporation into the Republic of Austria, but the proposal for Burgenland finally prevailed.

Burgenland was taken over by Austrian administration in autumn 1921. Bad Sauerbrunn was the provisional seat of the provincial government and administration until 1925; then the small town of Eisenstadt (Hungarian: Kismarton), which had been relatively insignificant until then, was made the capital of Burgenland.

In the "Greater German Reich" after the "Anschluss" of Austria, the cities of Eisenstadt, Rust and the districts of Eisenstadt, Mattersburg, Neusiedl am See and Oberpullendorf were added to the Reichsgau Niederdonau on October 15, 1938, and the districts of Güssing, Jennersdorf and Oberwart to the Reichsgau Styria.

fter the end of the Second World War and the reestablishment of the Republic of Austria in 1945 (Second Republic), Burgenland was re-established as a federal state. Until 1955 it was in the Soviet occupation zone, until 1989 the Iron Curtain existed on its eastern border.

Since the year 2000, Burgenland has received EU funding as development aid from the European structural and investment funds.

In order to define the border between Styria and Burgenland again along the course of the Lafnitz river after human intervention, Burgenland became 6000 square meters larger in 2021.



The name "Burgenland" reminds us that the country is made up of parts of three old Hungarian counties, all of which had "Burg" in their name. What is curious is the fact that none of the three castles that gave it its name are located in what is now Burgenland. They are all on Hungarian territory:
Wieselburg (Moson)
Eisenburg (Vas)

At the beginning of 1919 Austria also claimed parts of the county of Pressburg (Slovakian: Bratislava, Hungarian: Pozsony) for Burgenland. Therefore, in June 1919, the name "Vierburgenland" was proposed. In mid-August 1919, however, it became apparent in the peace negotiations that Pressburg would go to Czechoslovakia. From Saint-Germain, Karl Renner recommended changing the name to "Dreiburgenland".

The name "Burgenland" was said to have been suggested for the first time by Gregor Meidlinger from Frauenkirchen, on September 6, 1919 after a German-West Hungarian delegation had spoken to Chancellor Karl Renner. This name became generally used at the latest with the Federal Constitutional Law on the status of Burgenland as an equal federal state of January 25, 1921.



Since Burgenland was traditionally economically backward, many Burgenlanders emigrated to big cities and to America, making Vienna and Chicago the cities with the largest "Burgenland" populations, ahead of Eisenstadt.

In the 2001 census, 19,374 people across Austria stated that they spoke Burgenland-Croatian, with 16,245 residing in Burgenland itself. According to the self-assessment of the ethnic group, their number is 40,000. There were also 4,704 Burgenland-Hungarians (self-estimated 25,000). 263 indicated Romany as their colloquial language. However, the real number of Burgenland Roma is probably also significantly higher.

The various ethnic groups are legally recognized as autochthonous language groups. The Croatian and Hungarian Burgenlanders as well as the Sinti and Roma are therefore entitled to use their languages in public correspondence. Based on a decision by the Council of Ministers of May 23, 2000, place-name signs with bilingual inscriptions in German/Croatian (47 places) and German/Hungarian (4 places ) set up. Their existence and the high 25 percent limit are no longer discussed controversially in Burgenland - there were also heated debates about this in the 1970s, but the discussions about bilingual place-name signs never escalated to the level of the place-name sign dispute in Carinthia.


Population development

Austria's least populated federal state exceeded the 300,000 mark for the first time on 1 January 2023 with 301,311 inhabitants, making it only slightly more populous than Graz. With a percentage increase of 1.3%, Burgenland, after Vienna, had the largest increase in the period from January 2022 to January 2023.

While the number of inhabitants is stagnating or declining in central Burgenland and southern Burgenland (districts: Jennersdorf, Güssing, Oberwart and Oberpullendorf), the number of inhabitants in northern Burgenland (districts: Mattersburg, Eisenstadt area, Neusiedl/See, Eisenstadt and Rust) is steadily increasing (sometimes sharply). to.

With Franz Liszt (* October 22, 1811, Raiding; † July 31, 1886, Bayreuth) and Joseph Haydn (* March 31, 1732, Rohrau; † May 31, 1809, Vienna), two important classical composers and musicians have a close relationship Relation to the area of today's Burgenland.



Although the majority of Burgenlanders, like the rest of Austria, are predominantly Roman Catholic, there is a relatively high proportion of Protestants here at 14%, who live in the 29 parishes of the Superintendent A. B. Burgenland and in the evangelical parish H.B. Oberwart are organized.

