Upper Austria

Upper Austria is an Austrian federal state; The state capital is Linz. With an area of 11,982 square kilometers, Upper Austria is the fourth-largest federal state in Austria and, with around 1.5 million inhabitants, the third-largest federal state in terms of population. It borders on Bavaria (Germany), southern Bohemia (Czech Republic) and within Austria on Lower Austria, Styria and the state of Salzburg. The name of the country is derived from the name of the predecessor territory, the Archduchy of Austria above the Enns, one of the Habsburg hereditary lands.



Upper Austria is divided geographically into four quarters:



Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee
Braunau am Inn


Other destinations

Abbey of St. Florian


Bad Ischl

Clam Castle

Eschelberg Castle

Kalkalpen National Park

Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Vichtenstein Castle


Getting here

There is an international airport in Linz.
The most important railway junctions are Linz Hauptbahnhof and Wels.
The following motorways cross Upper Austria:
A1 West Autobahn: connection from Innsbruck and Munich - Salzburg - Linz - Vienna - connection to Bratislava and Budapest.
A7 Mühlkreis Autobahn Linz - Unterweitersdorf; continue on the federal road or expressway S10 (Mühlviertler Schnellstrasse) to Freistadt, Budweis and Prague.
A8 Innkreis Autobahn: Connection from Nuremberg - Passau - Wels - continue as A25 to Linz.
A9 Pyhrn Autobahn Wels - Liezen - Graz - Maribor - connection to Ljubljana and Zagreb.



Almost every place in Upper Austria can be visited by public transport. The railway network of the ÖBB is very well developed. There is also the Linz local train LILO, which runs in the vicinity of Linz. Buses replace the few missing train connections. If you plan to travel a lot by train, we recommend the ÖBB Vorteilscard, which can offer a discount of up to 50%.

Upper Austria has a well-signposted cycle path network that offers cyclists e.g. opened up some river valleys. The paths are numbered with an R in front. Up to kilometer 181 the Danube Cycle Path is called R1, then R6.



One of the last wind wells in Upper Austria is still in Edt near Lambach. It is located right next to the B1 from Lambach to Wels.
Salzwelten Hallstatt: 7,000 years of salt mining in Hallstatt are vividly documented in the Salzwelten Hallstatt, the oldest salt mine in the world. The central theme of the tour is the mysterious "Man in the Salt".
At least since the successful TV series "Schlosshotel Orth", the landmark of Gmunden, the 1 Seeschloss Orth wikipediacommons, is well known to everyone. Legend has it that it emerged from the remains of a Roman fort and was first mentioned in a document around 909 as "Veste Ort". The massive gate tower and some window and door jambs were built by Emperor Friedrich III. built.
The Imperial Park with the Imperial Villa and the Marble Palace, the former tea house of the Empress, was the summer residence of the Habsburgs. Emperor Franz Joseph I spent around 60 summers in the Biedermeier villa in the "imperial city" of Bad Ischl. Numerous hunting trophies, mementos such as a simple metal bed or the desk on which the emperor signed the famous manifesto "To my peoples" can be seen in the monarch's former official and private rooms. The adjoining Kaiserpark with its rich, partly exotic stock of trees still gives the complex an unmistakable atmosphere of quiet dignity.

The Dachstein caves, consisting of the giant ice cave, the mammoth cave and the Koppenbrüller cave, are among the most impressive natural wonders of the Alps. Mighty cave glaciers, icebergs and ice chapels are a welcome contrast to the outside world on hot summer days. With 30,000 m³ of ice and a maximum ice thickness of 25 m, the giant ice cave is one of the largest ice caves on earth. Mighty subterranean halls such as the "King Arthur's Cathedral", the "Parzifaldom" and the "Tristandom" attract 150,000 visitors every year.

From April 27 to November 7, 2010, the Upper Austria Provincial Exhibition 2010 took place in Parz Castle in Grieskirchen. The theme of this year's national exhibition is "Renaissance". The aim of the content of the state exhibition was to document the Renaissance as an epoch of departure from the narrow confines of the Middle Ages, in which not only the discovery of the New World, numerous technical inventions and new scientific discoveries, but also new theological perspectives took place . The focus was on the emergence of the Reformation movement in Europe, but also the documentation of the development of the Evangelical Church in Austria and especially in Upper Austria. Alongside Linz Castle and Hartheim Castle, Parz Castle in Grieskirchen is one of the most architecturally important Renaissance castles in Upper Austria. This is also due to the fresco cycle on the south-west facade, which was created around 1580 under Sigmund von Pollheim, was rediscovered in the late 1980s and depicts the creed of the Protestant lord of the castle.

Greinburg Castle and Upper Austrian Maritime Museum. Greinburg Castle is Austria's oldest residential castle and impresses with the elegance and size of its historic festival rooms: magnificent arcaded courtyard, imposing knight's hall and the castle chapel with its monumental Christmas altar. The Sala Terrena, laid out with Danube pebbles, and the diamond vault with its fascinating play of light and shadow are unique. Today, the Upper Austrian State Museum Linz presents the history of the traffic engineering use of the Danube and its tributaries Inn, Salzach, Enns and Traun in a branch museum at Greinburg Castle. In July and August, Greinburg is the venue for the donauFESTWOCHEN im Strudengau, a festival of early music with modern counterpoint. In the atmospheric ambience of the arcaded courtyard, opera rarities from the Baroque and early Classic periods are performed.
Mühlkreisbahn and Aigen-Schlägl. The trip on the Mühlkreisbahn from Linz-Urfahr to Aigen-Schlägl is a journey through the picturesque landscape of the upper Mühlviertel and the beautiful valleys of the Große Mühl and the Pesenbach. In Aigen-Schlägl, the Premonstratensian monastery in Schlägl and the impressive parish church in Aigen are particularly worth seeing. The historic market towns of Neufelden and Haslach an der Mühl and the district town of Rohrbach-Berg are also worth a visit.


