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Linz is the third largest city in Austria with 191,100 inhabitants, is the capital of the federal province of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich) and forms the heart of Austria´s second strongest economic region. Linz is by the Danube (Donau) river. The tourist slogan of the city is "In Linz beginnt's" ("It starts in Linz").
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Points of Interest in Linz
When strolling through the heart of the city, one can literally sense its history. The lanes of the old town, which lies directly at the foot of the castle, communicate the feeling of past ages. Splendid town residences and chapter houses are worthy of closer scrutiny, as are the many inner courtyards hidden discretely behind arched gates. Moreover, the spacious, baroque main square with its lively hustle and bustle is never far away.
Linz is also a city of churches. With its 134m tower and space for 20,000 people, the New Cathedral is Austria´s largest church. In addition, the city landmark, the pilgrimage basilica on the Pöstlingberg, is also clearly in view. A symbol of Linz is the Lentos Museum of modern art, which has a striking glass façade that is illuminated at night with alternating colours.
Churches and chapels
- New Cathedral (Mariendom), Herrenstraße 26, ☎ +43 732 946100, e-mail: email@example.com. Jun-Sep: Tu-Su 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00; Oct-May: Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00. The construction of the neo-Gothic cathedral was already initiated in 1855 by F.J. Rudiger, then Bishop of Linz, and the foundation stone was laid in 1862. The building was designed by the Cologne cathedral builder Vinzenz Statz. The cathedral was consecrated in 1924. The height of the tower was limited to 134m (as it was not permitted to surpass St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna). The cathedral can accommodate 20,000 worshippers and is also notable for its stained glass windows, including the famous Linz Window with scenes from the history of Linz (left front). At Christmas the crypt church contains one of the largest nativity scenes, measuring 12m in length.
- Old Cathedral (Alter Dom), Domgasse 3, ☎ +43 732 7708660, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:00-12:00. Designed according to drawings by Pietro Francesco Carlone, the cathedral was built between 1669 and 1678. It was the cathedral church of the diocese of Linz from 1785-1909. The single-nave Baroque church has lateral chapels and galleries, as well as a closed choir and stucco work by J.P. Spaz and G.B. Mazza. The marble high altar is by Colomba and Barberini with a picture by Antonio Bellucci. The Aloisian altar picture is by Bartolomeo Altomonte. The choir pews originate from the former monastery church in Garsten, while the organ by Franz Xaver Krismann derives from Engelzell monastery. From 1856-1868 Anton Bruckner served as the cathedral organist.
- Pöstlingbergkirche (Wallfahrtsbasilika), Am Pöstlingberg 1, ☎ +43 732 7312280. Daily 08:00-18:00. This pilgrimage church, dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary and perched high above the roofs of the city, is the landmark of the Upper Austrian capital. It was built in 1748 according to plans by Matthias Krinner. The church is popular for weddings because of the unique location.
- St Martin's Church (Martinskirche), Römerstraße/Martinsgasse. This is regarded as the oldest original church still in existence in Austria. It was first documented in 799. A rectangular building that is no longer visible, partially extending into the nave, probably dates from the Agilofingian period (before 788). During the Carolingian period (after 788), the central structure was erected using debris from Roman buildings. This can be seen on both the inside and outside, while the ground plan is marked by stone slabs. The building was redesigned as a bay church in the 11th century and the pillar arches were filled in. There are Romanesque and Gothic door and window arches dating from later alterations. Inside the building, Roman stone inscriptions and a furnace can be seen. The first bay contains a copy of the Volto-Santo picture by Lucca (around 1440). The interior of the church can be viewed through a glass door. Entrance into the church is only permitted with a tourist guide.
