In this city in Upper Austria, which is situated halfway between Vienna and Saltsburg, one is immediately aware of the wonderful enjoyment of life and a palpable love for culture of the residents, which is expressed in the city’s numerous theatres and museums; it’s no coincidence that Linz was named Capital of Culture in 2009.
Located where the Danube River makes a turn, the city enjoys this river, and it is here that the river, the inhabitants say, changes from blue to multi-coloured, not only because of the night lights, but also due to the reflections that the life of the lively city transmits to this magical water course, for centuries known as the ‘the road of kings and emperors’. There’s a love for the past at Linz, but also a careful glance at the future and present, with its multitude of artistic and industrial activities.
The atmosphere is magical and exciting, above all when you arrive at the mountain of Postlinberg: the top of the mountain can be reached by train. Here the old fortress hosts a world of fairy tales, where you can meet gnomes and fairy - tale characters - a true joy for adults and children. And from the panoramic terrace, there’s an incredible view of the city and the Danube that crosses it.
Another sight to admire is of the splendid Basilica dedicated ‘to the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary, a crowded place of pilgrimage. Walking along Hautplatz, the busiest square in the city in the old town centre, you come across other majestic monuments: the spectacular Mariendom, or the Cathedral of Mary, in Neo-Gothic style, the largest Cathedral in Austria, which can hold over 20,000 people seated, and which is splendid, even inside, with stained glass windows - the windows of Linz and the windows of the Emperor - and a monumental organ with an exceptional sound; the Laudhaus, a Renaissance building and headquarters of the provincial government, which houses a historical monument, the planetenbrunnen, a fountain decorated with the planets in memory of Kepler, who discovered the movement of the planets and who lived and worked in the city for various years; the house where he lived can be also be visited in the city.
Linz’s rich history is told in the Schlossmuseum, the Castle Museum, which holds some of the most important items of art and culture of Upper Austria, collections of nineteenth-century Gothic art and painting and interesting collections of folk art; as well as the Lentos Museum Linz, housed in a futuristic building and displaying superb collections of contemporary art by artists such as Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka.
The lively atmosphere of the city on the Danube is felt in the numerous festivals taking place throughout the year: in Spring, the Crossing Europe Film Festival, which presents films, short films and documentaries made by European artists with rich prizes on offer; in summer, the Pflasterspektakel, a festival of street artists who give acrobatic displays, juggling acts, dance and theatre performances; in September, the Ars Electronica, one of the world’s most important media art festivals. Linz is also home to the unique Ars Electronica Museum, exhibiting all the latest technology.
But Linz is also a city of music, with large orchestras and great composers, and to improve the level of its shows, it has inaugurated the Musiktheater Linz, Europe’s most modern opera theatre, which has a rotating stage and exceptional acoustics. The theatre is located next to one of the largest parks in Linz.
This is not the only green space, however; Linz is one of the greenest cities in Austria, with some 51 parks, 10 walking paths and kilometres of cycle routes along the Danube. After enjoying some time at the museums and parks, what better way to complement a visit to Linz that to taste the symbolic cake of the city: the Linzer Torte, a veritable delight exported throughout the world. It is also said to be the oldest recipe for a cake published in a cookery book, in 1653, and is a torte made of flour and ground hazelnuts and filled with redcurrant jam and finished with a lattice of pastry strips.  

By Anna Glik
Photo: Shutterstock
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On this issue we recommend you Amman, Faro, Rome, Tangier and Johannesburg. Discover the destinations on the website or read the magazine in pdf format.
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