Perchtoldsdorf, Austria


Perchtoldsdorf is a market town with 14,996 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in the Mödling district in Lower Austria and one of the numerous wine towns in the vicinity of Vienna. Colloquially, Perchtoldsdorf is also known as Petersdorf or P’dorf.



Perchtoldsdorf is located on the southern city limits of Vienna. In the west, the market town borders the Vienna Woods. After the district capital Mödling, it is the largest town in the Mödling district.

At the beginning of 2012, Perchtoldsdorf and Kaltenleutbaren carried out an area swap in the size of 58 hectares, which shifted the municipality boundaries a little and the municipality now borders a short distance on the cadastral municipality Weissenbach of the Hinterbrühl municipality in the southwest. Some of the properties in the Tirolerhofsiedlung were located in the Kaltenleutgenz area, although the residents used all the facilities in the market town of Perchtoldsdorf and not in their home town. Cold people were not directly accessible for them. In return, Perchtoldsdorf ceded an equally large area on the property of the former Perlmooser AG to Kaltenleutgabe.

Föhrenberge Nature Park, Perchtoldsdorfer Heide
The west of Perchtoldsdorf consists of the Föhrenberge Nature Park, which is a popular local recreation area for the Viennese population and also has several restaurants with the Franz Ferdinand Refuge on the Parapluieberg, the Teufelstein Hut and the Kammersteiner Hut. The Perchtoldsdorfer Heide, a dry grassland area with rare animals and plants, is part of the nature park. This area was used as pastureland and by several quarries until the 1960s. It was one of the first winter sports areas in the Vienna area (user fees for tobogganers were already collected in 1910, which led to corresponding protests). Motocross races were also held in the area of ​​the suction trench from 1955 to 1960. The "Rablhütte", an inn on the western edge of the heath that was built in the 1920s, was acquired by the Perchtoldsdorf community to avoid building speculation and demolished in 1986.

In the east of the community lies the area of ​​the former aristocratic Theresienau estate. It encompasses the area of ​​the former Unteren Speich mill (Spach mill) on Petersbach, which was built in the 2nd half of the 18th century by Johann Georg Widter, who was also the builder of the Schellenhof brewery in Siebenhirten and the Waldmühle in Rodaun . The estate has been called this since 1866. The name has nothing to do with the “Empress” Maria Theresa, but refers to Therese von Orlando, the wife of the landowner Franz von Orlando, who had already run a model farm on the estate before the name was changed. In this context, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Franz Joseph Order in 1872. The poet Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando was related to the landowners. The opinion has been published that one of the bizarre characters in Herzmanovsky-Orlando's novel "The Gaulschreck im Rosennetz", namely Baron Nadir von Semlin, also goes back to suggestions from the estate (it is said to be a baptized son of the Shah of Persia who kept a harem and collected skulls as part of his rural refuge near Mödling). The estate was sold to the Brenner-Felsach family in 1882.



About 15 million years ago, during the Miocene Badenian era, the Hochstrasse-Walzengasse area was a surf terrace of the then sea, the Paratethys. In 1995, when a cellar was built, fossils were found (sea hedgehogs, shark teeth and scallops).

According to today's knowledge, the flat part of Perchtoldsdorf was settled as early as 6000 BC. Archaeological excavations prove a settlement of the community area since the Neolithic Age, including two circular moats and graves from late antiquity. Further excavations, during which the remains of a wine press were found, prove the economic use of the area in the Middle Ages.

The name Perchtoldsdorf is mentioned for the first time in 1140. Settlement took place around the castle on today's market square. At the time of the Babenbergs, the influential lords of Perchtoldsdorf were at Perchtoldsdorf Castle. There is no historical record of who the name comes from. After the Lords of Perchtoldsdorf, the rulership rights passed to the Habsburgs in 1286. Perchtoldsdorf Castle was used as the widow's seat of the Habsburgs, the place took off again and achieved market rights in 1400.

When the Hungarians brought Lower Austria under their rule under Matthias Corvinus, Perchtoldsdorf was badly affected and ownership changed often. The place only recovered under Emperor Maximilian. The defense tower was completed and some town houses that still exist today were built back then.

During the first Turkish siege in 1529, the place itself was devastated, but the residents were able to entrench themselves in the fortified fortified church and got off lightly. It was not until the second Turkish siege in 1683 that the market town, which had previously been economically very weak, was hit hard. Almost the entire population was murdered or driven out by the Ottoman troops. Only slowly did the place recover.

For the period towards the end of the 17th and the first half of the 18th century, a passion play in Perchtoldsdorf with the subject of the outcast Ishmael is documented, which is associated with influences from Vienna (1st Book of Moses, Chapter 21, Verse 9 ff.). At the beginning of the 19th century, the previously rather Protestant place even became a place of pilgrimage.

In the second half of the 19th century, Perchtoldsdorf became a popular summer resort, and more and more villas were built next to the vineyards, most of which are still standing today. In 1860/1870 a cottage quarter was built in the north-west of the community as planned. This trend continued into the 20th century.

The food shortage after the end of World War I hit the population hard. Help was provided by the ARA - "American Relief Administration". In the winter of 1919/20, 70% of Perchtoldsdorf children were malnourished, 47% were affected by skin diseases, and almost 10% were suspected of having tuberculosis. On July 8, 1919, a feeding point of the American relief mission (Child Feeding Station Perchtoldsdorf) was opened in the school on Leonhardiberg. One of its sponsors was the pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet. About 500 children were fed via this feed for two years and about 300 children were provided with clothes and shoes for almost three years. The focus of the campaign was the serving of a daily warm lunch according to the NEM system.

In 1938 Perchtoldsdorf was attached to "Greater Vienna" by the National Socialist dictatorship. In 1946, Vienna and Lower Austria agreed that the place should again belong to the state of Lower Austria. The Soviet Union, as an occupying power, prevented this until 1954. Then the 25th district of Vienna, to which the town had belonged, was dissolved. Perchtoldsdorf was largely spared from damage in World War II.