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Winegrowers’ towns & villages

Storybook Holiday

Krems-Stein

The double-town of Krems-Stein is always worthwhile a visit. This town is the ideal venue for an afternoon stroll – its carefully restored baroque houses, its historic facades and frescos, its hidden backyards, narrow alleys and old churches make Krems-Stein a more than rewarding destination. Cosy coffee houses and romantic open-air restaurants invite you to enjoy local specialities. Among the town’s highlights, visitors will particularly enjoy the parish church, the Steiner Gate, the Holy Trinity Column, the Church of the Minorites and the former Dominican Church (now the Weinstadt museum).

Krems an der Donau

Dürnstein & Loiben

The medieval town of Dürnstein and the winegrowers’ villages of Oberloiben and Unterloiben belong to the most romantic spots along the Danube river. Dürnstein invites visitors to stroll between narrow winding alleys, old winegrowers’ houses and buildings from the Baroque and Renaissance period. The impressive ruins of the castle perch high above the little old town, which is completely surrounded by a strong city wall reaching to the banks of the Danube. Further sights of particular interest are the Church of St. Kunigunde and the ossuary on the local cemetery. The French War Memorial between Dürnstein and Loiben commemorates the decisive battle near Loiben in 1805, in which Austrian troops and their Russian allies defeated the French for the first time. The interested visitors will still discover cannonballs in the façades of old winegrowers’ houses in Loiben. The Loiben Mountain and other steeply terraced vineyards, belonging to some of the most famous winegrowers of this region, are further attractions to be visited.

Each Thursday at 5.30 p.m., visitors can take a guided tour of Dürnstein and the convent, followed by a glass of good local wine and a trip with a local train across the Loiben Mountain.

Dürnstein in der Wachau

  • Dürnstein in der Wachau
  • Melk an der Donau
  • Schloss Schönbühel
  • Spitz an der Donau

Weißenkirchen

Weissenkirchen is the biggest winegrowing community of the Wachau and represents the perfect blend of cultural diversity and local folklore traditions. The impressive fortified church dominates this lovely place with its picturesque alleys, historic houses and magnificent farm buildings. The Teisenhoferhof, housing the Museum of the Wachau, represents the cultural centre of Weissenkirchen. It displays works by the most significant painters of the Wachau as well as exhibits of local folk-art and folklore..

Weißenkirchen in der Wachau

Joching & Wösendorf

These exemplary winegrowers’ towns with their romantically winding, narrow alleys are the birthplace of the famous local vintage grape, the Riesling. The significance of these towns is omnipresent in their lovely old houses, charming old farm buildings and the small parish church.

St. Michael

This sleepy little hamlet with its few houses and the oldest church in the Wachau is often considered the original parish of this region. Many a legend has been told about the so-called ‚7 rabbits’ on the ridge of the church’s roof, whose meaning remains an unsolved riddle. The organ of this fortified church is one of the most beautiful and one of the smallest organs in Austria and has already enchanted many visitors in church concerts during summer.

  • Krems an der Donau
  • Krems/Stein
  • Altstadt von Melk
  • Spitz an der Donau

Spitz

This old winegrowers’ town with its historic structures and the Gothic church with its three naves was erected around the so-called ‚Thousand Buckets Mountain’. In vintage years, this legendary mountain is said to provide the local winegrowers with 1000 buckets (35,000 litres) of wine. Formerly considered the most important commercial centre of the Wachau, Spitz nowadays boasts sights in abundance: the Navigation Museum, the ruins of Hinterhaus, the old Gothic town hall and the Red Gate are probably the most impressive.

Spitz in der Wachau

Aggsbach & Willendorf

This charming village is set on the Danube shore of the Northern Wachau and at the foot of the Jauerling mountain. It is best known as the place where the famous ‚Venus of Willendorf’ was found. This fertility sculpture, which measures about 11 centimetres in height, is one of the most significant archaeological objects ever found on Austrian territory. The original statuette of a nude and faceless woman with pronounced female forms is now on display in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. An enlarged reproduction of the original can be seen at the place where it was found. You will find further interesting details in the Museum of the Stone Age.

Emmersdorf

Emmersdorf is situated right opposite the imposing Abbey of Melk, at the ‚gate’ to the Wachau. The castle’s church, the Gothic parish church and the Chapel of St. Magdalena with its surrounding old houses are of particular interest for the visitor.

Melk

Due to its special setting on the banks of the Danube, Melk – the so-called ‚gate’ to the Wachau – is of great significance. It is set exactly on the transition point where the legendary province of the Nibelungen ends and the famous region of the Wachau begins. With the dominating Baroque abbey towering above, Melk is a place full of treasures of art history. The ‚Old Post Office’, the town’s towers, the charming alley ‚Sterngasse’ and the historic houses are evidence of this town’s impressive history.

Melk

Schönbühel-Aggsbach

Situated on the right bank of the Danube in the Dunkelstein forest, this region offers a wide range of excursion possibilities. Among the many interesting sights to see, visitors will find the ruins of the Aggstein castle – the castle of the Kuenringer ‚robber barons’ – the most impressive. For those who are interested in cultural history, this region offers the idyllic castle of Schönbühel (privately owned), the monastery of Schönbühel and the former Carthusian monastery in Aggsbach with its museum. In the near vicinity, there are two significant pilgrimage churches, Maria Langegg and Maria Mauer. While the latter impresses with its hand-carved Gothic winged altar-piece, the church of Maria Langegg offers its impressive structure and a treasury.

Schönbühel

Mautern

Mautern is situated on the right bank of the Danube in the Eastern Wachau, few kilometres from Krems. Visiting Mautern is like a ‚walk through the period of the Romans’. It offers the most impressive remains of a Roman fortification in Austria. The Roman Museum, located in the former granary of the castle, displays an awe-inspiring collection of archaeological objects found in this region. You will also enjoy visiting the parish church with its Baroque touches and paintings of the Way of the Cross by M.J. Schmidt.

Mautern


Art & Culture in the Wachau