Cultural landscape of Wachau, Austria

Wachau sights

Wachau Valley Gottweig Monastery Gustav Klimt Route Kuenringer Castle Weissenkirchen village in der Wachau Dürnstein Fortress Marie-Himmelfart Church Spitz commune

This site compiles Wachau sights – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Wachau, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Wachau.

Wachau Valley

The Wachau Valley (photo)

The Wachau Valley is a picturesque and environmentally friendly place in Lower Austria and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Wachau Valley stretches for 30 kilometers along the Danube River between Melk and Krems. Travelling through the valley is one of the most popular routes among tourists. There is a lot to see here. In Durnstein Castle Duke Leopold V held captive Richard the Lionheart, King of England. The famous abbey is also located here. Passing through the valley, you can see the turrets of castles, small villages, with unhurried inhabitants and, of course, vineyards. The Wachau Valley is the most fertile place, which gave the world the most expensive dry wine of Austria – Rieslings, as well as Gruner Veltliners. It is also home to one of the most famous castles in Austria, Schallaburg.

Coordinates: 48.33662500,15.47419200

Gettweig Monastery

Gettweig Monastery (photo)

Gottweig Abbey stands on the banks of the Danube in the Wachau Valley, 422 meters above sea level. At 5 km from the monastery is the town of Krems.

The Gettweig monastery was founded in the 11th century: In 1072 the altar was consecrated and 11 years later the monastery began to function. The first monks belonged to the Augustinian order. However, there were certain problems within the monastic brethren. To improve discipline, Ulrich Passau, bishop of the Abbey of St Blaise in the Black Forest, arrived in Gettweig in 1094. He proposed the adoption of the Benedictine charter, which was done with the permission of Pope Urban II. The monastery began to grow, a library was opened and a monastic seminary was built. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the abbey’s popularity declined due to the spread of Protestantism, which naturally led to its impoverishment. In 1580 a fire broke out within its walls, which managed to stop. In 1718, however, a major fire almost completely destroyed the monastery complex.

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Abbot Johannes Bessel began to restore Gettweig with great zeal. The court architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt played a major role in rebuilding the monastery. The huge, rebuilt building is magnificent and monumental. The magnificent Baroque decoration of the monastery’s interior, the ornate chandeliers, Paul Troger’s frescoes, and one of the largest and most beautiful Baroque stairways in Europe-all of these have survived to this day and are open to the public.

Today about 40 monks live in the monastery permanently. Cultural events and exhibitions are held here. Visitors can also taste the monastery’s wine. In 2001, the monastery was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And in 2006 its image was minted on a small series of commemorative Austrian coins.

Coordinates : 48.36771700,15.61346600

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Gustav Klimt’s Way

Gustav Klimt's Way (photo)

The Gustav Klimt Trail is a very popular itinerary that takes you to the places where the famous modernist painter created his paintings. Along its length installed information boards, which describe the history of the creation of many masterpieces, as well as copies of paintings themselves. The beginning of the route is the stands in the form of columns, which are located on the waterfront of Lake Attersee. There is information about the life of the artist in several languages, as well as historical photos that show the area at the time of Gustav Klimt.

You can walk this trail with or without a guide. The length of the route is 1 kilometer, during the tour you have to climb to a height of 460 meters. The route includes a visit to the villas Paulic and Oleander, as well as the old castle, where the artist often painted his pictures. You can walk in the footsteps of Gustav Klimt from the beginning of May to the end of September, at other times of the year the route is closed.

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Coordinates: 47.95019200,13.58292400

In photo mode, you can view the sights in Wachau by photo only.

Kuenringer Castle

Kuenringer Castle in Wachau (photo)

The ruins of Kuenringer Castle rise on the cliffs along the Danube. It was once the majestic citadel where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned (1192). The castle was built in the 12th century by Albero Quenring and served his family for 500 years. During that time no one managed to seize it, and even during the Great Siege, led by Frederick III, it held out. But after the Swedish attack in the XVIII century the castle was destroyed almost to the ground.

