Location: Upper Austria
Linz is the capital of Upper Austria and with
207,247 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2022) it is the third largest
city in Austria after Vienna and Graz and the center of the
country's second largest conurbation with 805,770 people (as of
The city on the Danube has an area of 95.99 km² and is the center of Upper Austria. As a statutory city, it is both a municipality and a political district; also seat of the district authorities of the neighboring districts of Linz-Land and Urfahr-Surroundings.
After the end of the Second World War (1945), Linz had the reputation of a dusty steel city, which it owed to the largest employer, the steel works of today's Voestalpine AG. However, through improved environmental protection and numerous initiatives in the cultural sector, such as events such as the Linzer Klangwolke, the Bruckner Festival, the plaster spectacle and the Prix Ars Electronica or the Ars Electronica Festival, the city gradually gained a new image. The film festival Crossing Europe has been held annually since 2004. In 2013 the new Musiktheater am Volksgarten, a modern theater and opera house, was opened. With these and other initiatives, Linz was able to position itself as a city of culture, although some of the structures of the old industrial city are still visible. As a university city with several universities, Linz also offers numerous courses in the artistic and cultural fields.
The city gave its name to the Linzer Torte, the recipe of which is considered to be the oldest known cake recipe in the world.
The city is also unofficially referred to as Linz on the Danube, to avoid being confused with the German city of Linz on the Rhine.
Linz-Hörsching Airport is a bit outside the city and can be easily reached by taxi or bus. The bus runs regularly from the main train station in Linz to the airport and back.
Central station, Bahnhofsplatz 1, 4020 Linz. The centrally located Linz main train station is one of the most important train stations in Austria and is on the western railway line Vienna - Linz - Salzburg - (Munich), or on the railway line Passau-Linz-Vienna, and the Summerauerbahn (direction north: Freistadt) and the Pyhrnbahn (direction south: Selzthal, Graz) .: Today's modern and transparent station building was opened in 2004 after the new construction. Linz Central Station was voted Austria's most beautiful train station seven times in a row by the Austrian Transport Club (VCÖ) from 2005 to 2012. Features: free WiFi.
The Pöstlingbergbahn is a local narrow-gauge railway and is described under Sights-Pöstlingberg.
Linz Urfahr train station (Mühlkreisbahnhof), Kaarstraße 18, 4040 Linz (Urfahr district). Tel .: +43 (0) 732 930003126.
Linz-Urfahr is the south-eastern terminus of the Mühlkreisbahn and is the only stop for this regional railway line. There is also a connection line to Linz Central Station, but there is no regular service. At Linz Urfahr train station there is a transfer option to the city tram lines 3 and 4.
In the street
Linz can be reached from Salzburg and Vienna via the A1. From Passau you use the A8 (the continuation of the German A3), which joins the A1 southwest of Linz. To get into the city, leave the A1 at the Linz junction and switch to the A7. After crossing the Traun the city is reached.
The city center should be avoided by car, as it is partly a pedestrian zone and is very easy to reach by tram and bus.
There is a landing stage for Danube ships on the Donaulände near the Nibelungen Bridge in the city center.
From the west, Linz can be reached from both banks of the Danube on the Danube Cycle Path (Passau - Vienna), but the route on the south side partly leads on a busy federal road. In the direction of Vienna there is only a long-distance cycle path on the north bank, this runs directly on the bank, far away from the roads.
Around the city
Tram line 1 runs from the university in Urfahr over the
Nibelungen Bridge to the city center, via the main train station to
Auwiesen, tram line 2 runs via Ebelsberg to SolarCity. Tram line 3
runs from Mühlkreisbahnhof (or Landgutstraße) in Urfahr through the
city center and the main train station to the Trauner Kreuzung, tram
line 4 to Traun Castle. All four tram lines (which are very well
timed during the day) pass the entire country road, the pedestrian
zone and the city's shopping mile. Some bus lines run across this
tram axis, which run frequently during rush hour (morning and
evening), about every 10 to 15 minutes during the day, but sometimes
only every 30 minutes in the evening. Public transport usually
leaves for the last time around midnight. On the weekends (Friday,
Saturday) and before public holidays, tram line 2 runs as night line
N82 and tram line 4 from the main train station as night line N84
between midnight and the early morning hours every half hour. There
is also a night bus route N83 between the port and Neue Heimat.
Single tickets are available from machines, advance tickets with 6 stripes are available from tobacconists. There are discounts for schoolchildren and seniors as well as for children. The following types of tickets are available (tariff from January 1, 2018):
Maxi (day ticket 24 hours for adults): single ticket € 4.50.
Midi (long-distance ticket for adults. In addition, day ticket for children under 15 years of age and for people entitled to a reduced fare; a youth ticket for people between 15 and 21 years of age as a day ticket is also available at this price): Single ticket € 2.30.
Mini (short-haul ticket for adults and long-haul ticket for children under 15 years of age and for people who are entitled to a reduced fare; a youth ticket for people between 15 and 21 years of age as a long-haul ticket is also available at this price): Single ticket € 1.20.
Weekly ticket (7 days): € 14.50.