- Trinity Column (Dreifaltigkeitssäule/Pestsäule), Hauptplatz (in the centre of the square). One of Austria's most attractive closed squares, there stands the 20m-high Baroque Trinity Column (completed in 1723). Carved in white marble by Sebastian Stumpfegger according to a model from Antono Beduzzi, the column bears three inscriptions. These announce the dedication of the column to the Holy Trinity by the guilds, the Emperor and the people of Linz in gratitude for deliverance from the dangers of war (1704), fire (1712) and plague (1713). The column is flanked by the patron saints Sebastian, Florian and Carlo Borromeo.
- Linz Castle (Linzer Schloß / Schlossmuseum Linz), Schlossberg 1, ☎ +43 732 77 44 19, fax: +43 732 774419 29, e-mail: email@example.com. T W F 09:00-18:00, Th 09:00-21:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-17:00. The Linz Castle is first documented in 799. It was entirely rebuilt in 1477 by Emperor Friedrich III, and there are partial remains of the defensive walls, the bastions and the west entrance (Friedrichstor). The latter is adorned by a stone coat-of-arms (1481) bearing the inscription "AEIOU" ("The whole world is subject to Austria") and the imperial initials. Around 1600, during the rule of Rudolph II, the castle was redesigned and expanded according to plans by the Dutch master builder Anton Muys. The powerful four-story block with two inner courtyards and the main gate to the city (Rudolfstor 1604) date from this time. During the Napoleonic wars the building served as a military hospital, and it was here that the great city fire of 1800 broke out (destruction of the south wing and a part of the transept). Beginning in 1811, the remaining buildings were used as the provincial prison and from 1851 until 1945 as a barracks.
- Bishop's Residence (Bischofshof), Herrenstraße 19. The bishop's residence is the most important secular Baroque building in the city. Commissioned by Kremsmünster Monastery (1721–26), it was built by Michael Pruckmayr according to plans by Jakob Prandtauer, who was also responsible for the monasteries in Melk and St. Florian. The impressive lattice gate on the staircase is by Valentin Hoffmann (1727).
Museums and galleries
- Lentos Museum of Art (Lentos Kunstmuseum), Ernst-Koref-Promenade 1, ☎ +43 732 7070 3600, fax: +43 732 7070 3604, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu W, F-Su 10:00-18:00; Th 10:00-21:00. Houses a large collection focusing on modern art, with representative works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka, as well as current contemporary art. €8 (adults), €6 (seniors), €4.50 (students), free (children under 7).
- Ars Electronica Center, Ars-Electronica-Straße 1, ☎ +43 732 7272 0, e-mail: email@example.com. T W 09:00-17:00, Th 09:00-21:00, F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-18:00. This cutting-edge museum serves as a venue for art which explores the creative potential of the latest technology. €8 (adults), €6 (concessions), free (children under 6).
- Provincial Gallery of Linz (Landesgalerie Linz), Museumstraße 14, ☎ +43 732 774482 0, fax: +43 732 774482 66, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. T W 09:00-18:00, Th 09:00-21:00, F 09:00-18:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-17:00. The museum has a large collection of modern and contemporary art, with rotating special exhibits of works by Upper Austrians. €6.50 (adults), €4.50 (concessions).
- Nordico Museum of the City of Linz (Nordico Stadtmuseum Linz), Dametzstraße 23, ☎ +43 732 7070 1912, e-mail: email@example.com. T W 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-21:00, F-Su 10:00-18:00. This former monastery now houses the civic museum, with rotating exhibits focused on regional history and ecology. €6.50 (adults), €4.50 (seniors), €2.50 (students under 27/civil servants), free (children under 7).
- LinzGenesis (City History in Fast Motion), Hauptplatz 1 (Old City Hall, entrance near Rathausgasse), ☎ +43 732 7070 1920, fax: +43 732 793518, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-W 09:00-13:00; Th F 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00. A branch of the Nordico Museum with displays dedicated to the history of Linz and its famous residents. Free.
