Lower Austria

Lower Austria

Overview
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states
States of Austria
Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder . Since Land is also the German word for a country, the term Bundesländer is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms...

 in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. The capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten
Sankt Pölten
Sankt Pölten is the capital city of the State of Lower Austria in northeast Austria. With inhabitants , it is Lower Austria's largest city...

, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria. With a land area of 19,186 km² and a population of 1.612 million people, it is the largest state in Austria, and in terms of population second only to the federal state of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

Situated east of Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

, Lower Austria derives its name from its downriver location on the Danube River, which flows from west to east.
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Encyclopedia
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states
States of Austria
Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder . Since Land is also the German word for a country, the term Bundesländer is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms...

 in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. The capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten
Sankt Pölten
Sankt Pölten is the capital city of the State of Lower Austria in northeast Austria. With inhabitants , it is Lower Austria's largest city...

, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria. With a land area of 19,186 km² and a population of 1.612 million people, it is the largest state in Austria, and in terms of population second only to the federal state of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

Geography


Situated east of Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

, Lower Austria derives its name from its downriver location on the Danube River, which flows from west to east. The state borders on Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, the Czechia (South Moravia), and the other Austrian states of Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

, Styria
Styria (state)
Styria is a state or Bundesland, located in the southeast of Austria. In area it is the second largest of the nine Austrian federated states, covering 16,401 km². It borders Slovenia as well as the other Austrian states of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Burgenland, and Carinthia. ...

 and Burgenland
Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

. The state surrounds Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

Lower Austria is the largest state in Austria with an area of 19,186.26 square kilometres. It is divided four regions, known as Viertel (quarters):
  • Weinviertel
    Weinviertel
    The Weinviertel or Viertel unter dem Manhartsberg is located in the northeast of Lower Austria....

    or Tertiary Lowland (below the Manhartsberg
    Manhartsberg
    Manhartsberg is a low, flat-lying mountain ridge in Lower Austria. It rises to a maximum height of 537 m. It is the southeastern flank of the granite Bohemian massif....

    ),
  • Waldviertel
    Waldviertel
    The Waldviertel is the northwestern region of the Austrian state Lower Austria. It is bounded to the south by the Danube, to the southwest by Upper Austria, to the northwest and the north by the Czech Republic and to the east by the Manhartsberg , which is the survey point dividing Waldviertel...

    or Bohemian Plateau (above the Manhartsberg),
  • Mostviertel
    Mostviertel
    Mostviertel is the southwestern quarter of the four quarters of Lower Austria . It is bordered on the north by the Danube and to the south and west by the state borders of Styria and Upper Austria respectively...

    (above the Vienna Woods)
  • Industrieviertel
    Industrieviertel
    Industrieviertel , or Viertel unter dem Wienerwald, is the southeastern quarter of the four quarters of Lower Austria . It is bordered on the north by Vienna and to the west and south by the borders of Mostviertel and Styria respectively...

    (below the Vienna Woods).


These regions have different geographical structures. Whilst the Mostviertel is dominated by the foothills of the Limestone Alps
Limestone Alps
The Limestone Alps are the two mountain ranges, roughly long, which run parallel to the main mountain range of the Austrian Central Alps and to its north and south...

 with mountains up to high, most of the Waldviertel is a granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 plateau. The hilly Weinviertel lies to the northeast, descends to the plains of Marchfeld in the east of the state, and is separated by the Danube from the Vienna Basin
Vienna Basin
The Vienna Basin is a sedimentary basin between the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains...

 to the south, which in turn is separated from the Vienna Woods by a line of thermal springs (the Thermenlinie) running north to south.

Lower Austria has an international border, 414 km long, with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The state has the second longest external border of all Austrian states.

Mountains

  • Schneeberg (Klosterwappen; 2,076 m)
  • Rax
    Rax
    The Rax is a mountain range at the border of the Austrian federal provinces Lower Austria and Styria, situated in the Northern Limestone Alps....

     (Scheibwaldhöhe; 1,943 m; highest summit: Heukuppe; 2,007 m – Styria)
  • Ötscher
    Ötscher
    The Ötscher, at 1893 metres, is a prominent peak in south-western Lower Austria. Its name has slavic roots and translates approximately as a diminutive of "father". The Ötscher area belongs to the Ybbstal Alps, which are part of the Northern Limestone Alps. The boundary between the districts of...