24-hour adventure card: city network and mountain u. Descent of the Pöstlingbergbahn: 8.60 € / 4.30 €.
Cell phone tickets are also available (smartphone app).
Around 400 BC BC, several Celtic fortifications and settlements arose within today's urban area and in the immediate vicinity along the Danube. Within today's city limits were the oppidum of Gründberg, in the area of today's Urfahr west of the Haselgraben, and the Freinberg, west of the city center, as impressive Celtic ramparts.
The settlement on the Freinberg probably already bore the Celtic name Lentos, which means something like flexible or curved. The name was subsequently transferred to the later Roman fort. The fortress probably fell to Rome with the largely peaceful incorporation of the kingdom of Noricum.
Linz was first mentioned in the Roman state manual Notitia dignitatum as "Lentia". To secure the connection across the Danube, the Romans built a wood and earth fort in the middle of the 1st century, which was replaced by a larger stone fort in the 2nd century. After the 2nd century, Lentia was destroyed a number of times by Germanic invasions (e.g. between 166 and 180 during the Marcomannic Wars), but survived the storms of migration and thus has a continuity of settlement beyond late antiquity.
In the early Middle Ages, Linz became more important again due to the advance of the Bavarian duchy to the east. In 799, the German name of the city was first mentioned as "Linze". In the Raffelstetten customs regulations (between 902 and 906) Linz is mentioned for the first time as a royal market and customs place. During the rule of the Carolingians, Linz fulfilled market and customs duties for the Traungau. Until 1210, Linz was subject to the Bavarian dukes.
Under the Babenbergs, Linz developed into a city that was planned to include the old core of the settlement in 1207. In 1230 the new main square was created. Until 1240, Linz received a city judge and a city seal. The Linz toll was one of the most important sources of income for the Austrian dukes, which gave the city a boost. It was also interesting as a place for meetings of princes due to its location on the outskirts of Bavaria. In 1335 the acquisition of Carinthia by the Habsburgs was completed there.
Since the end of the 13th century, Linz has been the seat of the provincial governor and has thus become the central town of Austria above the Enns. Frederick III even chose the city as his residence, making it the center of the Holy Roman Empire from 1489 to 1493 after Matthias Corvinus conquered Vienna. This as well as the court of Duke Albrecht VI located in Linz from 1458 to 1462. on the one hand brought the city an increase in cultural and political importance, but at the same time the demands of the household represented a burden on the city.
The first Upper Austrian state parliament was held in Enns in 1408. Other early state parliaments were held in Enns and Wels. The first state parliament in Linz took place in 1457 at the Linz Castle. In 1490, Linz was designated the state capital for the first time and the city council was given the right to elect a mayor and a city judge. On March 3, 1497, Linz received the right to build a bridge over the Danube from the Roman-German king and later Emperor Maximilian I. It was only the third Danube bridge in Austria after Vienna and Krems.
At the time of the Reformation, Linz was Protestant until 1600. At times there was also a radical Reformation Anabaptist community in Linz under the reformer Wolfgang Brandhuber. During the Protestant period, the estates built the Renaissance-style country house on the site of the former Minorite monastery as a sign of their power. The country house later housed the landscape school, where Johannes Kepler taught between 1612 and 1626. From 1600, Jesuits and Capuchins carried out the Counter-Reformation. The Upper Austrian Peasants' War, which was triggered by this, also hit the city in 1626, when it was besieged for nine weeks under the leadership of Stefan Fadinger.
At the time of the Counter-Reformation, the Jesuit Georg Scherer worked here as a flaming preacher against the Reformation, who was struck in the pulpit in 1605 in a sermon on the persecution of witches and died.
After the end of the Thirty Years' War, the city was transformed into a baroque style. The founding of new monasteries by religious orders played a major part in this. In 1672, Christian Sint founded the "woll stuff factory", the first textile factory in Austria. In the 18th century it was nationalized; at times more than 50,000 people worked there.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, Linz was occupied by Bavarian and French troops in 1741. On May 3, 1809, the coalition wars at the Traun crossing led to a bloody battle near Ebelsberg between the Austrians and the French, which gave the impetus for the construction of a fortification, which was realized from 1830 onwards.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, Linz was occupied by
Bavarian and French troops in 1741. On May 3, 1809, the coalition wars
at the Traun crossing led to a bloody battle near Ebelsberg between the
Austrians and the French, which gave the impetus for the construction of
a fortification, which was realized from 1830 onwards.
In 1761, the first textile factory in Austria was built with the woolen factory (on the banks of the Danube, demolished in the 1960s), spinning and weaving was still outsourced to homework.
On Assumption Day, August 15, 1800, a major fire broke out that severely damaged the castle, the country house and the old town. As a result, the moat and wall were leveled.