- Museum of the History of Dentistry in Upper Austria (Linzer Museum für Geschichte der Zahnheilkunde und Zahntechnik), Hauptplatz 1 (Old City Hall, entrance near Pfarrgasse), ☎ +43 732 7070 1920, fax: +43 732 793518, e-mail: email@example.com. M-W 09:00-13:00; Th F 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00. A one-room museum dedicated to the history of dentistry, from the 17th century until the present. Free.
- StifterHaus (Upper Austrian Literature Museum), Adalbert-Stifter-Platz 1, ☎ +43 732 7720 11294, fax: +43 732 7720 11780, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su and holidays 10:00-15:00. The 19th-century Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter lived in this house for many years. It is now a museum devoted to Austrian literature, with exhibits of manuscripts and multimedia. Free.
- The O.K. Center for Contemporary Art (Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich), OK-Platz 1, ☎ +43 732 784178 0, fax: +43 732 775684, e-mail: email@example.com. M-F 16:00-22:00, Sa Su 11:00-22:00. Hosts contemporary art exhibits and festivals, with a focus on installation and multimedia art. €10 (adults), €7 (seniors/disabled), €5 (children/students/military/youth under 27), free (children under 6).
- Biology Center Dornach (Biologiezentrum Dornach), Johann-Wilhelm-Klein-Straße 73 (near Johannes Kepler University), ☎ +43 7720 52100, fax: +43 7720 252199, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-17:00, Su and holidays 10:00-17:00; guided tours on Su at 14:00. Has science exhibits with a focus on botany and zoology. Free.
- Military History Collection in Ebelsberg Castle, Ebelsberger Schlossweg 7, ☎ +43 732 307632, fax: +43 732 307632 6, e-mail: email@example.com. May-Oct Sa Su and holidays 10:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00. Exhibits a large collection of historic firearms, as well as items from the former Austrian Imperial Navy. €4 (adults), €3 (concessions).
- Customs and Finance Collection (Zoll- und Finanzgeschichte), ☎ +43 732/7605-2453, fax: +43 732/7605-2668. Exhibits historic tools of the trade as well as confiscated items.
- Tax and Revenue Office Urfahr, Kaarstraße 21. M-F 07:30-12:00 by appt only.
- Provincial Department of Taxes, Zollamtstraße 7. M-F 07:00-3:00 by appt only.
Linz has established an international reputation due to its extensive cultural life. You can visit the "culture mile" along the Danube, which stretches from the Brucknerhaus concert hall and the Lentos art museum and the Ars Electronica Center on the northern bank of the river. Linz also possesses a number of stage companies, which offer something for everybody in the form of a range of evening entertainment that extends from classic opera to modern dance theatre.
From June to August the Linz cultural summer features cabaret, open-air concerts and theatre on virtually daily basis at venues that are as varied as the programme itself. These include the bars and squares of the inner city, as well as the romantic Rose Garden high above the rooftops. Moreover, throughout the year, the "Posthof" features "contemporary culture at the harbour" with national and international performers.
- Kulturzentrum Hof.
- Haus der Architektur.
Linz is an industrial city (with huge steel and chemical works) on the Danube, about half way between Salzburg and Vienna. The city had its ups and downs: In the old times, Linz was a border post of the Roman Empire. In the middle ages, it was a budy town with crafts and trading, mainly profiting from its geographic location on the Danube River, and having one of the few permanent bridges. Then its fate turned badly: A well-known dictator (Adolf Hitler), who was born in Braunau some two hours away, choose Linz to become the "City of the Führer." Besides some buildings and the main bridge built by war captives, he was mainly interested in the huge chemical and metal industry: What is now VOEST was the "Hermann Göring Werke", and what is now the Chemiepark Linz was the infamous "IG Farben".
In World War II, the city was heavily bombed - and was one of the few cities of Nazi Germany that escaped total destruction. The boom in the fifties served as an economic booster, but made Linz a city with somehow the worst air quality of Austria. After the industrial transformation in the late 80s and 90s, the importance of industry considerably declined. What remains, is the image of a "Steel City", and Linz used this image.