What to do

Aquapulco. Adventure pool especially for children. Many slides (even one with a timer) and a sea wave pool will make the bathing trip unforgettable. In the same building, an attractive thermal bath and a sauna area invite you to relax.
Dachstein West - Gosau - Russbach - Annaberg. Tel.: +43 6242 555 (snow phone), email: info@dachstein.at. The Dachstein-West ski area offers 72 lifts and cable cars connecting 130 kilometers of ski runs between Gosau, Russbach and Annaberg. Free buses run between these places. Due to the wide range of slopes, there is something for the whole family: for beginners, returnees and experts. For children, the Dachstein West ski area also offers many children's ski camps, sparrows' nests, a magic carpet, Sumsiland, a bear camp and much more. Gosau and the Dachstein-West ski area are considered "snow holes" because the clouds build up in the surrounding mountains and thus ensure extensive snowfall every year The lower areas of the ski region also have snow cannons. The Gosau part of the ski region includes the Hornspitz with the Brumsiland and the Zwieselalm. The Zwieselalm is known for its 360-degree view of the Dachstein Glacier, Gosausee and other peaks from the Feuerkogel to the Hochkönig. In Russbach, the children can learn to ski on the Bärencamp ski meadow with the magic carpet and button lifts.There are a total of 5 practice lifts in the valley for children.They are supported there by ski instructors from the Russbach ski schools.
Feuerkogel - Ebensee. Tel.: +43 6133 5397 (snow phone), email: verkauf@traunsee-touristik.at. The Feuerkogel ski area on Lake Traunsee is located at 1,625 m above sea level and can be easily reached by cable car from Ebensee. The Feuerkogel has a new 8-seater gondola on the Gsoll and a new 6-seater chairlift in the Grubersunk. This ski region also offers family-friendly pistes, a 360-degree panoramic view of the Dachstein and lake region, cozy huts and much more. With the Feuerkogel cable car you can reach the adventure mountain village from Ebensee am Traunsee at 1600 meters. The Feuerkogel ski area offers pistes suitable for winter sports enthusiasts, beginners and families alike. Snow fanatics can tackle the six-kilometer unprepared descent into the valley with its special challenges. But also ski tourers and snowshoe hikers can be found in this ski region again and again, because it offers tours for every level of difficulty and untracked slopes into the valley.
Freesports Arena Krippenstein. Tel.: +43 6131 531 1838 (snow phone), email: info@krippenstein.com. The Freesports Arena Krippenstein was voted the hot spot of the freerider scene by SnowPlanet magazine. Locals call the Krippenstein "the Stoa". This ski area has a lot to offer: ski and board, on and off piste, freeride training and snow camps, snowshoeing, ski tours, ice climbing, dog sledding, paragliding, and much more. The 21 km long Dachstein crossing from the Hunerkogel to Obertraun or Hallstatt is also recommended. The Freesports Arena Krippenstein has the following on offer for its visitors: 30 kilometers of off-piste variants, the longest descent in Upper Austria at 11 km, Krippenstein Funpark, guaranteed snow on the Dachstein glacier area and a modern snow-making system, 1500 meters in altitude difference, a brand new cable car, hundreds of square kilometers of high alpine terrain to let off steam, extreme sports events of the extra class, relaxed huts and lodges to relax (or to party hard), and much more.
Hinterstoder Höss. Tel.: +43 7564 5500 (snow phone), email: info@hiwu.at. The Hinterstoder Höss ski area, together with the Wurzeralm ski area, offers 56 km of groomed slopes ranging from easy to difficult. The highest point in the ski area is 2000 m. It can be reached with the help of 20 lifts. But not only skiers, but also cross-country skiers have a lot to offer: 3.5 km of trails on the Hutterer Boden in the Hinterstoder ski area, 5 km of high-altitude trails in the Wurzeralm ski area and 130 km of groomed valley trails. New 10-seater gondola that opens up wonderful slopes.
Danube Cycle Path. The Danube cycle path starts in Passau and leads over 434 km (in Upper Austria north and south bank 235 km) to Bratislava. Sections with more motorized traffic are marked with signs (Engelhartszell, Schlögener Schlinge, Grein/Lower Austria border). Since the difference in altitude is very small (118 m), the Danube Cycle Path is also very suitable for families. The cycle path mostly runs close to the Danube and slightly downhill downstream. East of Passau, the cycle path leads to Upper Austria. The picturesque towns in the Upper Danube Valley and Engelszell Abbey, the only Trappist monastery in Upper Austria, are worth seeing. The next stage is the Schlögener Schlinge, where the massive underground forces the flow of the Danube into a double curve. The cycle path continues to Linz, European Capital of Culture 2009. The next stage worth seeing is Mitterkirchen, home to the Keltendorf open-air museum. The Danube Cycle Path runs via Grein in the direction of Wachau and thus outside of Upper Austria.
backcountry cycle path. 50 km round tour for MTB, which partly uses the route of a forest railway. One of the starting points is in Reichraming (356 m above sea level) at the train station, where the forest railway used to depart. The route is steeper and more difficult than advertised. It is definitely not suitable for families in its entirety. The section up to Weißwasser is recommended for families.
Salzkammergut Cycle Path. The Salzkammergut cycle path is 345 kilometers long and crosses the entire Salzkammergut. Since the tour is designed as a circular route, it is possible to start at any point along the route. Crystal-clear lakes, small towns, mountains and much more can be discovered along the Salzkammergut cycle path. For example, cyclists in Gmunden can visit the Seeschloss Ort or take a boat trip on the "Gisela" paddle steamer. From Gmunden we continue to Ebensee and along the Traun to Bad Ischl. A visit to the Kaiservilla and the Zauner confectionery is particularly recommended in this famous place. From Bad Ischl, the Salzkammergut Cycle Path continues to Bad Goisern, Hallstatt and Obertraun, the UNESCO World Heritage region. Worth seeing here are, for example, the salt mines in Hallstatt or the Dachstein giant ice caves. Along the Wolfgangsee we continue to the Mondsee. The bike tour finally returns to its starting point via Lake Attersee.
Donausteig. The Donau-Höhen-Rundwanderweg is 540 km long and runs along the Danube ridge through 60 places. This hiking trail connects the Danube cities of Passau, Linz and Ybbs. The new Donausteig will lead the hiking trail along new routes along the Danube. In July 2010 the new Donausteig will be opened by the advertising association Donau OÖ.
Traunsee week. From May 14th to 17th, 2015, the Trausnsee week will take place with the RC44 Austria Cup. The initials RC stand for the sailing star Russel Coutts. The Gmunden Esplanade is being converted into a high-tech sailing center. At the RC44 Austria Cup, visitors will not only meet Russel Coutts but also Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton. The categories of match race, fleet race and long distance race are sailed. For the first time in the history of the RC44 class, an Austrian RC44 Team Austria has been taking part since 2009. Although it only entered the rankings in the second of five races of the season, it was already able to record its first victories.