During the March Revolution of 1848, Linz was spared the kind of battles that raged in Vienna. On March 15, freedom of the press and the abolition of censorship were celebrated, which Emperor Ferdinand had decreed the day before in Vienna under public pressure. At the same time, he permitted the arming of the bourgeoisie by means of an imperial patent. A National Guard was therefore founded in Linz on March 16th, following the old tradition of the vigilante group and committed to maintaining public order and protecting property. The first commander of the Guard, which never numbered more than 1,600 members during its roughly three-year existence until the National Guard was banned in 1851, was Count Johann von Weißenwolff. Parallel to the Vienna Academic Legion, the student corps was founded in the course of the revolution in Linz, but was still affiliated with the National Guard in 1848. After March 15, 1848, a citizens' committee was formed, which was organized on the basis of Pillersdorf's constitution and scheduled the first mayoral elections for June. This was won by the democrat Reinhold Körner, who replaced Joseph Bischoff, who had ruled for 27 years, and became provisional mayor.
In 1850 a provisional municipal code came into force, on the basis of which the first municipal elections were held. Although only six percent of the population, mainly the educated and wealthy middle class and other better-off people, were allowed to vote due to various restrictions, Reinhold Körner won again. However, after the New Year's Patent of 1851, which ushered in the phase of neo-absolutism, democrats and the liberal bourgeoisie were quickly pushed out of political life. As the first prominent democratically minded politician, Karl Wiser saw himself forced to resign from his political offices. In 1854 Reinhold Körner followed him. After that, Linz was governed by provisionally appointed mayors until 1861. In the municipal elections of 1861, however, the Democrats were able to assert themselves again. Reinhold Körner began his second term of office.
Steam navigation was introduced on the Danube from the mid-19th century. The horse-drawn railway built from Budweis in 1832 was the first railway on the continent. By 1861, the city had become an important hub on the route from Vienna to Salzburg or Passau thanks to the Western Railway ("Empress Elisabeth Railway"). In 1880 a horse tram was built in Linz. This was electrified in 1897. The Pöstlingbergbahn, the steepest adhesion railway in the world, was opened in 1898.
From the middle of the 19th century, industrialization also affected Linz. In 1840, Ignaz Mayer founded the Linz shipyard, the first major metalworking company in the city, and the German locomotive manufacturer Krauss set up a branch in Linz in 1879 due to high import duties. The textile industry also had an important location in Linz.
From July 6th to 8th, 1870, the 8th German Fire Brigade Day took place in Linz.
From 1892, the factory arm of the Danube was filled in, which was created in 1572 during a flood together with the Strasserinsel (also Strasserau or Soldatenau). The name Fabriksarm goes back to the wool factory located there. When the river was regulated, the island also disappeared. This was first called Au, later, after barracks buildings, soldenau and finally after an owner Straßerau or Straßerinsel.
By 1923, numerous former suburbs had been incorporated, including Urfahr on the north bank of the Danube in 1919.
After the end of the First World War and the proclamation of the republic, there was a revolutionary atmosphere in Linz - as in many other places - which was also expressed in demonstrations and looting. In February 1919 and May 1920 martial law was imposed in the city after violent riots.
In contrast to the state of Upper Austria, where the Christian Social Party had an absolute majority in both the republic and the monarchy, the first local council elections in 1919, based on universal and equal suffrage, brought about a political upheaval in the city of Linz: the two-thirds majority of the German nationalists became an absolute one Majority of the Austrian Social Democratic Workers' Party.
During the democratic phase of the First Republic, Linz developed into a major city: in 1923, the 100,000-resident mark was exceeded as a result of immigration and incorporation. With the union with the city of Urfahr in 1919, the city of Linz also expanded north of the Danube. As a result, the infrastructure had to be expanded under the most difficult economic conditions: social welfare was expanded with new mothers' counseling centers, kindergartens and increased youth welfare, the municipal farmyard was expanded to become the central company for garbage collection and transport and as a material procurement center. Furthermore, the focus was on urban residential construction, but the extremely large housing shortage could not be solved. Despite the willingness to work together, the fundamental differences between the political parties came to light here: The bourgeois parties wanted to push for settlement housing and rejected the larger residential buildings as “interest barracks”. They saw urban enterprises as undesirable competition for the private sector, while the Social Democrats insisted on municipal enterprises to combat unemployment and regulate prices.
During the First Republic, Christian Socialists, Social Democrats and Greater Germans in Linz shared a commitment to democracy and a willingness to work together, despite differing ideologies and views, until 1933. After that, domestic and foreign policy developments in Linz also permanently disrupted cooperation on factual issues.
February fights 1934
The Austrian Civil War can be seen as a result of the intensifying conflicts between the ideological camps in the First Republic and the anti-democratic course of the federal government under Engelbert Dollfuss. It started in Linz with a search for weapons in the party headquarters of the Social Democratic Workers' Party. This was preceded by a letter from the Linzer Schutzbund leader Richard Bernaschek and other officials to the party executive in Vienna dated February 11, 1934. This announced resistance in the event of further arrests of members of the Schutzbund or weapons seekers. The letter arrived in Vienna late in the evening. Otto Bauer gave instructions over the phone not to do anything without the approval of the party leadership. However, the call was bugged. So the police knew of Bernaschek's will to resist when they began searching for weapons at around 7 a.m. on February 12 at the Hotel Schiff, the Social Democratic party headquarters on Landstrasse. Before his arrest, Bernaschek had alerted the Republican Protection League and given the signal for the uprising. The Schutzbund crew in the Hotel Schiff fought until noon with the invading executive and the federal army called to help. Other centers of hostilities in Linz were the Eisenhandkreuzing, the Diesterweg School, the village hall, the Parkbad and the railway bridge, the Spatzenbauer in Urfahr and the Jägermayrhof on Freinberg. A particularly momentous incident occurred at Polygonplatz (today Bulgariplatz): A taxi with four members of the armed forces drove towards the position of the Schutzbund, in the ensuing firefight three soldiers were killed under circumstances that have not been fully clarified to this day. A court-martial passed three death sentences on the members of the Schutzbund involved, with only the one on the Samaritan Anton Bulgari being carried out on February 22nd.
