The health resort Bad Waltersdorf is a market town with 3834
inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in the judicial district of
Fürstenfeld and in the political district of Hartberg-Fürstenfeld in
As part of the Styrian community structural reform in Styria, it has been merged with the community of Sebersdorf since 2015, the new community continues the name of Marktgemeinde Bad Waltersdorf. The basis for this is the Styrian Municipal Structural Reform Act - StGsrG. Furthermore, the new municipality was expanded to include the cadastral municipality of Oberlimbach from the neighboring municipality of Limbach bei Neudau.
Church of St. Margaret
St. Margaret's Church is located in the immediate vicinity of the main train station in the spa town of Bad Waltersdorf.
The first church building was built here a very long time ago - back in 1170, but at the moment there is nothing left of the medieval building. The church was completely rebuilt in the years 1689-1690. It is interesting that the architect of the building was Domenico Orsolino, a famous military engineer who restored many medieval defensive forts, including those on the territory of modern Italy.
The church itself is a typical Baroque structure, painted in a delicate peach color and covered with a red tile roof. The architectural ensemble is complemented by a high bell tower with a clock, topped with a typical onion dome, common in Austria and southern Germany. The church was consecrated in honor of Saint Margaret of Antioch.
The interior of the church is decorated in a Baroque style and dates back to the first half of the 18th century. Around the same time, the main altar was made by the famous Austrian artist Johann Hackhofer, who painted many Austrian churches and monasteries. He also worked mainly in the Baroque style.
Near the altar, it is also worth noting the elaborately decorated pulpit and the balcony where the organ, made after the Second World War, in 1957, is located. And under the balcony there is an amazing ancient painting depicting the wheel of fortune. It dates back to the XIV century.
The church is open for tourist visits from 8 am to 6 pm daily, with the exception of religious holidays. It is also worth noting that archaeological excavations are underway in the courtyard of the church, where traces of ancient Roman stone buildings are presented.
The local area was already settled in Roman times; some of the
numerous finds from this period are exhibited in the small Roman
museum near the parish church. This settlement disappeared in the
course of the great migration. From the 6th century, the Slovenes
settled in the Eastern Alps (Carantania); around Bad Waltersdorf
they only left traces in the field names (for example, “Safen” means
After the area had been deserted for a long time and repeatedly came under different rule, the colonization of Eastern Styria did not begin again until around 1125. The area of today's Bad Waltersdorf was in the possession of the high free or noble Walter von der Traisen, a descendant of Aribo II, who founded the village here and immortalized himself in his name. Waltersdorf was mentioned in a document for the first time in 1170.
In the course of the following centuries there were often invasions by the Hungarians and the Turks, but also by the Haidukes and Kuruzen, whereby a large part of the place was repeatedly destroyed, the last time in 1704.
Waltersdorf has always been the largest town between the cities of Hartberg and Fürstenfeld, was the seat of an original parish and later a deanery. The structure of Waltersdorf was purely agricultural from its foundation until the 19th century, but then slowly began to change. Industry and trade developed (e.g. through up to four markets per year), which increased the economic importance. This development established the survey of the market community in 1928.
The solidarity of the residents with the church was so strong even during the time of National Socialism that in 1939 there was a demonstration of around 200 people against the anti-church measures of the Gauleiter. Towards the end of the Second World War, inner-German refugees from Germany and Yugoslavia were quartered in Waltersdorf. When the retreating German army camped in Waltersdorf, there was a Russian air raid, which caused considerable damage. Coincidentally, the capitulation on May 8, 1945 coincided with the time when the advancing Russian troops reached Waltersdorf. On August 1, the British replaced the Russian occupation.
In the state elections in November 1945, a total of 97 residents in today's municipal area were not eligible to vote because of membership in the NSDAP.
In the post-war period, the road network was expanded, which at that time was hardly paved; In 1959 the elementary school moved from the parish hall to its present location.
On January 1, 1968, the local parishes of Wagerberg, Leitersdorf and Hohenbrugg were combined with Waltersdorf to form one large parish. In the following years the secondary school, the kindergarten, the outdoor pool and other sports facilities were opened.
In 1975 the crude oil exploration company began drilling, which did not find oil, but thermal water at a depth of 1,150 m. Initially, the thermal spring was used to supply heat: In 1981, the first geothermal district heating supply system in Austria was opened, which was mainly used to heat the schools, the outdoor swimming pool and a test glass house. With the opening of the thermal baths in 1984, tourism began to grow rapidly; a trend that continues to the present day. In 1987 the spa park was designed with a pond and playground.
By a decision of the Styrian state government of October 11, 1988, the market town of Waltersdorf in Eastern Styria was renamed the market town of Bad Waltersdorf, which officially became a health resort. In the same year, the site was also redesigned, in which the old whip lights were replaced by new lanterns and the asphalt pavement in the center of the village was replaced by natural stone slabs.
Bad Waltersdorf is halfway between the district capital Hartberg and Fürstenfeld, in the middle of the Eastern Styrian hill country in the Safental, not far from the border with Burgenland.
The municipality includes the following ten localities (residents as of January 1, 2020):
Bad Waltersdorf (1065) with Buchgraben and Waltersdorfberg
Geier (223) with Harras, Schmiedböck, Vogelsang and Voitmann
Leitersdorf near Hartberg (556) with Buchgreith, Leitersdorfberg and Sauberg
Neustift near Sebersdorf (174)
Rohrbach near Waltersdorf (282) with Haller and Wagenhals
Sebersdorf (741) with Edelsberg, Großhaide, Sebersdorfberg, Steinfeld and Untermayerhofen
Wagerberg (460) with Hinterfeld, Sonntagsberg and Wagerberg
The community consists of the eight cadastral communities Hohenbrugg, Leitersdorf, Neustift, Oberlimbach, Rohrbach bei Waltersdorf, Sebersdorf, Wagerberg and Waltersdorf and covers 52.13 km².