Imagine a city where the past and the future harmonically coexist, where rural and urban life are so elegantly mixed together that you cannot tell whether what you see is an extension of a dream or not. Well, we assure you it is not! Linz in the northern part of Austria by the River Danube is the third largest city in Austria and one that combines all of the above.
Linz has been a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network since 2014 and it combines incredible classic and modern architecture, historical buildings and beautiful gardens making it as appealing as Salzburg and Vienna.
As you stroll down its streets you will come across the Old as well as the New Cathedral. The Old Cathedral (Church of Ignatius) was constructed by Jesuits in 1669 in Baroque style with impressive domed towers that will leave you in awe. The New Cathedral- Mariendom- is the largest one in Austria built in 1924 with a capacity of 20,000 people. With its glass windows and inner gallery is a simply architectural masterpiece.
If you want to see the oldest church in the whole of Austria then you cannot miss the 8th century St Martin’s Church (Martinskirche) in Carolingian architecture that is excellently preserved. It was built on the remains of Roman walls which are still visible in the exterior while inside it you can still see Roman inscriptions and a painting of the famous Volto Santo sculpture in Lucca, Italy.
Just above St Martin’s, lies the magnificent and opposing Linz Castle (Linz Schloss) from where you can see the remains of a fortress from the 9th century. The Castle was rebuilt after a fire in 1800 but its architecture still remains breath-taking. It is now home to a museum- Schlossmuseum- which is a must-not-miss. The castle houses incredible historical collections and art dating back to prehistoric, Roman and medieval periods. So take a chance to explore and admire the paintings, sculptures and armors that will take you back in time.
If you want to balance all this history out, why don’t you take a peek into the future? Take a moment to visit the Ars Electronica Centre or as they call it Museum of the Future. With a dazzling exterior design, this is one of the most fascinating places you will find yourself at where you can explore different types of advanced technology and learn a thing or two of what the future may hold.
You also have the opportunity to have a panoramic view of the whole city of Linz. Pöstlingberg is a 539 metre mountain on the left bank of the Danube River. You can hike up if you are feeling adventurous or simply take the 100 year old tram to the top from the city’s main square.
Linz is also home to a botanical garden that looks a lot like heaven. Located outside the city centre, the garden is home to over 10,000 different species of plants and flowers accompanied by sculptures of Austrian artists. If you are into gardening, do not hesitate to ask one of the Botanical Garden’s experts who will be more than happy to answer any questions regarding the garden’s flora.
Linz is a city where both history and future come to life. It is impossible not to find something that will fascinate you, each corner has something different to reveal. So when you find yourself in Linz, take your time to admire all that this city has to offer.