There used to be a large and important Jewish culture, especially in the so-called "seven communities" (Eisenstadt, Mattersburg, Kittsee, Frauenkirchen, Kobersdorf, Lackenbach and Deutschkreutz) with a high percentage of Jewish population. In Lackenbach in 1869, 62% of the population was Jewish; however, the largest Jewish community in Burgenland was that in Mattersburg. By the end of the 19th century, Jews made up more than a third of the population here. In 1938 all Jews were expelled from Burgenland or murdered, there is very little left of Jewish life in Burgenland in the past.

The patron saint of Burgenland is Saint Martin of Tours.



Burgenland Parliament

The state parliament elects the members of the state government (cf. Article 53 of the Burgenland Constitution). President of the state parliament is Verena Dunst (SPÖ).


State government

The strongly rural Burgenland was governed by provincial governors from the ÖVP until 1964, since then all have belonged to the SPÖ. The social democrats benefited from the structural change, which was reflected in a sharp decline in employment in agriculture and in a high number of commuters to Vienna and Graz. Due to its decades of dominance, the party has a dense network of political structures down to the lowest political level. Especially since there are no large urban centers, the election results of the Neos and Greens are well below the national average, and the FPÖ also achieves poorer results. In Burgenland, too, the proportion of regular voters has steadily declined. While the SPÖ won the absolute majority in the 2020 state elections in Burgenland, the ÖVP became the strongest party in the 2019 national elections in Austria and the 2019 European elections in Austria for the first time since the 1960s.

After the 2020 state elections, the state government of Burgenland, with its headquarters in the Landhaus, will consist of five members of the SPÖ. After proportional representation was abolished in 2015, this is the first one-man government in Burgenland since 1945. Between 2015 and 2020, a coalition of the SPÖ and the FPÖ governed.


Local council elections

In the 2017 local council elections, the SPÖ emerged as the strongest party (44.4%), despite slight losses. However, the ÖVP (41.9%) was able to gain a few mayors and has had the same number of mayors since the election as the SPÖ (74 each).

In the 2022 local council elections, the SPÖ gained a lot (48.8%) and has had 95 mayors since then. The ÖVP lost strength (39.9%) and has had 71 mayors since then.


Coat of arms

Description: In gold, a red, naturally sitting on a black mountain, looking to the left, gold-crowned, red-tongued and gold-armored eagle with outstretched wings and black paw crosses hovering over the Saxons. On the chest a shield split three times in red and white ermine.



The online platform e-government Burgenland provides online forms and print forms for citizens and companies, with which entries can be sent to the state of Burgenland, its authorities and offices, independent of time and place. The form service Burgenland thus provides a central access point to forms from the most diverse areas of life such as work, building and housing, health, etc. Form solutions from the Austrian IT service provider aforms2web are used.


Economy and Infrastructure


The A2, A3, A4 and A6 motorways run partly through Burgenland. Likewise the Burgenland-Straße (B 50) and the Burgenland-Schnellstraße (S 31).

The Raaberbahn, the Pannoniabahn, the Neusiedler Seebahn and the partly disused Pinkatalbahn run through Burgenland. There was also the Südburgenländische Regionalbahn.

In Burgenland there are some regional bus lines (mainly ÖBB post buses and buses from Südburg), which belong to the Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (VOR). In 2021, the Burgenland transport company was also founded to improve the public transport infrastructure in southern Burgenland.

Since December 2016 there have been three city bus routes in the state capital of Eisenstadt: Georg (line 1), Vitus (line 2) and Martin (line 3). In December 2018, the Fanny line (line 4) was put into operation. Lines 1, 2 and 3 run every half hour, line 4 every hour. None of the lines run on Sundays.

With a narrow-gauge railway to Lake Neusiedl, Burgenland's second largest city, Neusiedl am See, had its own non-electrified tram line from 1928 to 1939. From December 2006 to June 2014, Neusiedl am See also had a city bus line that was operated under the name ne'mo (neusiedl mobil).



Due to a lack of alternatives, the country was long characterized by agriculture. As an economically underdeveloped federal state of Austria, Burgenland was declared a target 1 area of the European Union in 1995. These subsidies continued in a "phasing out" phase until 2013. Burgenland has continued to develop economically over the past ten years. In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union expressed as purchasing power standard (PPS), the region achieves an index of 89 (EU-28: 100, Austria: 129) (2014). There is still a north-south divide in economic power. These disparities can only be reduced very slowly. Around 23,000 Burgenlanders commute to work in Vienna as daily or weekly commuters, depending on the distance. In 2017, the degree of motorization (passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 659.

