Duernstein Monastery (Wachau)
The Wachau is the Danube valley between Melk and Krems on the Danube. Since the year 2000, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Magnificent baroque monasteries (Melk, Dürnstein, Göttweig), old castles and ruins are embedded in a lovely landscape with vineyards and orchards. In the Wachau, the famous "Venus of Willendorf" was excavated in 1908. The 29,500-year-old stone figure can be admired in the Museum Of Fine Arts in Vienna.
"Heuriger" in Salmannsdorf (Vienna)
The bus journey will take us via the two local Viennese mountains Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg to Klosterneuburg. The northern Vienna Woods are part of a biosphere reserve with interesting geomorphology and plant species. We will then visit the Augustinian Monastery Klosterneuburg, founded by the Babenberg Margrave Leopold III. It is home to the Verdun Altar and the Austrian Archduke's Hat, two important works of art. Then, along the Danube, we will return to the starting point of the half-day excursion.
The southern Vienna Woods differ significantly from the northern ones due to the geological formations. Rugged rocks, many karst caves and narrow river valleys are just as characteristic as the many healing springs along the spa line. A highlight of the excursion is the visit of the Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz, a significant burial place of the Babenbergs. In nearby Mayerling the tragedy with Archduke Rudolf and Mary Vetsera happened in 1889.
At first, our bus ride takes us to Eisenstadt. There we will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher Joseph Haydn and Esterhazy Castle. We will also visit the city of Rust and, driving along the northern shore of Lake Neusiedl, Halbturn palace. Lake Neusiedl forms one. The Fertö / Lake Neusiedl region has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2001. The biosphere reserve Seewinkel on the east side of the lake is also an important wine-growing region of Austria.
Trail in Vienna Forest
The city of Salzburg, the former seat of the Prince-Archbishop and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, offers a spectacular view. The high-baroque cathedral, the churches of Fischer von Erlach, the fortress Hohensalzburg and the venues of the Salzburg Festival form an impressive backdrop. With the two monasteries St. Peter and Nonnberg, Salzburg has the two oldest active monasteries of Austria, as heir to the two Irish missionaries Ruprecht and Virgil.
Our full-day excursion will take us to the capital of Styria, Graz, then to the Lipizzan stud Piber and the Hundertwasser church in Bärnbach. Graz was built by the Habsburgs to be one of their residence cities. Only in 1809, the city walls were demolished under the orders of Napoleon. The Schlossberg and its clock tower are the top attraction, but the city, located by the river Mur, has much more to offer. In the stud farm in Piber we learn a lot about the history and current situation of the state breeding station for Lipizzaners. One of the striking works of the Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser is located in Bärnbach.
These two northern districts of Lower Austria, located to the north of Vienna and the Danube, offer a variety of landscape as well as art-historical diversity that is worth seeing to the day-trippers. We will drive past the Kreuzenstein Castle, visit the wine town of Retz, Wasserburg Heidenreichstein, Zwettl Abbey, Gars am Kamp and Krems by the Danube. After about 8 hours we will reach our starting point in Vienna again.