These ruins are very popular with tourists, many trails pass through them. During the ascent to the rock where the ruins are located, there is a beautiful view of the Danube and the entire valley. On top you can see the remains of the castle, and from afar you can see part of the defensive wall and fragments of the towers. The central part of the castle, several walls, fireplaces and staircases are also preserved. The trip from the foot of the rock to the ruins takes about 30 minutes. It’s a must-see!

Coordinates: 48.39769800,15.52186800

Weissenkirchen village in der Wachau

The village of Weissenkirchen-in der Wachau (photo)

Weissenkirchen-in der Wachau is a wine village that is located in one of the most beautiful regions of Austria, Wachau. It is famous for its fine white wine, which is made in the local wineries.

Only about one and a half thousand people live in the village, but about 20 thousand tourists come here every year. In Weissenkirchen you can visit the Wachau Museum, which contains paintings as well as everyday and holiday clothes of the locals. Another interesting place to visit is the fourteenth-century Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, made in a mixture of Baroque and Gothic styles. If you like long walks you can go upstream of the Danube where you will find the church-fortress of St. Michael, dating back to the IX century.

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The village, whose name literally means “white kitchen” is not a place where you can blend in with the peaceful lifestyle of the locals. It’s popular for beach activities, water paddling, hiking, biking, golf and tennis.

Coordinates : 48.38333300,15.46666700

Dürnstein Fortress

Durnstein castle in Wachau (photo)

Dürnstein Fortress is located in the heart of the Wachau Valley, on the banks of the Danube. It was built in 1130-1140, and at the end of the twelfth century the English King Richard the Lionheart was held within the castle walls.

Almost two centuries later, in 1330, the Order of St. Clare founded a church here. Since that time the village of Dürnstein gradually developed into a city, the monastery of the Order of St. Augustine was built, and the city walls were laid. The building of the Gothic monastery, built in the XV century, in the XVIII century was rebuilt in the Baroque style, designed by architect Joseph Mangenast. In the XVIII century the monastery was dissolved by order of Emperor Joseph II.

Today the village of Dürnstein is one of the most popular tourist spots. Here the foundation and walls of the very castle in which Richard the Lionheart sat are still preserved. The restored monastery is open for tours. And at the beginning of April the peach trees blossom here, spreading fragrance all around. Dürnstein is also famous for its wine.

Coordinates: 48.39782400,15.52193100

Marie Himmelfart Church

Marie-Himmelfart Church in Wachau (photo)

In the German town of Dürnstein there is an ensemble of medieval and Baroque buildings.

Baroque. Looking into the town from the river, against the background of the wooded rocky mountain with the ruins of the castle, a blue-and-white clock tower with rich stucco decorations catches your eye. It is the tower of the parish church of Marie Himmelfart, which has become a symbol of the city. This beautiful Baroque example is the architectural dominant feature of the Augustinian canons’ monastery ensemble. Architects J. Mungenast, J. Prandtauer and M. Steinl took part in its creation.

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The interior decoration of Marie Himmelfart Church is radically different from the white and blue facade. The church is rich not only in decorative architectural elements, but also in the greatest spiritual and cultural-historical heritage. There are unique works of art on religious themes. The church is small in appearance and can hold a sufficient number of parishioners. The walls are painted white inside, which makes it unusually bright, light and heavenly.

Coordinates: 48.40162800,15.51919200

The municipality of Spitz

Municipality of Spitz (photo)

The town of Spitz is a fair municipality in Wachau, Lower Austria. Its history goes back to 830, when historians recorded the first mention in the annals. Its area is 23.83 kilometers square and is home to about one and a half thousand local residents. On the territory of the fair is the parish church of St. Mauritius, the hill Tausendeimerberg, the Lower Castle, the ruins of the castle Hinterhaus and much more.

The parish church has preserved its medieval building to this day. It is located in the eastern part of the municipality and is representative of late Gothic. On the Tausendeimerberg hill one of the largest vineyards is situated, which is why it is named accordingly. The lower castle is a two-storey building, the east front of which is quite curved. In the fairgrounds of the municipality there are many historical sites that every visitor must see, as they are steeped in the history of Spitz.

Coordinates: 48.36175600,15.41584100

The most popular attractions in Wachau with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Wachau on our website.

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