Upper Austria's hearty delicacies include aromatic farmer's bread, homemade butter, mild sheep's or high-quality goat's cheese, fine honey or fruity jam, juicy meat or smoked bacon and much more.

Food and customs go hand in hand in Upper Austria. Since each season is characterized by festivals and celebrations, specific dishes are often served. We often don't know why this has become common practice.

In the Upper Austrian-Bavarian region, but also in southern Bohemia, Tyrol and South Tyrol, dumplings are most widespread. Their main feature is the round shape, although there are always exceptions. Dumplings are served as a soup ingredient, main course and dessert. But they can also be found as a side dish in the form of semolina, potato or bread dumplings. The dumplings can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are filled and unfilled, sour and sweet dumplings.

Most is the national drink of Upper Austria and bears the honorary title "Regional Acid". This Upper Austrian drink is fermented apple and pear juice and is available in many flavors. In Upper Austria, a distinction is made between "apple must" and "pear must". A particular specialty is the sweet must, the juice freshly squeezed in autumn. Many farms have their own cider trees for fruit cider production. Particularly well-known is the "Landlbirnmost", which is pressed from the so-called Landlbirnen. But varieties such as Fraunbirn, Läuterbirn, Wödlbirn, Hoanlbirn and Tatzbirn are also widespread in Upper Austria.

In addition to their own cider trees, many farmhouses also offer cider walls. This is a niche-like depression for keeping the must cool. The four-sided farms in the Most area are among the most powerful farms in the state. Upper Austria is a Mostland. "Mostbauer" produce about 500 hectoliters in good times.

Most taverns in Upper Austria are z. B. Rohrhuber cider tavern in Linz, Speck-Alm in Perg, Loryhof in Ried im Innkreis, Waldschmiede cider tavern in the Urfahr area, Wolfsteiner cider tavern in the Urfahr area, Zum Alfons brewery in Vöcklabruck, Huemer's cider tavern in Wels and much more.

Roast pork is one of the traditional dishes of Austrian, Bavarian and Bohemian cuisine. The crust is particularly important here. Dumplings and sauerkraut are served as side dishes. Another popular side dish is Stöcklkraut. A cabbage is cut into four or six pieces ("Stöckl"), the stalk removed and boiled in salted water with caraway seeds. Then the soft boiled pieces of white cabbage are fried with the roast. Roast pork has been one of the most important holiday dishes since the Middle Ages. Cold roast pork with horseradish and bread with beer or cider is very popular as a snack in Upper Austria.

At the "Candle Mass" on February 2nd, the traditional date of the change of servants, the farmers organized a light roast dinner. A roast with coleslaw and bread dumplings was served. At that time Bratlgeiger, vagabond musicians, often played around a roast. The "Bratlshooting" is also very well known in Upper Austria. Here the players agree that the loser has to pay all players in the inn a Bratl.

Next to Most, beer is one of the most popular drinks in Upper Austria. This is brewed from water, grain, hops and yeast. Upper Austria offers a large number of different types and varieties such as lager, light and dark, Märzen, Pils, Bock beer, Zwickel beer, strong and light beer, diet and nutritional beer, premium, special and draft beer, wheat beer and non-alcoholic beer. The most famous breweries in Upper Austria include the Grieskirchen brewery, Hofstetten brewery, Schlägl monastery brewery, Braucommune Freistadt, Kapsreiter brewery and many more.

Bread is one of the traditional foods in Upper Austria. The ingredients for this are flour, water, a leavening agent and possibly other ingredients. In the Austrian baking tradition, the yeast is of great importance in addition to the sourdough. This is important for the fermentation process as it converts the starch in the grain into sugar, carbonic acid and ultimately alcohol. The carbonic acid causes the dough to rise because it cannot escape through the gluten in the flour. Country and farmer's breads are allowed according to the "Codex Alimentarius Austriacus".

In Austria, due to the strict legal regulations, cheese is only made from high-quality milk without chemical additives. Depending on the landscape and climate, different types of cheese have developed for certain regions, such as cream cheese (the Rollino is particularly well-known), soft cheese (e.g. Romadur, Brie), semi-hard cheese, hard cheese or sour milk cheese.

In 1988, the only monastery cheese dairy in Austria developed the soft cheese St. Severin, whose typical flavor comes from the red smear treatment. Popular snack cheeses are Schlierbacher Klosterkäse and Achleitner Schlosskäse.

Among the best-known cheese producers in Upper Austria are the Gmundner Dairy, Landfrisch Dairy, show dairy Stift Schlierbach, Schärdinger, Zwettler Käsebauern and many more.

In Upper Austria there are around 12,000 hectares of orchards, it is a land of schnapps distillers. Schnaps are distilled from the various types of fruit. The single-variety distilled schnapps are particularly popular, e.g. Gellert's butter pear, Clapp's darling or William's pear. Upper Austria's distilleries are known and loved all over the world and are among the best in the world. The best schnapps distillers in Upper Austria have brought home more than 1,000 medals in recent years.

Well-known Upper Austrian noble distillers are e.g. Liqueur production Engelszell Abbey, Lindner, Most & Mehr Mairinger, Most & Safte Schober, Nussbach Distillery, quality brand Reisetbauer and many more.


Geology and geography

Granite and gneiss highlands

North of the Danube valley and in the Sauwald is the Bohemian Massif (also Bohemian Massif), the geologically oldest landscape in Austria. It is an old fold mountain range and consists of the Moldanubian in the western part and the Moravikum in the eastern part (outside of Upper Austria). The Bohemian Massif represents the base of a eroded, former high mountain range (called basement) that arose in the course of the Variscan orogeny (mountain formation) in the Paleozoic. Other remnants of this mountain formation in Central Europe are the German low mountain ranges. Acidic plutonites such as granite and gneisses dominate. The mountain range, which itself was completely worn away, was probably broken into clods in the course of the Alpine mountain building and lifted somewhat, resulting in its current hilly topography (trunk landscape).