Burgenland is characterized by agriculture. Along with Lower Austria, it is the most important wine-growing region in Austria. 11,284 hectares (as of November 30, 2022) are cultivated in Burgenland viticulture.[35] It is divided into the following wine-growing regions:

Lake Neusiedl (6,675 ha)
Leithaberg (3,097 ha)
Rust (412 ha)
Rosalia (297 ha)
Central Burgenland (2,104 ha)
Eisenberg (515 ha)

In addition to the provincial capital Eisenstadt, important economic locations are the Burgenland business parks: Kittsee, Parndorf/Neusiedl am See, Müllendorf and Heiligenkreuz are already existing business settlements, Oberpullendorf/Steinberg-Dörfl and Rudersdorf/Deutsch-Kaltenbrunn are in planning or under construction.

Leading companies in Burgenland include Unger Stahlbau, Melecs, Leier International and Becom Electronics.

Burgenland is a European pioneer in the field of wind energy. In 2000, around three percent of the electricity produced in the country came from wind turbines; in 2011 it was already half. In 2013, the country was self-sufficient in terms of electricity, as more than 100 percent of the electricity used in the country was generated from renewable energies. Several large wind farms were also built: The Andau/halbturn wind farm, for example, has 79 Enercon E-101 wind turbines and an installed capacity of 237 MW. When it was completed, it was the largest wind farm in Central Europe.

Another important economic factor is summer tourism.



Tourism figures in Burgenland have improved continuously in recent years. However, it cannot keep up with the tourist strongholds in western Austria when it comes to the number of overnight stays. With a lack of ski areas and an increasingly rare frozen Lake Neusiedl (largest natural ice rink in Central Europe), there is hardly any winter tourism. The driving forces behind tourism in Burgenland are Lake Neusiedl, the thermal baths of St. Martins Therme & Lodge, Lutzmannsburg, Stegersbach and Bad Tatzmannsdorf and, last but not least, the wine, which is cultivated almost throughout Burgenland.

The more than 5000 km long, well-developed cycle path network is particularly popular. Although the northern part of Burgenland is rather flat, bike tours can get tiring when the wind blows through the country. (See: cycle path in Burgenland)

Shopping tourism should not be underestimated. There are now two designer outlets near Parndorf (including Central Europe's largest outlet and the largest private employer in Burgenland), with over 230 shops and restaurants. These attract more than six million guests every year, who come not only from nearby Vienna, but from all over Eastern Europe and sometimes even from other continents for shopping tours. As many customers do not manage to manage the entire outlet in one day, a hotel (Burgenland's highest skyscraper) opened on the site in 2009.

Many guests also bring cultural events to Burgenland, e.g. B. the lake festival Mörbisch and the opera festival in Sankt Margarethen. An important tourist magnet is the Familypark Neusiedlersee (formerly the Fairy Tale Forest), the largest amusement park in Austria, which attracts more than 600,000 guests every year. The municipalities with the highest number of overnight stays are Podersdorf am See and Bad Tatzmannsdorf.


Public facilities

The supreme police department is the state police headquarters in Eisenstadt. In every district except Rust there is a district police command, which is responsible for the individual police departments. In 2016, as a pilot project in some communities, the security partners were founded to increase the sense of security and to alert the police if necessary.

In 2011, a total of 319 volunteer fire brigades and 7 company fire brigades, which are organized in the Burgenland State Fire Brigade Association, were responsible for fire protection and general assistance. There are no professional fire brigades in Burgenland. The association's own state fire brigade school in Eisenstadt provides training for around 15,000 fire brigade members.

The rescue service in Burgenland is mainly carried out by the Red Cross. The Samaritan Federation also maintains a group with bases.

The coordination of the blue light organizations is carried out throughout the state by the LSZ Burgenland (state security center) with its headquarters in Landhaus Eisenstadt. The storm warnings for Lake Neusiedl are also triggered here.



The Burgenland University of Applied Sciences has two locations: The location in the north (Eisenstadt) specializes in information technology, social work and business, while the one in the south (Pinkafeld) specializes in energy and environmental management and health. Students in Burgenland do not have to pay tuition fees.

In addition to the Burgenland University of Education and the Burgenland Joseph Haydn Conservatory (both in Eisenstadt), there was the European Peace University in Stadtschlaining until 2014.


Culture and sights


With Franz Liszt (* October 22, 1811, Raiding; † July 31, 1886, Bayreuth) and Joseph Haydn (* March 31, 1732, Rohrau; † May 31, 1809, Vienna), two important classical composers and musicians have a close connection to the area of today's Burgenland.