At dawn on February 13, the Schutzbund gave up the last remaining road blockades and occupations in Linz. The fighting had claimed at least 27 lives in Linz: four civilians, eight members of the Schutzbund and 15 dead on the part of the executive. On the part of the Schutzbund, however, the injured and dead were kept secret by the authorities for fear of reprisals, so that precise information on the wounded and dead is not possible.
On February 12, 1934, the Social Democratic Party was banned and its front organizations were smashed. A government commissioner was installed in Linz and from November 1934 a community day was organized primarily from Christian Socialists and representatives of the Home Guard. There was a radical change in personnel in the city administration, some of the municipal companies had to limit their activities or were sold. The corporative state also tried to anchor itself symbolically: streets were renamed and memorials were erected for those who died on the government side on February 12, 1934. The cult surrounding Chancellor Dollfuss, who was killed in a National Socialist coup attempt on July 25, 1934, also found resonance in Linz, for example with the renaming of the Diesterweg School as the “Dollfuss School”. In addition, cultural life should be redesigned according to ideological positions.
Connection and time of National Socialism
With the invasion of German troops on March 12, 1938, Adolf Hitler set out from his native town of Braunau on a “triumphal journey” to Vienna and spoke in Linz for the first time as Reich Chancellor on Austrian soil. It was only here, in view of the jubilation of the population and the cautious reactions from abroad, that he decided to complete Austria's annexation to the German Reich immediately and completely. Because of his emotional connection to Linz, Hitler took over the “sponsorship” of Linz that same day (which also became one of the five Führer towns) and promised investments from the Reich.
On March 13, 1938, Hitler signed the Anschluss Law in the Hotel Weinzinger.
Hitler, who had attended school in Linz, intended to spend his retirement here. Therefore he had given the city an outstanding economic and cultural role in the empire. The expansion plans included a boulevard with magnificent buildings such as the opera, theater and galleries, but especially the "Führer Museum", which was to house the world's largest art and painting gallery. For this collection, corresponding works of art were stolen from the museums of the occupied and conquered countries as part of the "Sonderauftrag Linz" (see also: Architecture under National Socialism). In addition, Linz was to be expanded into an industrial and administrative center with representative buildings for the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) and its sub-organizations and oversized administrative buildings. This would have meant large-scale demolition of the historical building stock on both the Linz and Urfahrer sides. With a few exceptions such as the Nibelungen Bridge, the bridgehead buildings and today's Heinrich Gleißner House, the plans pushed by Albert Speer were not implemented.
In the expansion of the existing industry, the restructuring to large companies in the metallurgical and chemical sectors should be mentioned in particular. With the steel and armaments company Reichswerke AG for ore mining and ironworks "Hermann Göring" Linz, which was set up during the National Socialist period from 1938, as well as the nitrogen works in Ostmark, the foundation stone was laid for what later became VÖEST and all its successor companies, as well as for the chemical industry in Linz. The residents of the village of St. Peter-Zizlau were resettled and the buildings demolished for the construction of the factory premises and for the construction of the port that was also planned there.
In 1941-1943, the railway line to Gusen, including a Danube bridge, was built next to the two large industrial plants over to Steyregg as a branch off the Western Railway. Several concentration camps were located in Gusen, with the underground production of large parts for Messerschmitt aircraft. Evidence from 2019 also speaks for the construction of the V2 rocket and for research into nuclear fission.
In addition to prisoners of war and foreign workers, prisoners from the Mauthausen concentration camp were also used in the industrial plants mentioned.
Due to the expansion of industry, the associated relocations and the influx of workers, the existing lack of housing was exacerbated. As a remedy, entire districts such as Bindermichl or the "Neue Heimat" with large residential complexes were built, which still characterize the appearance of these districts today. The necessary infrastructure (schools, kindergartens) was not expanded. With the simultaneous incorporations, the urban area was almost doubled and reached the extent that still exists today.
However, Linz was also a center of persecution: more than 100,000
people from all over Europe lost their lives in the nearby Mauthausen
concentration camp and its subcamps. There were a total of three
satellite camps of the Mauthausen concentration camp and 77 camps for
forced laborers in the city of Linz. The 600 Jews had to leave Linz -
150 of them were murdered by the National Socialists. There were
hundreds of victims of Nazi euthanasia in the Niedernhart sanatorium and
nursing home in Linz, now the Wagner-Jauregg State Psychiatric Hospital,
or were transferred from there to the Schloss Hartheim Nazi euthanasia
center near Linz.
