Linz is a city located in northern Austria, on the banks of the Danube River. It is the capital of the state of Upper Austria and has a rich history dating back over a thousand years. Linz is one of the most popular stops on our river cruises and for many reasons, which we’re going to introduce you to in our blog today.

The History Of Linz

Medieval Period: The earliest recorded settlement in the area dates back to Roman times. However, the history of Linz as a significant town begins in the medieval period when it was established as a trading and market centre. The city received its town charter in 1229 and became an important hub for trade and commerce due to its strategic location along the Danube River.

Renaissance and Reformation: During the Renaissance, Linz flourished culturally and economically. The city was ruled by various noble families and saw the construction of important architectural landmarks, such as the Linzer Schloss (Linz Castle) and the Martinskirche (St. Martin’s Church). The Reformation also had an impact on Linz, with some religious upheaval taking place in the region.

Habsburg Rule: In the 15th century, Linz came under Habsburg rule and became part of the Habsburg Monarchy. It served as a regional administrative and cultural centre within the larger Habsburg domains.

Industrialisation and Modernisation: In the 19th century, Linz underwent significant industrialisation. The city’s proximity to coal deposits and the Danube River contributed to its growth as an industrial hub. The establishment of steel and iron industries played a crucial role in shaping the city’s modern identity.

World Wars and Post-War Period: Linz, like much of Austria, was affected by the two World Wars. It was annexed by Nazi Germany during the Anschluss in 1938. After World War II, Linz was under Allied occupation and was eventually restored to Austrian sovereignty in 1955.

Contemporary Era: In the post-war period, Linz continued to develop industrially and technologically. The city’s steel industry contributed to its economic growth. Linz is also known for its cultural institutions, including the Ars Electronica Centre, which focuses on digital arts and media.

European Capital of Culture: In 2009, Linz, along with the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, held the title of European Capital of Culture. This designation brought attention to the city’s cultural heritage and modern artistic achievements.

Today: Linz is known for its vibrant cultural scene, technological innovation, and educational institutions. It is home to several universities, museums, and theatres. The city has also embraced sustainable urban development and has been working to enhance its quality of life for residents and visitors.

Overall, Linz has evolved from its medieval trading roots to become a modern city with a mix of historical architecture, technological innovation, and a strong cultural identity.

Linz Things To See And Do

Linz offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, art, technology, or simply exploring the city’s charming streets, there’s something for everyone. Here are some things to see and do in Linz:

Ars Electronica Centre: This cutting-edge museum is dedicated to the exploration of digital art, science, and technology. It’s an interactive space where visitors can engage with exhibitions that showcase the latest advancements in media art, robotics, and more.

Lentos Art Museum: Located along the Danube River, the Lentos Art Museum features a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s architecture itself is a work of art, and its rotating exhibitions showcase both Austrian and international artists.

Linz Castle (Linz Schloss): This historic castle overlooking the city dates to the medieval period. While the castle itself is not fully accessible, the courtyard and surrounding gardens offer a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll.

Old Town (Altstadt): Linz’s Old Town is a charming area filled with historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and quaint squares. Explore the Hauptplatz (Main Square), which is surrounded by colourful facades and features the Holy Trinity Column.

St. Martin’s Church (Martinskirche): This Gothic-style church is one of Linz’s most iconic landmarks. Its impressive spire can be seen from various points in the city. Inside, you’ll find beautiful stained glass windows and intricate architectural details.

Pöstlingberg Railway: Take a ride on the Pöstlingberg Railway, a charming tram that takes you up to Pöstlingberg Hill. At the top, you’ll find stunning views of the city, the pilgrimage basilica, and the Grottenbahn, a family-friendly ride through a fairy-tale-themed cave.

Botanical Garden Linz: For nature enthusiasts, the Linz Botanical Garden offers a peaceful oasis with a diverse collection of plants from various regions. It’s a great place to relax and take a leisurely stroll.

Austria Tabak Museum: This unique museum provides insights into the history and culture of tobacco and smoking. It’s housed in a historic building and offers a quirky perspective on an industry that once played a significant role in the region.

Landstraße Shopping Street: If you’re interested in shopping, head to Landstraße, Linz’s main shopping street. It’s lined with shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great place for a leisurely stroll and some retail therapy.

Danube Promenade: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Danube Promenade, which offers scenic views of the river and the cityscape. There are benches, parks, and cafes along the way, making it a pleasant area to relax and people-watch.

These are just a few highlights of what Linz has to offer. The city’s blend of history, technology, and cultural vibrancy ensures that visitors will find a range of enjoyable experiences during their stay.

Sailings Featuring Linz

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