Upper Austrian Alps

At that time, the Tethys stretched south of the Variscan mountain range and grew larger and larger as the continental plates drifted apart towards the end of the Paleozoic. Under tropical or subtropical conditions, those sediments were deposited here during the Mesozoic, which were then later pushed over and transported north during the Alpidic orogeny, which began towards the end of the Cretaceous. This is how the south-north sequence of nappes, the Northern Limestone Alps, the Flysch Zone and the Subalpine Molasse emerged, with remnants of the Helvetic Nappe also remaining. The limestone that was formed in the Tethys during the Triassic is rich in fossils, which are found today particularly in the Dachstein Mountains and around Hallstatt. Special sites for ammonites are the mountains around Gosau, west of the Dachstein.

While the Alps initially rose from the Tethys as a chain of islands and continued to grow, the process of erosion of the young mountains began at the same time, but this could not compensate for the extent of the uplift.


Molasse zone

Between these two very different mountain ranges there is a sedimentation zone that was created by the deposits of erosion in the Alps, the so-called Titian zone.

The eroded material transported to the north was initially deposited in the flat and increasingly narrow arm of the Tethys between the Alps in the south and the continent in the north (Molasse Basin). Thus, while the Alps continued to rise and the African plate moved northwards, the arm of the sea was filled in (freshwater molasse) and today's picture of the geological division of Upper Austria into the Bohemian Massif, the Tertiary hill country as a deposit area for the clastic sediments of Alpine erosion in the middle, emerged and the Northern Limestone Alps to the south.


Ice Age Overprint

The part of the earth's history that preceded our present age, the Holocene, the Pleistocene or Ice Age, has most clearly shaped today's landscape of Upper Austria in the Alps and in the foothills of the Alps. This was the time of the last major glaciation phase in the Alps to date, in which the mountains were largely covered by ice masses, which advanced far into the foreland with huge glacier tongues. In addition to the Dachstein Glacier, the Salzach Glacier advanced into what is now Upper Austria and was considerably larger than it. Fed by the ice masses of the Central Alps, the glacier rolled at least four times (according to the classic Quaternary stratigraphy) through the Salzach Valley and the Salzburg Basin to the north, before spreading out into a branched, fan-shaped system of side glaciers. While Hausruck and Kobernausserwald north of the Traun were not eroded, the neighboring regions in the Salzburg and southern Innviertel lake districts were overrun by the Salzach Glacier.


Flora and fauna, nature reserves

Due to the division into altitude levels (from 239 to 2995 meters) and into the three biogeographical regions (Bohemian Massif, climatically favorable central area and Limestone Alps), Upper Austria is home to a flora of around 1800 vascular plants that is species-rich by Central European standards. As everywhere in Central Europe, large parts of the landscape are strongly influenced by humans. For the preservation of natural and semi-natural habitats are located in Upper Austria

156 protected areas in nature and landscape protection,
24 of which are European protected areas (Natura 2000 areas and others, partly overlapping with the 164 areas under state law),
the Kalkalpen National Park,
109 nature reserves,
16 landscape protection areas (including 2 nature parks),
7 protected landscape parts,
and 562 natural monuments.

So far, 75 species of mammals have been found in the wild in Upper Austria. Of these, mongooses and coypu are escaped captives; Mouflon and alpine marmot were released. In the last 100 years, 361 bird species have been recorded in the area, but many only once. 163 bird species breed in Upper Austria. Furthermore, the area is inhabited as a habitat by seven species of salamanders, twelve species of frogs and eleven different species of reptiles.


Large landscapes

Upper Austria has a share in three large natural areas. From north to south in Upper Austria there is a geological-landscape tripartite division, which continues west to Bavaria on the one hand and east to Lower Austria on the other.

The Mühlviertel north of the Danube and four sections south of the river belong to the granite and gneiss highlands (Bohemian Massif) and is a typical low mountain range landscape with heights increasing northwards. Near the north-west border of Upper Austria, in the vicinity of the border triangle Germany-Czech Republic-Austria, the country has a share in the Bohemian Forest with the 1378 m high Plöckenstein.
South of the Danube, Upper Austria shares part of the northern foothills of the Alps (Upper Austrian Alpine foothills), a partly flat, partly hilly forest and meadow landscape with intensive agriculture. It occupies most of the land area. In the west of the federal state lies the Hausruck, a partly wooded chain of hills (maximum 801 meters); to the west is the Kobernausser forest, which, in contrast to Hausruck, is still very densely forested.
The Alpine portion is divided into the Upper Austrian Alps (the portion of the Salzburg-Upper Austrian Alps stretching between the Salzach and Enns) and the portion of the Eisenwurzen from the Enns eastward (Ybbstal Alps), and lies in two important regions, the Salzkammergut and the Pyhrn-Eisenwurzen region
The northern edge of the Alps is formed by the flysch zone, a strip of low mountain ranges made up of clay and sandstone and partly heavily forested. It reaches its greatest width between Mondsee and Traunsee.
The Northern Limestone Alps to the south determine the landscape of the Salzkammergut and the Pyhrn-Eisenwurzen region. In Upper Austria, the Limestone Alps are divided into:
The Upper Austrian Pre-Alps: Salzkammergut Mountains with the Höllen Mountains and numerous other groups; Sengsengebirge and the Reichraminger Hintergebirge
and the parts of the Limestone High Alps: Dachstein mountains with the Dachstein massif; Dead Mountains; Shares in the Ennstal Alps at the Pyhrn

The country's highest point is the Hoher Dachstein (2995 meters) at the southern tip of Upper Austria, with the country's only glacier area. Since the border with Styria lies on the main Limestone ridge, the highest mountain that is entirely on Upper Austrian soil is the Großer Priel at 2515 meters.
The lowest point in the country is where the Danube finally changes to Lower Austria, east of the Machland at the entrance to the Nibelungengau.



Oh, Ager, Aist, Alm, Antiesen, Aschach, Donau, Enns, Große Gusen, Kleine Gusen, Gusen, Inn, Krems, Mattig, Große Mühl, Kleine Mühl, Naarn, Rodl, Salzach, Steyr, Trattnach, Traun, Vöckla;



Practically all of the large Upper Austrian lakes are in the Salzkammergut, such as Almsee, Attersee, Gosausee, Hallstätter See, Irrsee, Langbathseen, Mondsee, Offensee, Traunsee and Wolfgangsee.