     (1,893 m)
  • Dürrenstein (1,878 m)
  • Schneealpe (Ameisbühel; 1,828 m; highest summit: Windberg; 1,903 m – Styria)
  • Hochkar
    Hochkar
    Hochkar is a ski area located from Vienna. It is popular among skiers who want to leave Vienna for a day. It is about a two hour drive away.- Ski and snowboard facilities :...

     (1,808 m)
  • Gamsstein (1,774 m)
  • Stumpfmauer (1,770 m)
  • Göller (1,766 m)
  • Hochwechsel (1,743 m)
  • Gippel (1,669 m)
  • Großer Sonnleitstein (1,639 m)
  • Großer Zellerhut (1,639 m)
  • Gemeindealpe (1,626 m)
  • Drahtekogel (1,565 m)
  • Sonnwendstein (1,523 m)
  • Obersberg (1,467 m)
  • Königsberg (1,452 m)
  • Großer Sulzberg (1,400 m)
  • Reisalpe
    Reisalpe
    The Reisalpe is the highest mountain in the Gutenstein Alps and lies between Lilienfeld, Hohenberg and Kleinzell in Lower Austria. It is a popular destination, both for hikers in summer and also for ski mountaineering and snowshoe walks in winter, and is classed as relatively safe from...

     (1,399 m)
  • Gahns (1,380 m)
  • Tirolerkogel (1,377 m)
  • Türnitzer Höger (1,372 m)
  • Unterberg (1,342 m)
  • Traisenberg (1,230 m)
  • Dürre Wand
    Dürre Wand
    The Dürre Wand is a mountain ridge in Lower Austria and belongs topographically to the Gutenstein Alps. It runs from Miesenbach in a WSW direction to the Schneeberg....

     (1,222 m)
  • Hohenstein (1,195 m)
  • Eisenstein (1,185 m)
  • Hohe Wand
    Hohe Wand (mountain)
    The Hohe Wand is a mountain ridge in Lower Austria and is part of the Gutenstein Alps.The Hohe Wand lies west of Steinfeld in the Vienna Basin; its highest peak attains a height of 1,132 m.- General :...

     (1,132 m)
  • Großer Peilstein (1,061 m)
  • Weinsberg (1,041 m)
  • Hocheck (1,036 m)
  • Nebelstein (1,017 m)
  • Eibl (1,007 m)
  • Hohe Mandling (967 m)
  • Jauerling (961 m)
  • Anninger (675 m)
  • Buschberg (491 m)


Other mountains in Lower Austria may be found at :Category:Mountains of Lower Austria.

Alpine passes

  • Semmering (985 m)
  • Wechsel
    Wechsel Pass
    Wechsel Pass is a high mountain pass in the Austrian Alps, located between the Bundesländer of Lower Austria and Styria.Along with Semmering Pass, Wechsel Pass is one of the most important connections between Lower Austria and Styria...

     (980 m)


The state border with Styria runs over both passes.

Rivers


Almost all of Lower Austria is drained by the Danube. The only river that flows into the North Sea via the Moldau and the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 is the Lainsitz in northern Waldviertel.

The most important rivers north of the Danube (on its left banks) are the Ysper, Kamp, Krems
Krems (Lower Austria)
The Krems is a river in Waldviertel in northern Lower Austria. There are in reality two rivers: the "Große Krems" , meaning either the whole river system or the main river, while the smaller one is called the "Kleine Krems"...

, Lainsitz, March and Thaya
Thaya
The Thaya is a river in Central Europe, tributary to the Morava River. It is about 235 km long and meanders from west to east in the border area between Lower Austria and South Moravia , but does not exactly follow the border in most parts...

. South of the Danube (on its right banks) are the Enns, Ybbs
Ybbs
Ybbs is a river in Lower Austria, and in Austria also the common short form to designate the little town Ybbs an der Donau.Its source is located on the Zellerrain Pass near Mariazell...

, Erlauf, Melk, Pielach, Traisen, Schwechat, Fischa, Schwarza
Schwarza (Leitha)
The Schwarza is a river in Lower Austria. It is a headstream of the River Leitha.- Course :It rises on the saddle of Rohrer Sattel, flows through the Höllental gorge and the Schwarza valley. Near Haderswörth in the parish of Lanzenkirchen the Schwarza combines with the Pitten and is then called the...