Consequently, Linz does not have a sizable "Altstadt" (old town) it may be disappointing to those tourists familiar with the charm of Graz or Salzburg. Linz is primarily a student and industrial town and while not particularly beautiful, is more representative of a "real" Austrian city vs. the almost fairy tale like quality of Salzburg.
Instead, Linz focuses on contemporary items: Museums, architecture and art. The city gets a lot of international media attention because of its annual Ars Electronica Festival ; an international festival for Electronic Art. It also hosts the "Klangwolke" ("sound-cloud"); a big cultural Open-Air spectacle with modern and traditional music and a massive light show, which is held in September. Linz has become the "European Capital of Culture" in 2009, by virtue of an independent cultural development and an innovative culture and art scene.
- Tourist Information Linz, Hauptplatz 1, ☎ +43 732 7070 2009, fax: +43 732 7070 54 2009, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. May-Sep: M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa Su holidays 10:00-19:00; Oct-Apr M-Sa 09:00-17:00, Su hoildays 10:00-17:00.
There are lots of things to do in Linz. Here are a few possibilities:
Old Town Walking Tour, .
- Pöstlingberg tram. The historic "Pöstlingbergbahn", Europe’s steepest mountain railway, is not operating any more. The renovated Pöstlingberg tramway is currently in operation and makes runs from Hauptplatz through Urfahr and through the neighborhoods up the Pöstlingberg its self. Additionally, you can take Bus No. 50 from Hauptplatz (main square) to the top of Pöstlingberg.
- The Grotto Railway. Located in fortifications built by emperor Maximilian. Riding on the "dragon express", a mini-train in the shape of the mythological beast, the visitor travels through a brightly lit landscape of fairy tale scenes. A 1:7 scale model of the Linz "Hauptplatz" at the turn of the century is situated in the cellar of the citadel’s tower. In the side passages, there are depictions of episodes from famous fairy tales. Lift for handicapped visitors!
- Linz Zoo. Over 800 animals await you on your visit to the local and exotic fauna. There are cuddly animals to hold, a selected collection of mammals (llamas, pygmy cows, sheep, goats.), a variety of birds (parrots, ostriches.) and reptiles (crocodiles, iguanas, snakes.). They are all to be found at the zoo, which is located half-way up the Pöstlingberg. As an excursion destination the children’s zoo is always popular with the little ones.
- Wallfahrtsbasilika. This pilgrimage church, dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary and perched high above the roofs of the city, is the landmark of the Upper Austrian capital. It was built in 1748 according to plans by Matthias Krinner. The church is popular for weddings because of the unique location.
- Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens on the "Gugl" are among the most beautiful in Europe. Over an area of 43,000 m², there are more than 8,000 various types of plants to admire. In the five greenhouses the splendour of exotic specimens predominates the garden’s unique collection of cacti, the finest in Europe. The natural conditions allow the exhibited plants to be grouped in complete landscapes, so that visitors can imagine they are in the middle of the plant’s natural habitat.
Special shows and exhibitions throughout the year present special attractions. The bus number 27 goes straight to the Botanical Gardens every 15 minutes from Taubenmarkt station, on foot you need about 30 minutes.
- City Express. Touristy fun little train that takes you around downtown. Good chance to get off your feet and warm up in the winter.
- Danube. The cultural town Linz~Danube is the ideal starting point for a ship tour. Everyone will find his individual ship adventure in the large variety of cruise line offers. Whether you are looking for a round trip, a scheduled tour or a cruise for a special occasion, e.g. Christmas party on the Danube, your captain and his crew is already waiting for you on board of the ship.