Ultimately, those who had served the regime out of enthusiasm or out of forced loyalty also suffered the consequences of National Socialist policies. In Linz, for propaganda reasons, the erection of air-raid shelters for the population was not forced until the end of 1943. As recently as November 1944, entire districts were without safe cover during air raids. More than 1,600 people died in the 22 bombing raids on Linz between July 1944 and April 1945, thousands of people from Linz lost their lives as members of the German Wehrmacht.
In Linz, tanks were built in the Göring works and submarines in the port area.
On May 4th and 5th, 1945, the city was under American artillery fire and Gauleiter August Eigruber fled to southern Upper Austria. The original plan to defend the city in urban combat was abandoned. At 11:07 a.m. on May 5, the first American tanks arrived at the main square.
post war period
From 1945 until the end of the occupation period in 1955, Linz was divided along the Danube. The north (Urfahr) was occupied by the Soviets, the south (Linz) by the Americans.
In 1966, Linz became a university town with the “College for Social and Economic Sciences”, from which the Johannes Kepler University Linz emerged in 1975. From 1971 to 1991, Linz reached its peak population (see Population section). By the end of the 1970s, many residential buildings were erected that are now referred to as "architectural blunders" of the time. Within a few years, the simplest high-rise buildings were built in many parts of the city to meet the enormous demand for housing. In this environment, projects such as Lentia 2000 and other residential parks emerged.
From the late 1970s, Linz tried to get away from the "steel city" image of the gray and dirty industrial city. Environmental measures and requirements for industrial companies to improve air quality were taken (see Ecology section), which have made Linz one of the cleanest cities in Austria to this day. At the same time, new cultural institutions were founded. In 1974 the Brucknerhaus on the Donaulände was opened, in 1978 the Anton Bruckner Institute Linz (ABIL). In 1979, the city administration launched Ars Electronica, a festival for computer art. This festival is now one of the most important and important of its kind. The Ars Electronica Center and the municipal Lentos art museum for modern art (opened in 2003) have also made Linz an important city of culture. The European Union recognized this importance by being chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2009. The construction of a new music theater at Blumauer Kreuz, near the main train station and adjacent to the Volksgarten, was decided in 2004.
With increasing prosperity in post-war Austria, many families wanted
a “house in the countryside”. This had serious consequences for Linz in
the 1990s. Although there were around 12,000 people looking for housing
in 1990, Linz lost around 20,000 residents to the surrounding
communities within just ten years because there was no suitable housing
available in the city area. Since then, Linz has been trying to improve
its appearance and attractiveness, with a lot of support from the state
of Upper Austria. On the one hand, this is done through infrastructure
projects, such as the new construction of the main train station and the
development of the surrounding area into an office district with
high-rise buildings for ÖBB, Energie AG and the city's own knowledge
tower, where the adult education center and the city library have been
housed since 2007. Furthermore, the tram network was expanded to the
south and the bus and tram fleet is constantly being renewed. Measures
to improve the quality of life were the underground construction of the
city motorway at Bindermichl and the new construction of the general
hospital, the accident hospital and the Wagner-Jauregg state psychiatric
clinic. Direct measures to increase the number of inhabitants are
increased residential construction. Several large residential projects
have been implemented since the late 1990s: Solar City Pichling,
Lenaupark and development of the urban area in the south. The 1,300
Solar City apartments built between 1999 and 2005 are not only seen as a
pioneering project for social housing in the 21st century, but also as
an example of ecologically well thought-out construction.
In 2007 the construction of 1,700 apartments started. Most of them will be built on the site of the former women's clinic (415 apartments), 200 residential units will be built at Winterhafen. The south of the city is also being expanded further, for example with the housing project at the former Laskahof underground construction depot and the Traunausiedlung in Kleinmünchen. The construction of a new district on the site of the former freight station started at the end of 2013. Since the last census up to 2006, 5,000 residents have been regained or newly acquired.
Coming to terms with the Nazi past
On September 19, 1996, the municipal council of the city of Linz decided to have the period of National Socialism, including the period before 1938 and the denazification after 1945, comprehensively and scientifically processed by the municipal archive. Linz was the first city in Austria to deal intensively with its own National Socialist past. At the final presentation in May 2001, reference was made to seven scientific publications, internet presentations and numerous lectures as a result of the project.
The culture of remembrance is also manifested in the erection of memorials and commemorative plaques for the victims of National Socialism. Especially since 1988 numerous places of remembrance have been created in public space. Street renaming or new street names also reflect the confrontation with the Nazi past: while 39 streets in Linz were renamed in 1945, immediately after the end of the Nazi dictatorship, between 1946 and 1987 there were only two. Since 1988, however, 17 new traffic areas have been named after victims of National Socialism or resistance fighters. In the recent past, several Nazi victims and activists against National Socialism received high awards from the city of Linz, such as Simon Wiesenthal, who founded his first Jewish documentation center in Linz after 1945.