, Triesting
Triesting
The Triesting is a river in the southeastern part of the Vienna Woods. It discharges into the smaller Schwechat at Achau and is part of the catchment area of the River Danube. It has a length of 60 km....

, Pitten and the Leitha.

Lakes

  • Ottenstein Reservoir (4.3 km²)
  • Lunzer See (0.69 km²)
  • Erlaufsee (0.56 km², of which about half lies in Lower Austria)
  • Erlauf Reservoir
  • Wienerwaldsee
    Wienerwaldsee
    The Wienerwaldsee is a shallow reservoir, located 20 kilometres west of Vienna, Austria.It is located just north of Austria's main motorway, the West Autobahn, between Tullnerbach and Neu-Purkersdorf. It was created over three years, 1895-1897, by damming the Wienfluss and letting it fill the...

     (0.32 km²)


Land use

Type of land use Area in km² Percent of
total area
Farmland 7,000 42
Woods 6,711 40
Grassland 1,750 11
Alpine pastures 300 1.7
Vineyards 315 1.9

History



The history of Lower Austria is very similar to the History of Austria
History of Austria
The history of Austria covers the history of the current country of Austria and predecessor states, from the Iron Age, through to a sovereign state, annexation by the German Third Reich, partition after the Second World War and later developments until the present day...

. Many castles are located in Lower Austria. Klosterneuburg Abbey, located here, is one of the oldest abbeys in Austria. Before World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Lower Austria had the largest number of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 in Austria.

Administrative divisions


Lower Austria is divided into four regions: Waldviertel
Waldviertel
The Waldviertel is the northwestern region of the Austrian state Lower Austria. It is bounded to the south by the Danube, to the southwest by Upper Austria, to the northwest and the north by the Czech Republic and to the east by the Manhartsberg , which is the survey point dividing Waldviertel...

, Mostviertel
Mostviertel
Mostviertel is the southwestern quarter of the four quarters of Lower Austria . It is bordered on the north by the Danube and to the south and west by the state borders of Styria and Upper Austria respectively...

, Industrieviertel
Industrieviertel
Industrieviertel , or Viertel unter dem Wienerwald, is the southeastern quarter of the four quarters of Lower Austria . It is bordered on the north by Vienna and to the west and south by the borders of Mostviertel and Styria respectively...

, and Weinviertel
Weinviertel
The Weinviertel or Viertel unter dem Manhartsberg is located in the northeast of Lower Austria....

. The Wachau
Wachau
The Wachau is an Austrian valley with a picturesque landscape formed by the Danube river. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Lower Austria, located midway between the towns of Melk and Krems that also attracts "connoisseurs and epicureans". It is in length and was already...

 valley, situated between Melk
Melk
Melk is a city of Austria, in the federal state of Lower Austria, next to the Wachau valley along the Danube. Melk has a population of 5,222 ....

 and Krems in the Mostviertel
Mostviertel
Mostviertel is the southwestern quarter of the four quarters of Lower Austria . It is bordered on the north by the Danube and to the south and west by the state borders of Styria and Upper Austria respectively...

 region, is famous for its landscape, culture, and wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

.

Administratively, the state is divided into 21 districts (Bezirk
Bezirk
Bezirk means "district" in German and can refer to:* The primary Subdivisions of East Germany from 1952* The districts of Austria* Some of the Districts of Switzerland...

e
), and four independent towns (Statutarstädte). In total, there are 573 municipalities within Lower Austria.


Independent towns

  • Krems
  • Sankt Pölten
    Sankt Pölten
    Sankt Pölten is the capital city of the State of Lower Austria in northeast Austria. With inhabitants , it is Lower Austria's largest city...

  • Waidhofen an der Ybbs
    Waidhofen an der Ybbs
    Waidhofen an der Ybbs is an independent city in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. The city had a population of 11,662 as of the 2001 census...

  • Wiener Neustadt
    Wiener Neustadt
    -Main sights:* The Late-Romanesque Dom, consecrated in 1279 and cathedral from 1469 to 1785. The choir and transept, in Gothic style, are from the 14th century. In the late 15th century 12 statues of the Apostles were added in the apse, while the bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl is attributed to...


