Linz

Overview

Introduction

Linz, Austria, is set on the Danube River 95 mi/150 km west of Vienna, and this ancient industrial city is a nice place to spend the day. Some historic figures who spent time in Linz include Napoleon, medieval astronomer Johannes Kepler, and composers Beethoven, Bruckner and Mozart. The Scheissl brothers built the first all-metal airplane there, and Europe's first railway line started in Linz, as well (it connected the city to Ceske Budejovice, which is now part of the Czech Republic).

Some of the sights to see in Linz include the 16th-century Landhaus (seat of the provincial government), Schloss Linz (castle and museum), Martinskirche, which is Austria's oldest church, and Main Square (note the marble Trinity Column). Neuer Dom, a neo-Gothic cathedral with the second highest church spire in Austria, and the Stadtpfarrfirche (parish church) are also must-sees. The Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, located by the river, is a modern and contemporary art museum with impressive works by Picasso, Matisse and others. A more unusual museum to visit is the Museum of the History of Dentistry in Upper Austria.

For those intending to visit many of the main attractions, a Linz City Ticket is a good value. It includes admission to museums, the city zoo and the botanical gardens, and can be purchased at the tourist center or at most hotels and museums.

You can also browse for antiques, stroll through the old part of town, visit the nice botanical gardens, shop on the pedestrian-only Landstrasse or take a ride to the top of Postlingberg mountain via a funicular railway. Once there, you can visit the twin-spired Pilgrimage Church and the amusing Grotto Railway (a dragon-headed train located inside a historic tower).

Don't forget to try the well-known local pastry, the raspberry-and-almond Linzer torte. If you have time, visit the baroque Florian Abbey in St. Florian and the Cistercian Abbey in Wilhering, with its rococo church. The ancient towns of Enns and Steyr are also nearby.

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