Linz is located in eastern Upper Austria and extends on both sides of the Danube. The north-south extension is 18.6 km, the east-west extension 12.3 km. The city is located in the Linz Basin and borders in the west on the Kürnberg Forest and the fertile Eferding Basin. North of the Danube, in the district of Urfahr, Linz is bordered by the Pöstlingberg (539 m), the Lichtenberg (927 m) and the hills and mountains of the Mühlviertel. The eastern city limit is marked by the Danube, which first flows through and then around the city area in a northeast-southeast semicircle. The Traun flows into the Danube 7 km southeast of the city center and marks the inner-city border to the largest district of Ebelsberg. The foothills of the Alps begin south of the city.
Of the approximately 96 km² urban area, 29.27% is grassland, 17.95% forest, 6.39% water bodies, 11.63% are traffic areas and 34.76% are building land.
Linz borders in the north and east, consistently to the left of the Danube, with seven municipalities in the district of Urfahr-Umwelt (UU), in the south and west with five municipalities in the district of Linz-Land (LL), and in the southeast, also in a short section on the left of the Danube, to a municipality of the district of Perg (PE).
The following tables provide an overview of the communities that directly border Linz according to their political borders, and the communities that do not directly border Linz, but follow it immediately and are also part of the Linz “Bacon Belt” due to high commuter rates in the city. The district in which the respective municipality is located and the last population figure are also given.
The incorporation of some neighboring communities (Groß-Linz) is occasionally discussed by politicians and in the media. The reason for this is that Linz finances many national projects from its budget, which also benefit the residents of the surrounding communities without them making any financial contribution. The boundaries between the urban area and the surrounding area are still there politically, but are not recognizable socially or in the cityscape.
The agglomeration (conurbation) describes the population of a core city, in this case Linz, and the settlements directly connected to it, without regard to politically determined borders. From these points of view, the Linz agglomeration comprises around 271,000 people. The official number of inhabitants of Linz and all 13 neighboring municipalities is 289,107 people (2001) because not all settlements of the neighboring towns and municipalities are directly connected to Linz.
Another way to determine the importance of a city region is the commuter rate. Since Linz has more than 154,867 jobs, but only 83,245 of the 188,118 inhabitants are employed, 89,294 people commute to work in Linz every day – 7,687 even from other federal states, mostly from nearby Lower Austria. In addition to the daily number of commuters, there are 18,525 Linzers who do not work in Linz, but mainly in the commercial and industrial areas to the south and south-west. With an average employment rate of 50% in the surrounding communities and 45% in the core city, around 367,000 people depend on jobs in Linz. Including the tens of thousands of jobs located primarily in the southern suburbs, the Linz conurbation has a population of around half a million, which is mainly at home in the Upper Austrian central area and the traditionally structurally weak Mühlviertel hill country north of Linz.
Of the 89,294 people commuting to Linz, 24,593 (27.5%) come from Linz's 13 neighboring municipalities. Overall, 41,489 commuters, or around 46.5%, come from the four Mühlviertel districts and another 23,403 or 23.2% from the Linz-Land district. 21.7% come from the remaining districts of Upper Austria, mainly from the nearby districts of Eferding, Wels, Wels-Land, Steyr and Steyr-Land. The remaining 8.6% come from other federal states.
City structure until 2013
In 1957, Linz was divided into nine districts and 36 statistical districts. These in turn consisted of a total of 863 building blocks. A division of the urban area into city districts as political units only exists in Austria in the cities of Vienna and Graz. When the inner-city boundaries were redefined, the boundaries of the formerly incorporated municipalities were only taken into account to a limited extent. For example, all incorporations south of the Traun were combined into a single district and statistical district of Ebelsberg. The area of the former St. Peter's was also significantly changed, to name just two examples. The districts and statistical districts that existed until the end of 2013 cannot be equated one-to-one with the dimensions of the former suburbs of Linz.
The largest statistical district in terms of population and area was the already mentioned Ebelsberg in the south of the city with 25.81 km² and around 17,421 inhabitants. The second largest and at the same time the least populated district and statistical district was St. Peter. It had only 377 inhabitants on 9.13 km², which was due to the fact that the area of the demolished, formerly independent community and the former district is almost exclusively industrial area, of which voestalpine takes up most of the space (since the beginning of 2014 industrial area -Harbor). The smallest statistical district in terms of area was the 45.6 hectare old town quarter.
When the community system was introduced in Austria in 1848, it was
already planned that the former Linz suburbs of Lustenau and Waldegg
would be incorporated. However, since the two places wanted to remain
independent and were even planning a merger, the incorporation could
only take place in 1873 after an application by the Linz municipal
council to the state parliament was granted. The Linz urban area thus
grew from 6 km² to 20 km².
In 1906, when Linz had already become much more attractive, parts of the municipality of Leonding, namely Gaumberg, Untergaumberg and Landwied, sought to be incorporated into Linz. However, what was then the municipality of Leonding made unacceptable demands, so that the negotiations failed. However, there was no resistance to the incorporation of St. Peter. As early as 1912, an agreement was reached with the municipal council of St. Peter. The incorporation came into force in 1915 and Linz grew to an area of 29 km². At the same time, after several failed attempts, negotiations with the city of Urfahr were already well advanced, but they had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the First World War. Negotiations continued after the end of the war, so that on May 31, 1919, the incorporation of Urfahr, including the previously independent municipality of Pöstlingberg, which had been attached to Urfahr shortly before, became legally effective. Linz now reached an area of 42 km².