Climatically, Upper Austria is located in the zone of the Central European transitional climate. Due to the location on the northern edge of the Alps, the weather is clearly influenced by the Atlantic. The central area shows a cool-temperate, fully humid type (beech climate, Cfb according to Köppen/Geiger) with prevailing north-west wind weather. The south lies in the zone of a pronounced northern traffic jam and therefore has the highest precipitation in Austria. There are also frequent foehn (alpine climate, northern edge of the Alps type).

The warmest area in Upper Austria is the Linz Basin with an annual average of around nine degrees Celsius. With the exception of the mountains, the average temperatures in the remaining parts of the country, such as the foothills of the Alps, the Eferding Basin and the Traun-Enns Plateau, are in the range of six to eight degrees Celsius (annual average from 1961 to 1990). At an altitude of 2000 meters, the average annual temperature is about one degree.

The areas with the lowest precipitation, with annual precipitation amounts between 750 and 800 millimeters, are in the eastern Mühlviertel (Feldaistenke) and in the Eferding Basin. The higher mountain regions of the Mühlviertel and the Sauwald as well as the foothills of the Alps are surrounded by the 1000 millimeter isohyete. In mountain areas, however, the amounts of precipitation are much higher due to the damming effect of the clouds. At altitudes above 1500 meters above sea level, annual precipitation reaches 2000 millimeters and more (3000 millimeters in the Dachstein mountains).



The center of the state of Upper Austria is in the municipality of Gunskirchen (district of Wels-Land) (♁⊙).[13]

Administrative division
The quarters of Upper Austria
Upper Austria is traditionally divided into four parts, the Hausruckviertel, the Innviertel, the Mühlviertel and the Traunviertel. This also corresponded to the district divisions of the Habsburg monarchy in the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries, where there was a corresponding district of Hausruck, Inn, Mühl and Traun. In 1867 the circles were replaced by the system of political districts, since then they have no longer had any political meaning and are purely landscape designations.

The quarters also function as territorial units of spatial planning, but in this context there is an additional unit: the area between the cities of Linz, Eferding, Wels, Steyr and Enns is called the "fifth quarter" - Upper Austria's central area.

These five regions also roughly form the statistical NUTS-3 units of Upper Austria, although the Hausruckviertel is divided up in order to meet the requirements of areas of roughly the same size statistically:

AT311 Innviertel: districts of Braunau am Inn, Grieskirchen, Ried im Innkreis, Schärding (Innviertel and northwestern Hausruckviertel)
AT312 Linz-Wels: Districts of Linz-Stadt, Linz-Land, Wels-Stadt, Wels-Land, Eferding, parts of the district of Urfahr-Umwelt (central area and eastern Hausruckviertel)
AT313 Mühlviertel: Districts of Freistadt, Perg, Rohrbach, parts of the Urfahr area (Mühlviertel without the Linz city region)
AT314 Steyr-Kirchdorf: Steyr, Kirchdorf district, Steyr-Land district (southeastern Traunviertel)
AT315 Traunviertel: Gmunden district, Vöcklabruck district (western Traun and Hausruckviertel)

Before the Innviertel became part of Upper Austria in 1779, there was the following division: Mühlviertel, Schwar(t)zviertel or Machlandviertel, Haus(ruck)viertel, Traunviertel. With the incorporation of the Innviertel, the Machland and Mühlviertel were combined under the latter name in order to continue to maintain the quartering. Today's demarcation between the NUTS units Traunviertel and Hausruckviertel is based on the more recent district borders and therefore no longer corresponds to the historical border formed by the Traun. In their original borders, the districts of Upper Austria now only serve the purpose of defining constituencies, in addition to their popular and identity-forming significance.

Districts, municipalities and statutory cities
According to the current administrative division, the federal state is divided into:

3 statutory cities: Linz, Wels, Steyr
15 political districts: Braunau am Inn, Eferding, Freistadt, Gmunden, Grieskirchen, Kirchdorf, Linz-Land, Perg, Ried im Innkreis, Rohrbach, Schärding, Steyr-Land, Urfahr area, Vöcklabruck, Wels-Land
438 political communities: 255 (local) communities, 150 market communities, 30 urban communities and 3 statutory cities.



In the Middle Ages, a large part of Upper Austria belonged to the Duchy of Styria for a long time. King Ottokar Přemysl of Bohemia separated Traungau from Styria in 1254 in the Peace of Ofen and in 1261 in the Peace of Vienna and formed the land into a principality above the Enns. With historical probability, Julius Strnadt describes the year 1260 as the birth year of the country above the Enns. In 1264 the name supra anasum ('Ob(above) the Enns') was first mentioned in a document, and Konrad von Summerau is referred to in a document as a judge of the province of Upper Austria, although the term Austria superior ("Upper Austria") was used at that time still applied to Tyrol and Anterior Austria.

After 1490, the area gained a certain degree of independence in the Holy Roman Empire as part of the Principality of Austria above the Enns, and the estates held their own provincial assemblies in Linz. In addition to lords, knights and prelates, the sovereign towns also played an important role. From 1520 the country opened up to the Reformation, 30 years later the majority of Upper Austrians were Protestant. When the Habsburg lands were partitioned in 1564, Upper Austria, together with Lower Austria and the Bohemian lands, fell to the Roman-German Emperor Maximilian II. After 1600, the Counter-Reformation began under Emperor Rudolf II and his successor Matthias. Therefore, in 1619, the estates in Upper Austria entered into an alliance with the Bohemian countries. On behalf of Emperor Ferdinand II, the troops of the Bavarian Elector Maximilian I fought and defeated the rebels in 1620. For a few years the principality came under the rule of the Elector. The evangelical nobility were given the choice of converting or leaving the country.

In 1779, in the Peace of Teschen, the Innviertel, which previously belonged to the Duchy of Bavaria, became part of Upper Austria. During the Napoleonic Wars, Upper Austria was repeatedly occupied by French troops. From 1816 to 1854, the provincial capital Linz also administered the province of Salzburg. In 1918, after the First World War and the demise of the multi-ethnic state of Austria-Hungary, the new Republic of German-Austria set "Upper Austria" as the official name of the region. One year after the annexation of Austria to the German Reich on March 13, 1938, the Reichsgau Oberdonau was formed on May 1, 1939 in the territory of Upper Austria, which also included the German-populated southern Bohemian areas according to the Munich Agreement, as well as Ausseer, which was separated from Styria Country. After the Second World War, these areas were reintegrated in 1945. Upper Austria south of the Danube, including the Ausseer Land, was a US occupation zone until 1955, and north of the Danube it was occupied by the Soviets until 1955.