Wander Bertoni (1925–2019), sculptor. He has lived in Winden am See since 1965, where he has set up an open-air museum.
Anton Lehmden (1929–2018), painter and printmaker (Vienna School of Fantastic Realism). He has lived in Deutschkreutz Castle since the late 1960s, where he installed an exhibition of paintings.



There are cultural offerings mainly in summer, with the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival founded by Gidon Kremer in 1981 (Nicolas Altstaedt has been the artistic director since 2012) in the parish church and castle in the municipality of Lockenhaus, the Mörbisch Lake Festival on the lake stage on Lake Neusiedl, the opera festival in the Roman quarry in St. Margarethen, the Kobersdorf Castle Games, the Güssing Castle Games, Güssing Musicals, Güssing Cultural Summer, Festival summer Jennersdorf or the Europa-Symposium Kaisersteinbruch with the Kaisersteinbrucher concerts.

The courtyard of Tabor Castle, with two-storey arcades, is used in summer for the performance of an opera and for numerous other events.

Due to the many minorities, folk customs in Burgenland are particularly varied. Cultural events such as Croatian or Hungarian home evenings are also held by the minorities. With Romano Rath from Oberwart there is also a well-known Roma band in Burgenland.

A cultural partnership was concluded with the German city of Bayreuth in 1990. The musician Franz Liszt, born in Raiding in Burgenland, was the father-in-law of the composer Richard Wagner from his second marriage to Cosima. In Bayreuth, where Wagner had his festival theater built, Liszt was a guest several times and died there in 1886. His grave is in the Bayreuth city cemetery.

The central contact point for culture in Eisenstadt is the Kultur-Kongress-Zentrum Eisenstadt on Franz-Schubert-Platz.



Several festivals take place in Wiesen every year from June to September, with rock, reggae, jazz or electronic music in the foreground. In addition, there are numerous concerts with world stars of various genres. Jazz and rock festivals have also been taking place in Eisenstadt since 2016. In Nickelsdorf, Austria's largest rock music festival, Nova Rock, attracts up to 160,000 guests from home and abroad every year in June. In Nickelsdorf, too, the jazz festival Konfrontionen has taken place every year in July since 1980; In addition to the concerts, film screenings, art exhibitions, plays and readings are also offered. Another small festival that regularly brings well-known musicians and bands to Burgenland is the Picture on in Bildein. With the Cselley Mühle in Oslip, Burgenland also has a nationwide important action and cultural center where concerts or performances by cabaret artists take place regularly.

The "Non-violent Burgenland" forum regularly organizes the "Golden Cloverleaf" literary competition.