Districts

  • Amstetten
    Amstetten (district)
    Bezirk Amstetten is a district of the state ofLower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Towns are indicated in boldface; market towns in italics; suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.*Allhartsberg**Angerholz, Kröllendorf, Kühberg, Maierhofen,...

  • Baden
  • Bruck an der Leitha
    Bruck an der Leitha (district)
    Bezirk Bruck an der Leitha is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Towns are indicated in boldface; market towns in italics; suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Au am Leithaberge* Bad Deutsch-Altenburg* Berg*...

  • Gänserndorf
    Gänserndorf (district)
    Bezirk Gänserndorf is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Towns are indicated in boldface; market towns in italics; suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.*Aderklaa*Andlersdorf*Angern an der March**Angern an der...

  • Gmünd
    Gmünd (district)
    Bezirk Gmünd is a district of the state ofLower Austria in Austria. It is located in northwestern Waldviertel.-Municipalities:Towns are indicated in boldface; market towns in italics; suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small...

  • Hollabrunn
    Hollabrunn (district)
    Bezirk Hollabrunn is a district of the state ofLower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Towns are indicated in boldface; market towns in italics; suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Alberndorf im Pulkautal* Göllersdorf** Bergau,...

  • Horn
    Horn (district)
    Bezirk Horn is a district of the state ofLower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Towns are indicated in boldface; market towns in italics; suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.*Altenburg**Altenburg, Burgerwiesen, Fuglau, Mahrersdorf,...

  • Korneuburg
    Korneuburg (district)
    The political district Bezirk Korneuburg is located in Lower Austria and borders Vienna to the north.- Communities :*Bisamberg**Bisamberg*Enzersfeld**Enzersfeld, Königsbrunn*Ernstbrunn...

  • Krems-Land
    Krems-Land
    Bezirk Krems-Land is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria. It comprises the areas to the West and North of the city Krems an der Donau, which itself is a statutory city.-Municipalities:...

  • Lilienfeld
    Lilienfeld (district)
    Bezirk Lilienfeld is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.- Municipalities :* Annaberg** Annarotte, Haupttürnitzrotte, Langseitenrotte, Lassingrotte* Eschenau** Eschenau, Laimergraben, Rotheau, Sonnleitgraben, Steubach, Wehrabach...

  • Melk
    Melk (district)
    Bezirk Melk is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.*Artstetten-Pöbring...

  • Mistelbach
    Mistelbach (district)
    Bezirk Mistelbach is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.*Altlichtenwarth*Asparn an der Zaya...

  • Mödling
    Mödling (district)
    Bezirk Mödling is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Achau* Biedermannsdorf* Breitenfurt bei Wien* Brunn am Gebirge...

  • Neunkirchen
    Neunkirchen (Austrian district)
    Bezirk Neunkirchen is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria. It is located at the south-east of the state.-Municipalities:*Altendorf*Aspang-Markt*Aspangberg-Sankt Peter*Breitenau*Breitenstein*Buchbach*Bürg-Vöstenhof*Edlitz...

  • St. Pölten-Land
  • Scheibbs
    Scheibbs (district)
    Bezirk Scheibbs is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Gaming...

  • Tulln
    Tulln (district)
    Bezirk Tulln is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Absdorf** Absberg* Atzenbrugg...

  • Waidhofen an der Thaya
    Waidhofen an der Thaya (district)
    Bezirk Waidhofen an der Thaya is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Dietmanns** Alt-Dietmanns, Neu-Dietmanns* Dobersberg...

  • Wiener Neustadt-Land
    Wiener Neustadt-Land
    Bezirk Wiener Neustadt-Land is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.-Municipalities:Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Bad Erlach**Brunn bei Pitten, Erlach, Linsberg...

  • Wien-Umgebung
    Wien-Umgebung
    Bezirk Wien-Umgebung is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria. The district comprises four non-contiguous districts on the outer fringes of Vienna: these are Klosterneuburg and Gerasdorf to the north of the city, Schwechat to its south-east and Purkersdorf on Vienna's western...

  • Zwettl
    Zwettl (district)
    Bezirk Zwettl is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.- Municipalities :Suburbs, hamlets and other subdivisions of a municipality are indicated in small characters.* Allentsteig** Allentsteig, Bernschlag, Reinsbach, Thaua, Zwinzen...


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