On January 1, 2022, 1,505,140 people lived in the country, of whom 107,318 (7.17%) were EU/EEA/CH/UK citizens and 96,623 (6.46%) were third-country nationals.[14] The majority of the population who have immigrated in recent decades comes from Germany, Southeast Europe and Anatolia, with 1.77% from Germany, 1.48% from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1.19% from Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo and 1.03% come from Turkey. Due to the large wave of refugees since the second half of 2015, the number of people from Afghanistan has increased to 6,721 (0.45%) and from Syria to 6,023 (0.4%). The Mühlviertel has been inhabited by several hundred Sinti since the Middle Ages, very few of whom actually identify themselves as belonging to their ethnic group.

Upper Austria is historically Christian: according to the data from the last census, more than 84% of Upper Austrians belonged to a Christian religious community in 2001; in the last survey in 2021, 73.4% of people still professed Christianity, around 4% to Islam and 17.3% were already unaffiliated. By the end of 2022, the proportion of Catholics has fallen to 58.9%, the corresponding proportion of Evangelical A.B. is currently around 3% of the Upper Austrian population.

The development of the population figures according to the information from the Austrian statistical office was converted to the current geographical area of ​​Upper Austria. The numbers given in the table up to 1700 have been rounded. Between 1754 and 1857 only the civilian population present was counted. From 1869, censuses were taken at ten-year intervals. Until 1923 only the civilian population was counted and only from 1934 to 1981 the resident population. The figures from 1982 to 2001 show the annual average population; these figures were determined retrospectively in 2002. Since 2002, the main residences have been used on the basis of the central population register to determine the population.

In Upper Austria, the Central Bavarian dialect is mainly spoken.



Similar to Styria, Upper Austria is a swing state, which usually has a signal character in nationwide elections. The ÖVP dominates in the rural areas, the SPÖ has its strongholds in the cities of Linz, Enns and Steyr or in the Attnang-Puchheim railway junction, but the FPÖ is also traditionally widespread, e.g. B. in the Innviertel. The Upper Austrian state constitution defines Upper Austria as an independent federal state of the democratic Republic of Austria. In its constitution, Upper Austria is also committed to a united Europe that is committed to democratic, rule of law, social and federal principles as well as the principle of subsidiarity, preserves the autonomy of the regions and ensures their participation in European decisions. Upper Austria defines its position in Europe in the state constitution as an independent, future-oriented and self-confident region that is itself involved in the further development of a united Europe.


Legislative branch

The legislature is exercised by the Upper Austrian state parliament. Its main task lies in the legislation for Upper Austria. Furthermore, the state parliament elects the state government and can dismiss it by means of a vote of no confidence. In addition, the state parliament approves the state budget and has the right to make written and oral inquiries to the state government. There are currently around 170 provincial laws in Upper Austria. These can be introduced to the state parliament at the suggestion of the government, a state parliament committee, three members of parliament or at the initiative of the state population. The state parliament meets at least once a month for a public session in the Linz country house. The deputies are determined by elections every six years. In state elections since 1945, the ÖVP has almost consistently achieved the majority of seats, and has also repeatedly determined the state parliament with an absolute majority, most recently from 1979 to 1991. Only in 1967 was the SPÖ able to overtake the ÖVP in terms of votes in state elections and draw level with the ÖVP in terms of seats. The SPÖ has been steadily losing votes since 1967, but in the 2003 state elections it gained massive votes from the FPÖ, which had reached its peak in 1997, lost votes again in 2003 and was even overtaken by the Greens. The 2009 state election brought slight gains for the ÖVP and heavy losses for the SPÖ. The Greens were able to defend their seat in the state council with minimal gains, but were overtaken again by the FPÖ due to their strong gains. After the state elections in 2009, the ÖVP was represented with 28, the SPÖ with 14, the FPÖ with 9 and the Greens with 5 seats in the state parliament. After the 2015 state election, the distribution of seats in the state parliament is as follows:

21 ÖVP
18 FPÖ
11 SPÖ
6 greens



Executive power is exercised in the state by the Upper Austrian provincial government. This consists of the provincial governor, two deputies and six provincial councillors. The state government is composed as a "concentration government" according to the proportional representation system, i. H. all parties with a certain number of MPs in the Landtag are represented by at least one seat in the government. The state government is elected by the state parliament. As the supreme executive body of the state administration, the state government implements state laws and manages the state budget. At the top is the governor, who represents the government to the outside world and chairs the weekly, non-public meetings in the country house. According to the rules of procedure of the Upper Austrian provincial government, the provincial government deals with government proposals to the provincial parliament, ordinances and certain administrative ordinances, (constitutionally) legally bound to a collegial resolution and decisions on the state assets of particular importance such as subsidies over 20,000 euros. All other decisions are made independently by the respective member of the government, but the state government can take monocratic decisions and lead to a collegial decision-making process.

The ÖVP has consistently provided the governor since 1945. From March 2, 1995, Josef Pühringer held this position. After the state elections in 2003, Pühringer entered into a government agreement with the Greens and formed Austria's first black-green coalition at state level. While the FPÖ lost its seats in the state government, the Greens moved into the state government for the first time. After the 2015 state elections, a state government with a black-blue working agreement was elected and sworn in for the first time on October 23, 2015 as part of a proportional government. Four ÖVP and three FPÖ government members were represented in the Pühringer V state government, while the SPÖ and the Greens each have one state councillor. In addition to Governor Pühringer, the ÖVP was represented in the government by Deputy Governor Thomas Stelzer and the Regional Councilors Michael Strugl and Maximilian Hiegelsberger. On April 6, 2017, Thomas Stelzer became state governor, the state government of Stelzer I succeeded the state government of Pühringer V, the new state councilor was Christine Haberlander, and Michael Strugl, deputy state governor. The FPÖ is represented by Deputy Governor Manfred Haimbuchner and the Regional Councilors Elmar Podgorschek and Günther Steinkellner. State Councilor Birgit Gerstorfer sits in the government for the SPÖ, and Stefan Kaineder for the Greens, who succeeded Rudi Anschober on January 30, 2020 after his move to the federal government. After the 2021 state elections, the Stelzer II state government was formed, and on October 23, 2021, Thomas Stelzer was elected in the constituent meeting of the XXIX. Legislative period re-elected governor.