In 1923, the 13 km² large industrial town of Kleinmünchen, which at that time bordered on the south of Linz, was incorporated. In 1934, the urban area was rounded off with the cession of uninhabited areas on both sides of the Danube from Katzbach (Heilham) and Steyregg (Steyregg owned uninhabited land west of the Danube in what is now the port district as a relic of the time before the Danube was regulated) and grew by an area of 2 km² .
After Austria's annexation to Germany in 1938, the municipality of Ebelsberg was incorporated into Linz. St. Magdalena was incorporated north of the Danube. The size of the city grew to 95 km² in 1938, and since the last minor expansion in 1939 (Keferfeld von Leonding) the city size has been 96 km².
The division into city districts and city districts, which was in force until the end of 2013, goes back to a decision made in 1957. The division of the city into its incorporated municipalities came to an end here. The city was divided into nine districts, some of which combined several incorporated communities or expanded their former borders to include newly defined statistical districts. A total of 36 urban districts were created within these districts, which, as far as possible, were based on former cadastral communities or existing or expected closed settlements in their demarcation. Traffic routes also served to define the borders. For example, the Landstraße, the Wiener Straße and the city motorway served as a border for numerous statistical districts. When naming the new city districts, the designation of the settlement area that was common among the population was chosen. With the reorganization of January 1, 2014, this division was abandoned and 16 new statistical districts were set up instead. Numerous old statistical districts were merged, for example the harbor district and St. Peter were merged into the district of Industriegebiet-Hafen. The previously largest district of Ebelsberg, on the other hand, was divided. In the east it now borders on the newly created district of Pichling.
Linz has a transitional climate with both oceanic and continental
characteristics. In the long-term monthly average, the temperature
varies between −0.4 °C in January and 19.9 °C in July. Average rainfall
is around 60 mm in the months of September to April and rises to around
95 mm in the summer months of June, July and August. Average annual
precipitation is around 870 mm.
The long-term mean annual temperature (determined in the years 1981-2010) is 9.9 °C.
Linz has shed its previously problematic environmental image as an
industrial location since the mid-1980s thanks to extremely consistent
policies in this regard. The emission of the air pollutants sulfur
dioxide (SO2), particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was reduced
from around 47,000 tons in 1985 to around 14,000 tons in 2003. The
sharpest drop was in sulfur dioxide, around 80% of which was achieved by
voestalpine, which is still the city's largest industrial company. But
the drop from 18,000 tons in 1985 to 4,000 tons in 2003 was not only due
While private households once caused almost 1,000 tons of SO2 emissions, this value has practically disappeared from the statistics today. Heating plants and the chemical industry, which once caused around 2,000 tons of SO2 emissions, reduced their emissions to less than 100 tons by 2003. Up until 2002, the value only increased slightly for motor vehicle traffic, but after around 250 tons in 2002, a year later this caused slightly less than the chemical industry plus heating plants. The remaining emissions are caused on the one hand by voestalpine, namely around 3,700 tons, and on the other hand by other industrial and commercial companies with around 200 tons instead of 750 in 1985.
Around 60% of NO2 emissions were once due to the city's chemical plants, but they reduced their emissions from just under 10,000 tons in 1985 to around 800 tons in 2003. After NO2 emissions from motor vehicle traffic were also halved to almost 2,000 the main cause is now voestalpine, which was only able to reduce NO2 emissions by 1,000 tons to 3,000 tons in the same period. Dust emissions, for which voestalpine was responsible for 80% in 1985, were reduced from 8,000 to 1,500 tons by 2003. Motor vehicle traffic is the only area where dust pollution has increased. In 2006, all measuring stations in the city area exceeded the statutory maximum values for particulate matter.
The increase in CO2 emissions from 7.7 million tons in 1988 to 10.4 million tons in 2007 can be attributed to the heating plants, the chemical industry and above all to voestalpine, which expanded until 1993, the year with the lowest overall value, was still responsible for the reduction in emissions to a total of 6.8 million tons, but then emitted more CO2 again. However, other commercial enterprises, private households and motor vehicle traffic were consistently able to reduce these emissions somewhat.
In the years 2007 to 2011 there were only minor changes in the exposure level in Linz. Linz is not in an extreme position when it comes to international air quality comparisons. Only sulfur dioxide (SO2) was slightly above average in an international comparison and in comparison with the other state capitals in the years 2007 to 2011. However, the load trend in Linz remains the same. In terms of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and CO2, however, Linz was rated better than average.
From 2008, the air quality comparison was supplemented by the fine dust content PM2.5. These particles have a significant impact on human health. This was measured in Linz in 2011 at 19 μg/m³. For a more transparent comparison of the measuring point density, the population and the size of the immission area were also included.