- Donauschiffahrt Wurm und Köck
- Donauschifffahrt Schaurecker
- ÖGEG: Dampfschiff Schönbrunn
- Donau Touristik
Linz is a synonym for variety that is found at open air events, in bars and restaurants and in the theatre and on concert stages of the city. In late April, the yearly Crossing Europe film festival for young European film features works with unconventional, courageous filmic positions. At Whitsun, the Linz Festival offers a cultural open-air festival in the Danube park, while in July the international "Pflasterspektakel" brings over 500 clowns, acrobats and mimes to the city´s streets. Moreover, September sees the musical "Cloud of Sounds" in the Donaupark, the Ars Electronica Festival and the Bruckner Festival.
The Linz markets provide an opportunity to browse, and sample, whether at the weekly markets or the twice yearly Fair/Carneval Urfahraner Jahrmarkt, which is Austria´s oldest public festival.
During the universities lecture periods (October–January/march-June) there is a wide range of student parties among the campuses of the 4 universities in Linz. Particularly interesting might be the weekly Mensafest every Thursday in Dornach/Urfahr on the campus of Johannes-Kepler-University and the gatherings at the Sommerhaus Hotel  during the SAICCA program that runs mid-May through mid-June.
- The Moviemento and City cinemas both show films that are not mainstream in original languages with German subtitles.
- The Cineplexx in the harbor shows all the actual blockbusters. Thursday is movie night, so it is the cheapest day to go.
- The Posthof. Has modern music, dance and comedy performances, which is located near the port.
- The Stadtwerkstatt (near the AEC). Popular meeting point for young people with an alternative lifestyle. They often have gigs with unknown bands.
- KAPU, Kapuzinerstrasse 36, ☎ +43 732 779660, e-mail: email@example.com. Popular meeting point for young people with an alternative lifestyle. It started out as punk bar. They often have gigs with unknown bands. Nirvana played at the KAPU about one year before they became world-famous. The texta hip hop concerts are legendary too.
- The Phoenix Theater. Shows modern plays that are also suitable for teenagers.
Eating in Linz depends on your budget, and taste. Be prepared to search far and wide for open restaurants on Sundays. The entire Altstadt seems to close down Sunday nights leaving tourists restaurant choices only in adjoining districts.
- Jindrak, ☎ 0732/779258. Herrenstraße 22-24. M-Sa 8AM-6PM A pastry shop serving the local speciality Linzer Torte (a cake).
- Coffee world, Landstraße 17-25 (first floor of the Shopping-Center Passage). M-Th. 8:30AM-10PM, F,Sa 8:30AM-1AM, Sun. 8:30AM-8PM.
- P'AA, ☎ +43(732)77646. Altstadt 28. Nice restaurant (serves vegetarian food) and lounge in the Altstadt. M-Sa from 11AM-2.30PM and 5:30PM-12AM.
- Gelbes Krokodil, OK Platz 1, ☎ +43 732 784182. M,W-F 12:00-15:00. 17:00-23:30, Tu 12:00-15:00. 18:00-23:30, Sa,Su 16:00-23:30. The Yellow Crocodile is next to/a part of the Moviemento Cinema, downstairs below street level. It has special vegetarian plates.
- Stadtbräu Josef, Landstraße 49. M-Su 10AM-4PM.
- NIU. Klammstraße 1. Described as fusion/Asian. But whatever they call it, it's good, healthy, and smoke-free. Small, so make reservation if you want a table, otherwise counter service.
- There are many luncheonettes in the city, offering a variety of food, such as Chinese food, kebab, pizza and typical Austrian snacks such as Bratwürstel (fried sausage) with Sauerkraut, Leberkäse, Bosner or Bosna (a special hot-dog with fried sausage and a special curry-ketchup-onion sauce), Käsekrainer (a sausage interlaid with cheese).
- Leberkäse Pepi, Rathausgasse 3. M-Th 8AM-4AM, F 8AM-5AM, Sa 9AM-2PM, 6PM-5AM. You can get Leberkäse pretty much in every super market, but its hard to find a place that serves as tasty and as various ones as here. It is a bit more expensive than in supermarkets, but with about €3 per bread roll with Leberkäse still cheap.