Upper Austria is the seat of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Linz, one of the four higher regional courts in Austria. In addition to Upper Austria, the OLG Linz also looks after the neighboring federal state of Salzburg. Upper Austria also has four regional courts at the Linz, Ried im Innkreis, Steyr and Wels locations. The lowest level of the judiciary in Upper Austria is formed by the 28 district courts.



The state of Upper Austria offers e-government solutions to make dealing with authorities easier. With these online forms, citizens can e.g. Applications for subsidies and subsidies, the Upper Austrian family card or the recognition of a photovoltaic system as a green electricity system. The form server AFORMSOLUTION (AFS) from the Austrian IT service provider aforms2web is used.


Coat of arms, flag, anthem and national patrons

State symbols are the colors (flag and flag) of the state of Upper Austria, the state coat of arms, the state seal and the state anthem.

The Upper Austrian coat of arms consists of a split shield crowned with the Austrian archduke's hat. The shield shows heraldicly on the right a golden eagle with a red tongue and red claws on a black background and is heraldicly split three times by silver and red on the left. It can be presented in color or black and white. The coat of arms was established in 1930 and goes back to the coat of arms of the lords of Machland.

The colors of the state of Upper Austria are white and red. The Upper Austrian flag consists of two horizontal stripes of equal width, with the upper stripe being white and the lower stripe being red. The ratio of the height of the flag to its length is 2:3. The flag was officially adopted on April 25, 1949.

The song Hoamatgsang was declared the Upper Austrian state anthem on November 29, 1952 by the Upper Austrian state parliament. The text was written by Franz Stelzhamer in 1841, and the music was composed by Hans Schnopfhagen in 1884. Of the original eight verses, the first two and the last verse are part of the national anthem.

The patron saints of Upper Austria are St. Florian and St. Leopold.


Economy and Infrastructure

In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union, expressed in purchasing power standards, Upper Austria achieved an index of 132 (EU-28: 100 Austria: 129).

Upper Austria is one of the centers of Austrian industry. With direct exports worth 18.9 billion euros (2006), the federal state generates 26.5 percent of Austrian exports. About 70 percent of exports go to the euro area. 68,626 commercial enterprises with 576,203 employees generate a gross regional product of 32.6 billion euros. The sectors with the highest number of employees (according to ÖNACE classification) are manufacturing with 28%, trade with 18% and company-related services with 11%.

Important economic sectors are:
Metal production (voestalpine, AMAG)
Vehicle construction and supplier companies (BMW engine plant Steyr, KTM, Bombardier-Rotax, Miba, Reform-Werke, Rosenbauer, FACC)
Chemistry and paper (Lenzing AG, DSM, Borealis AG, Papierfabrik Nettingsdorf, AMI)
Mechanical and plant engineering (Engel, Trumpf Maschinen Austria, Siemens-VAI, Plasser & Theurer, Wacker Neuson)
Food (Berglandmilch, Brau Union, S. Spitz, Vivatis)
Tourism (the tourism and leisure industry contributes 15.2 percent to the gross regional product of the country)


Raw materials

Lignite was mined in the Hausruck area until 1995 (e.g. in Ampflwang, Thomasroith (Ottnang) and Wolfsegg).

In the foothills of the Alps, small amounts of oil are mined (such as in Lohnsburg am Kobernausserwald, Voitsdorf and Sattledt). Natural gas is z. B. at Puchkirchen, Pfaffstätt, and Atzbach promoted.

The salt mine near Hallstatt is historically significant. Furthermore, in Bad Ischl, the rock salt is dissolved into the brine and transported through the brine line to the salt works in Ebensee in order to extract salt from it.

At Tragwein, kaolin is mined in open-pit and open-pit mining. Quartz is mined and refined in St. Georgen an der Gusen. Gypsum mining is operated at Spital am Pyhrn.



Upper Austria is well developed by international traffic routes. Important road connections are the West Autobahn A 1, Mühlkreis Autobahn A 7, Innkreis Autobahn A 8 and Pyhrn Autobahn A 9. The extension of the Mühlkreis Autobahn as the Mühlviertler Schnellstraße S 10 to the Czech Republic and the Linz Autobahn A 26 are important road construction projects for the future. In 2017, the degree of motorization (cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 622.

With the Westbahn, one of the most important Austrian railway lines runs through Upper Austria. Other important railway lines are the Summerauer Bahn and the Pyhrnbahn. Important train stations are in Linz, Wels and Attnang-Puchheim.

Other transport hubs are the two large Danube ports in Linz and Enns and Linz Airport.



The daily newspaper with the highest circulation in Upper Austria is the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten. The Oberösterreichische Rundschau publishes three editions a week (regional edition on Thursday, Sunday Rundschau and Korrekt-Kleinanzeiger). Furthermore, the tips will be published weekly.

The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) has a broadcasting center in Linz. The largest private television station is LT1. Together with HT1, it broadcasts unencrypted throughout Europe via the television satellite Astra 1H. Since June 2010, the non-commercial TV channel DORF TV has been broadcasting in large parts of the federal state.

In addition to the state ORF radio programs, various private stations are fighting for the radio market: Life Radio, Welle 1, Radio Arabella and KroneHit. Radio FRO in the greater Linz area, Freies Radio Freistadt and Freies Radio Salzkammergut were able to establish themselves as non-commercial private radio stations.


Power supply

The energy supply of Upper Austria is mainly guaranteed by the state-owned Energie AG. This operates 34 water and two thermal power plants in Riedersbach and Timelkam as well as photovoltaic systems in Eberstalzell and on the Loser. Six of the hydroelectric power plants are in Salzburg, one hydroelectric power plant and the solar power plant in Styria. Verbund Hydro Power AG operates the five Danube power plants in Upper Austria. The Energie AG subsidiary AVE operates two waste incineration plants (Wels and Lenzing). The Linz municipal company Linz AG owns three district heating plants, which are also used to generate electricity. In addition, Linz AG also operates four hydroelectric power plants.