Sightseeing features

Esterházy Palace: The baroque palace has been owned by the noble Esterházy family since the 17th century; Landmark of the state capital
Halbturn Castle: Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt erected the baroque building at the beginning of the 18th century and the castle served as a hunting lodge and summer residence for the imperial family. Today the castle, together with its castle park, is the venue for events.
Kobersdorf Castle: Franz Graf Kery built a late Renaissance wing on the site of a former moated castle in the 17th century. The Kobersdorf Castle Games have been held there since 1972.
Rotenturm Castle: Built in the 1860s as the seat of the Erdödy count family, Rotenturm Castle had different owners after 1924 and was left to decay. The castle has been privately owned since 2008 and has since been completely renovated. The ballrooms are used for various events and the chapel within the castle can be used for wedding ceremonies.
Forchtenstein Castle: The late medieval building was the former seat of the Lords of Forchtenstein. In 1450 the noble family died out for lack of male descendants and the castle was owned by the Habsburgs for 170 years. Nikolaus Esterházy received the castle from Emperor Ferdinand II in 1622 and began to expand the now dilapidated castle into a fortress.
Lockenhaus Castle: The hilltop castle from the 13th century is located in the Günser mountains on a rocky outcrop on the Günsbach. In 1968, Paul Anton Keller and his wife acquired the castle complex and renovated the castle, which was in a poor condition.
Schlaining Castle: After extensive renovations, the Friedensburg from the 13th century is home to the Peace Institute and various exhibitions.
Güssing Castle: Built in 1157, it is the oldest castle complex in Burgenland and has been owned by the Batthyány family since 1524. In 1459 the castle gained historical importance when dissatisfied magnates gathered there and Emperor Friedrich III. elected King of Hungary.
Bernstein Castle: The highest castle in Burgenland has been owned by the Almásy family since 1892 and is now run as a hotel and restaurant.
Landsee Castle Ruins: The former fortress was just a few hundred meters east of the border between the Austrian territories of the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. The castle ruins are a popular destination in the heart of the Landseer Berge nature park.
Bergkirche: also called "Haydnkirche"; Planned as a pilgrimage church in the 17th century, it was not completed until 1803 after decades of construction being interrupted. The coffin of the composer Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) has been in the mountain church since 1932.
St. Martin's Cathedral: The former parish church has been the cathedral of the Eisenstadt diocese since 1960.
Basilica Frauenkirchen: After widespread destruction due to the second Turkish siege of Vienna (1683), the baroque pilgrimage church was rebuilt from scratch and in 1990 was elevated to the status of a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II.
Basilica Maria Loretto: After the complex had been largely destroyed by the Turks in 1683, the church was rebuilt by Prince Paul Esterházy and consecrated again in 1707.
Neusiedler See / Seewinkel: The largest lake in Austria and the areas to the east of it (Seewinkel) account for a majority of the tourism figures in Burgenland and is a popular bathing resort, especially due to its geographical proximity to Vienna - the lake is therefore often referred to as the sea of the Viennese. The area has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.
Lighthouse Podersdorf: The lighthouse is located at the small port of Podersdorf am See. The approx. twelve meter high tower was built as a point of orientation and for storm warnings for water sports enthusiasts, but is also a popular photo motif.
Freistadt Rust: With its historic old town and large numbers of storks (more than 30 stork nests), Freistadt, together with Lake Neusiedl, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Geography Stone: At 884 meters, the Geography Stone is the highest mountain in Burgenland and western Hungary, as well as the easternmost foothills of the Alps. A stone observation tower was built in Rechnitz in 1913, which today stands directly on the Austria-Hungary border. The entrance to the viewpoint is on the Austrian side.
Cellar Quarter Heiligenbrunn: an ensemble of more than 100 historic, often thatched wine cellar buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The cellar district is part of the Weinidylle nature park.
Open-air museum Gerersdorf: an open-air museum founded privately in 1976 with mostly thatched residential and farm buildings, utensils and farm equipment from the 18th to early 20th centuries



The cuisine of Burgenland is heavily influenced by Hungarian cuisine. Common ingredients are fish, chicken and goose, as well as cabbage roulade, cabbage soup, fish soup, stuffed peppers, letscho, goulash, grenadier march, bean and cabbage strudel. Another specialty that Burgenland has in common with Hungary is the Grammelpogatscherl. The meat of the so-called Zickental bog ox is considered a specialty of southern Burgenland.

Burgenland is known for its wine and, together with Lower Austria, is the largest wine-growing region in Austria. A southern Burgenland wine specialty is the Uhudler, a direct wine made from the grape varieties Concord, Delaware, Elvira and Isabella. There are also many mineral and thermal springs in Burgenland. Well-known mineral water brands are Römerquelle, Waldquelle, Juvina and formerly Güssinger (Vitaquelle).


Flora and fauna


In Sandeck (Seewinkel) in Burgenland, there are now rare white donkeys. There are also Przewalski horses, Hungarian steppe cattle, Mangalica pigs and water buffalo in the Seewinkel.

Among other things, the endangered swamp vole is at home in the Seewinkel. The Seewinkel is also the westernmost distribution area in which Austria's largest spider, the South Russian tarantula, is found.



An endemic plant that occurs mainly in Burgenland (Seewinkel), and also in places in the neighboring county (Hungary), is the Lake Neusiedl salt swath (Latin: Puccinellia peisonis). It is highly salt-resistant, grows in heavily salty habitats such as on Solontschak soils and on the banks of saline lakes, and is endangered.

Another endemic species is the serpentine cinderberry (lat. Tephroseris integrifolia subsp. serpentini). It occurs exclusively on semi-arid grassland above serpentine rock in the Bernstein Mountains, on the northern edge of southern Burgenland, and is highly endangered.

In the district of Güssing, in the villages of Hagensdorf and Luising in the municipality of Heiligenbrunn, there are two checkered flower meadows. This approximately 33-hectare nature reserve has the largest occurrence of the endangered checkered flower (lat. Fritillaria meleagris) in Austria.



In Burgenland there is a very diverse bird world. In addition to storks (typical for Burgenland), there are eg herons, avocets, stilts, waders, spoonbills, lapwings, snipes and bustards in the Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel region. Buzzards, white-tailed eagles and imperial eagles are also common in Burgenland. The endangered scops owls and hoopoes are at home in Burgenland, as are bee-eaters and kingfishers.