- Alte Welt, Hauptplatz 4. The name ("Old World") suits this restaurant and bar perfectly. The entrance is in a small courtyard, with seemingly uncontrolled growing plants. The inside reminds of an inn from former times. The often changing menu ranges from typical Austrian dishes to mediterranean cuisine, at a reasonable price. A variety of cultural events take place in the wine cellar. 7€ for lunch.
- Falafel-Fastfood, Graben. Serving tasty falafel-sandwiches for €3.
Drinking in Linz is varied and not that cheap; although if you drink outside of the city centre you will find that the cost of drinks are less than in the centre.
Local beers and warm "Glühwein" (hot, spiced/mulled wine) in winter. Upper-Austrian's "national drink" is Most (it´s cider but not fizzy), and Zipfer, Gösser, and Kaiser beer. There are many Austrian beers, of course.
- Walker, Hauptplatz/Main Square. Open daily. A large bar/burger restaurant. Games room and occasional live music. Good breakfast menus. Great burgers.
- Chelsea Pub, ☎ 0732 779 409. Domgasse 5 -. Open daily. In 2006, it came second in "The Best Irish Pub" competition in Austria. An English-named Irish pub that serves Guinness, and has a friendly atmosphere for Austrians and English native-speakers. Large open-sandwiches and occasionally has English or Irish crisps. Shows sports programmes on a daily basis.
- Remembar, Passage Kaufhaus (Passage Dept. store). Large and airy, on two floors, with enough "hip/cool" clientele to satisfy the needs of people with enough money to spend.
- Stadtwerkstatt, Kirchengasse 4 (close to the Ars Electonica Center). Has a nice cafe and live dj's (reggae,house,world music,hiphop) in the evening (daily starting at 10PM) Local bands (rock, punk, hiphop) appear at weekends. Concerts take place in a stage area upstairs (away from the bar) and are around €10. DJ's in the bar.
- Smaragd, Altstadt 2. Regular live-concerts in the dance cellar and a beer garden on the street in summer.
- Eiskönig, Landstraße 31 (next to the U-Hof). monday-saturday from 10AM to 10 PM. You shouldn't miss Upper Austria's best italian Icecream-store. They have a multiplicity of Icecream flavours, something for every taste. You will also get coffee and Austrian specialities like "Apfelstrudel" or "Topfenpalatschinken". Smoke free.
- Thüsen Tak, Waltherstraße 21. A small hard rock pub. Books and posters lining the walls. Be prepared for cigarette haze and talkative, not-always-sober regulars of all ages. Mike, the friendly owner, occasionally serves a hearty meal for a reasonable price.
- Exxtrablatt, Spittelwiese. until 2am. Cosy cafe/bar. Sit outside in the summer until 11pm, or walk down the stairs into a large room. You'll notice typical (for Austria) coffee house tables/stools, and classic movie posters covering the walls. You get a good selection of beers and wines, and the usual long drinks/cocktails. They serve burgers and snacks, including some vegetarian. For dessert, there's a delicious chocolate cake.
- Chay, Hauptplatz 15/16, ☎ +43732781014. (Mar-Oct) Mon-Fri 9.30AM-6PM, Sat 9.30AM-1PM (Nov-Feb) Mon-Fri 9.30AM-6PM, Sat 9.30AM-4PM. Austria is famous for coffee but this small shop serves astonishingly good tea in many shapes. Split in a shop and a teahouse right beside to each other the menu offers tons of teas of excellent quality.
- Roter Krebs (Grand Hotel Café zum Rothen Krebsen), Obere Donaulände 11, 4020 (3 minutes from the Niebelungenbrücke or the Hauptplatz.), ☎ +43 732 946 557. Tue-Thu 18-02 h, Fr 18-04 h, Sat 18-03 h. Founded and run by artists, frequented mostly by students from the nearby art school.
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