Upper Austria has four universities, all of which are located in Linz. With around 19,300 students, the State University of Linz (Johannes Kepler University Linz) is the largest educational institution. It offers academic training in the fields of social and economic sciences, law, technology and natural sciences, and medicine. The second state university is the University for Artistic and Industrial Design Linz (University of Art). In addition to these, there are also the Catholic Theological Private University Linz (KTU) and the Anton Bruckner Private University in the state.

The Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences offers education in different areas (technology, business and social affairs) at four locations (Hagenberg, Linz, Steyr and Wels). Approximately 5,900 students are currently taking advantage of the training opportunities offered at these educational institutions.

Since October 1, 2007, the former teacher training academies have also been run as universities. Both such institutions in Upper Austria are located in Linz: the State University of Education of Upper Austria and the Catholic University of Education of the Diocese of Linz.


Culture and sights

In addition to promoting culture, the state of Upper Austria also operates a number of cultural institutions such as the Upper Austrian State Museum or the State Theater in the state capital Linz. Ars Electronica, the largest international festival for digital art, has been held in the state capital every year since 1979, initiated by ORF Upper Austria and the Brucknerhaus in Linz.


Abbeys, monasteries and churches

There are numerous monasteries and monasteries in Upper Austria, which have always been centers of culture. The best known are Sankt Florian Abbey, Wilhering Abbey and Kremsmünster Abbey, as well as the Schlägl, Schlierbach, Reichersberg, Engelszell and Lambach Abbeys.

The most famous churches are the 1862-1935 built neo-Gothic Linzer Mariä-Impängnis-Dom, this is the largest church in Austria; the Martinskirche in Linz, one of the oldest churches in Austria; the pilgrimage churches Pöstlingbergkirche, pilgrimage basilica Maria Puchheim and pilgrimage church Stadl-Paura; the parish church of Braunau with the third highest church tower in Austria; the churches in St. Wolfgang, Gampern, Hallstatt and Kefermarkt with their winged altars. The parish churches of Niederkappel and Aigen represent important buildings of historicism. The Ebelsberg parish church with the only Art Nouveau facility in Upper Austria is also worth mentioning. Significant modernist church buildings are the Friedenskirche in Linz and the parish church of Attnang.


Castles and Palaces

Well-known castles in Upper Austria are Clam Castle, which Otto von Machland had built in 1149, as well as Altpernstein Castle and Wildberg Castle and the ruins of Schaunburg, Scharnstein and Waxenberg.

The most important castles are Linz Castle, Ort Castle in Gmunden, Ennsegg Castle in Enns, Hartheim Castle in Alkoven, Lamberg Castle in Steyr, Parz Castle near Grieskirchen, Starhemberg Castle in Eferding, Greinburg Castle, Weinberg Castle and the moated castle of Aistersheim.


Theater and music

The largest theater in Upper Austria is the Landestheater Linz with the venues music theater and the playhouse. It offers opera, operetta, musical, ballet and drama. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz is also closely connected to the theater and the Brucknerhaus as the largest symphony orchestra in Upper Austria and one of the best orchestras in Austria.

Also well known are the municipal theaters in Wels, Grein and Bad Hall as well as the Lehár Festival Bad Ischl with its famous operetta performances.

The tradition of brass band music in Upper Austria is also remarkable. There are more music bands than there are communities in the country. These are organized as clubs and mostly play at a high musical level. There are also numerous music groups that cultivate traditional folk music.



The largest museum is the Linz Castle Museum of the Upper Austrian State Museums. Also well known are the State Gallery, the Lentos Art Museum Linz, the Nordico City Museum Linz, the Ars Electronica Center Linz, the Museum Arbeitswelt Steyr, the Mühlviertler Schlossmuseum Freistadt, the Angerlehner Museum in Thalheim near Wels and the Kubin House in Zwickledt. There are also numerous smaller museums in the communities.



There are currently four historic gardens in Upper Austria that have been the legal competence of the federal government since January 1, 2000 and have been placed under monument protection. The protected historic gardens and parks include the park of the Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl, the gardens of the Villa Toscana in Gmunden, the art nouveau park on the Linzer Bauernberg and the park of Neuwartenburg Castle (Timelkam). In addition, there are around 160 historical gardens in Upper Austria, particularly as part of castle complexes. A particularly large number of historical parks exist in the provincial capital Linz and in the summer resort centers of the 19th century in Bad Ischl and Gmunden.

State garden shows have been held in Upper Austria every two years since 2005. The objective of the State Garden Shows is the creation of habitats and green areas from an environmental and ecological point of view in the Upper Austrian communities. The state horticultural shows are intended to show design options in the design of green spaces and settlements as well as in garden culture. The organizing community is selected by an advisory board. State garden shows were held in 2007 in Vöcklabruck, 2009 in Bad Schallerbach, 2011 in Ansfelden/Ritzlhof, 2015 in Bad Ischl ("The Emperor's New Gardens"), 2019 in Aigen-Schlägl.


More Attractions

Important industrial monuments are the Art Nouveau power plant Steyrdurchbruch designed by Mauriz Balzarek, the Danube power plant Jochenstein built on the border with Bavaria and the tobacco factory Linz built in the New Objectivity style.

Also worth mentioning are the bridgehead buildings with the Nibelungen Bridge built in Linz during the Nazi era and the numerous housing estates of this time, so-called Hitler buildings, in the Linz districts of Urfahr, Bindermichl and Spallerhof as well as in Steyr-Münichholz.



In Upper Austria there were 27 cinemas with 87 screens in 2012 and around 2.7 million admissions. After a long-term decline in these numbers, with a low point in 1992 with only 1.2 million cinema admissions and 1994 with only 60 cinema screens, the numbers have since risen again and now hold a value that roughly corresponds to that of the early 1970s. However, the structure has changed in favor of megaplex cinemas and at the expense of small cinemas with one and two screens, of which there were only 16 in 2012. In contrast, there are seven cinemas with three to five screens and four cinemas with more than six screens. Digital projection was introduced in 19 cinemas in 2012.

From the old name of Upper Austria - Land ob der Enns - the opening phrase of fairy tales has developed in Hungarian. Just as most fairy tales in German begin with "Once upon a time...", Hungarian fairy tales usually begin with "Messzi, messzi földön, még az operencián is túl" (in a far, far away country, beyond Ob der Enns). The "operenciai tenger" (the sea above the Enns) also appears again and again in Hungarian fairy tales, meaning the lakes in the Salzkammergut.