In Linz, with a population density of 189,845 and an immission area of 96 km², the annual mean value is 4 μg/m³ sulfur dioxide (SO2), NO2 emissions 32 μg/m³ and CO values 360 μg/m³. The fine dust pollution (PM10) is 18 μg/m³. When it came to exceeding the daily average PM10 value of 50 μg/m³ for 45 days, Linz is in the middle. Compared to 2001, the days were significantly reduced from 62 to 45. Linz reached its lowest value in 2009 with 30 days.
Immissions to the environment in Linz also fell to roughly the same extent as emissions fell. Only the ozone values stagnate at a high level and vary slightly depending on the summer. Despite this, Linz has been able to improve in terms of air pollution in a comparison of the provincial capitals in recent years and is now tied with Vienna in first place.
In 2006, the city of Linz won the title of "Austria's most nature-friendly community" in a nationwide competition organized by the Austrian Nature Conservation Union. The city of Linz's achievements in the area of species protection (e.g. nesting boxes on buildings), renaturation of streams (a total of 9 km of regulated streams were renatured) and support for ecologically oriented landscape management by city builders were particularly honored. The Natural History Station of the City of Linz, which together with the Botanical Garden belongs to the City Gardens of Linz, is responsible for nature conservation and urban ecology. The station publishes the quarterly magazine ÖKO.L.
The center of the city of Linz is in the cadastral community of St. Peter, Aigengutstraße 20, on a property owned by ÖBB-Postbus GmbH. This point represents the geometric center of gravity of a flat surface (=centre of area).
In the census of 1971, Linz reached a high of 204,889 inhabitants. While the post-war years, especially 1947, with around 3,750 births to 2,000 deaths, were characterized by an enormous excess of births, the number of births halved from around 3,200 in 1962 to 1,600 in 1979. However, there were birth deficits as early as 1970, when the steadily increasing number of deaths (from 2,000 in 1947 to 2,500 in 1970) overtook the number of births. Since then, deaths have fallen again, to around 1,900 in 2004, but the number of births, which reached its low point in 1979, rose only irregularly and slowly after an intermediate high in 1993 (around 2,000 births) and an intermediate low in 1999 (almost 1,700 births). back to. While there were almost as few in 2001 as in 1999, the number has steadily increased since then, to 1,886 in 2005.
Linz is the only major city in Austria that, with 157,000 jobs, has almost twice as many jobs as the city's population can cover. This enormous surplus of jobs causes a correspondingly high commuter rate from the communities surrounding Linz, which causes enormous traffic problems in the city. According to a 2016 Eurostat survey, around 781,833 people live in the metropolitan area of Linz.
There are also large commercial areas south of Linz. Several shopping centers (such as the UNO Shopping, the PlusCity or the Infra Center) in Linz and the neighboring communities also lead to additional commuter traffic and exacerbate the traffic problem outside the city, around these commercial areas.
More than other Austrian cities, Linz has also experienced large population losses in recent decades, especially between 1991 and 2001, due to the relocation of families to the communities surrounding Linz. Due to good transport connections, such as the West Autobahn A 1 and Mühlkreis Autobahn A 7, which have already been expanded several times, as well as the Linzer Lokalbahn (LILO), the Mühlkreisbahn, the Pyhrnbahn and the Summerauer Bahn, which enables a quick connection to Linz even over greater distances, increased this migration trend. A counter-movement, such as that which has led to strong population increases in Vienna, Graz and Salzburg since 2001, has hardly been observed in Linz. This only started in 2012. Towards the end of 2015, the 200,000 mark was exceeded again.
According to the 2001 census, religious affiliation is distributed as
60.9% Roman Catholic
2.5% Christian Orthodox
3.9% other religions
From 1867 (religious patent) to 1938, after immigration from the Nuremberg, Bohemia and Moravia area, there was a small Jewish community in Linz, which at its peak in the 1920s had almost 1,000 members - the majority of whom lived in the Urfahr district. In 1877 the young community built the Linz synagogue. In the early 1930s, anti-Semitism caused emigration to begin. After the Anschluss in 1938, organized expulsion and murder began, and Jewish property was Aryanized. The synagogue was destroyed during the Reichspogromnacht in 1938. A new synagogue was opened on the property in 1968. Today, the Jewish community in Linz has fewer than 100 members.
The Christian sacred buildings include the new cathedral, the old cathedral, the parish church, the Pöstlingberg pilgrimage basilica, and the particularly old Martinskirche.
Important Roman Catholic institutions in the city are the Catholic Theological Private University Linz and the Episcopal See of the Diocese of Linz.
There are several Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran (AB) congregations in Linz. There is also an Evangelical-Reformed (HB) and an Old Catholic parish. Free churches and other communities are the Baptists, the Evangelicals, the Mennonites, the Methodists, the Adventists or the New Apostolic Church.
The Islamic faith community is working on the realization of a cultural center in the south of the city, which will also house Islamic associations, social and cultural institutions in addition to a prayer room.
Serbian emigrants founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in Linz, and Romanian evangelical Christians founded the Church of Hope, which now belongs to the Pentecostal movement.