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Linz#

Linz, Upper Austria, statutory town in the district of Linz, alt. 266 m, pop. 203,044, area 96.11 km2, capital of the province of Upper Austria and third biggest city of Austria. At the foot of the Poestlingberg mountain (alt. 539 m), municipal area on both sides of the Danube, which flows through the "Linzer Pforte" gap out of a narrow valley of a granite plateau into the Linz Basin; historic part of the town on the south bank of the Danube, connected with the northern part Urfahr by 2 road bridges and 1 railway bridge. In the west Kuernberger Wald Mountain, ( Freinberg Mountain, alt. 328 m), north-west ( Poestlingberg Mountain) and north-east (Steyregger Woods, Pfennigberg mountain, alt. 616 m) surrounded by hills, Linz stretches in the south-east across the floodplains of the Danube and across the area where the River Traun flows into the Danube. In the vicinity, Lake Weikerlsee, a popular bathing area. Cadastral districts Ebelsberg, Katzbach, Kleinmuenchen, Linz, Lustenau, Moenchgraben, Pichling, Posch, Poestlingberg, St. Peter, Ufer, Urfahr, Waldegg, Wambach. - Seat of provincial government, provincial diet and all provincial (school inspection, police headquarters, welfare and disability offices, etc.) and district authorities, provincial high court and court of appeal, provincial court and provincial court prison, police headquarters, inland revenue office, regional head office of Post and Telekom Austria AG, provincial press centre, provincial board of musical directors, radio station, customs office, district authorities for the districts of Linz-Land and Urfahr-Umgebung; Federal Office of Weights, Measures and Surveying, Federal Asylum Office, Federal Monuments Office, Federal Police Headquarters and Federal Railways Headquarters, Federal Office for Quality Assessment, Administrative office for Federal Buildings, Federal Institutes for Agrobiology, Veterinary Research and Food Research, Federal Bacteriological-Serological Research Institute, Federal Library, Federal Office for the Advancement of Adult Education, military base of Upper Austria, artillery and Hiller barracks, electricity and port authorities (shipping police), electricity board, several health insurance offices, several newspapers and numerous advisory centres, Economic Chamber, Chamber of Labour, Chamber of Agricultural and Allied Workers, Chamber of Agriculture, further chambers and professional associations, Upper Austrian fruit exchange, Austrian commodity exchange, hospitals (General Hospital, Brothers Hospitallers, Sisters of Mercy, Hospital of the Inner Mission, Elisabethine Hospital, Provincial Clinic for Nervous Complaints, Wagner-Jauregg Psychiatric Hospital, Accident hospital of Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, provincial clinic for children, provincial clinic for women, outpatient care); bishopric (diocesan authorities, seminary), Protestant superintendent; various religious communities (Jewish Community, Baptists, Old Catholic Church, New Apostolic Church, Islam, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mennonite Brotherhood, Methodists, Jehovah´s Witnesses), Jesuit theological college and numerous religious orders, daycare centres, 9 youth centres, 4 youth information centres, children´s village for handicapped children, youth centres, children´s homes and student hostels, student residences, 10 nursing homes and homes for the elderly, 30 clubs for senior citizens, several consulates, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Company) broadcasting station for the province of Upper Austria, Oberoesterreichische Vision, TV 3 - city television, several regional radio stations, provincial theatre, Theater Phoenix, Theater des Kindes, Kuddelmuddel Ich und Du, Kellertheater, Brucknerhaus concert hall and congress centre, Posthof cultural centre, Stadtwerkstatt, Kulturplattform Oberoesterreich, Francisco Carolinum provincial museum, Schlossmuseum, Nordico Museum of the City of Linz, New Gallery - Wolfgang Gurlitt museum, Ars Electronica Centre ("Museum of the Future"), O.K Centre of Contemporary Art, Ursulinenhof provincial cultural centre, Jaegermeierhof Chamber of Labour Education Centre, St. Magdalena Centre for Education, Kremsmuenster Stiftshaus, provincial institute for popular education and local heritage studies, Botanical gardens, natural history centre, Linz-Dornach biology centre, design centre, Vereinszentrum hall, LIVA - Linzer Veranstaltungsgesellschaft sports facilities, stadium, Stadt- und Sporthalle event and sports facility, ice sports centre, 2 district sports facilities, four public indoor pools, university library and provincial library for teachers, public library of the City of Linz (head office, musical library, library for nature and environment and 14 branch offices); Upper Austrian provincial library, Upper Austrian provincial archives, archives of the city of Linz, Ebelsberg sports and recreational facilities, skateboard park, Johannes-Kepler University, University of Artistic and Industrial Design, Catholic Theological University, centre for distance learning at Johannes-Kepler University, schools: 3 Bundesgymnasium, 7 Bundesrealgymnasium secondary schools, Bundesgymnasium and commercially-oriented Bundesrealgymnasium, Bundesgymnasium and Bundesrealgymnasium fuer Berufstaetige (evening/part-time secondary schools), Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium, (upper-level Gymnasium) Akademisches Gymnasium, Bischoefliches Gymnasium Kollegium Petrinum, Gymnasium und Realgymnasium des Schulvereines Kollegium Aloisianum, upper-level Gymnasium run by the diocese, Gymnasium and commercially-oriented Realgymnasium of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross, Waldorf school, 2 business schools, 2 Hoehere Lehranstalt fuer wirtschaftliche Berufe (advanced-level commercial schools), 2 Hoehere Technische Lehranstalt (advanced-level school of engineering), Hoehere Bundeslehranstalt fuer Kunstgewerbe (advanced-level school of arts and crafts), Hoehere Bundeslehranstalt fuer Land- und Hauswirtschaft Elmberg, (advanced-level school of agriculture and domestic science) Hoehere gewerbliche Lehranstalt (Mode und Bekleidungstechnik) (advanced-level school of fashion and dressmaking), 10 vocational schools (Berufschule), Paedagogische Akademie des Bundes in Oberoesterreich (federal teacher training academy), Paedagogische Akademie der Dioezese Linz (training academy for elementary teachers and teachers for Hauptschulen of the diocese of Linz), Religionspaedagogische Akademie (training academy for teachers of Religious Instruction), Berufspaedagogische Akademie des Bundes (training academy for vocational school teachers), 2 Bundesanstalt fuer Kindergartenpaedagogik (nursery-school teacher training institute), Academy for Welfare Work, Academy for Medical Professions, Academy for Labour Medicine, Federal Institute of Physical Education, adult education centre, Berufsfoerderungsinstitut professional centre, Vocational Guidance and Rehabilitation Centre, WIFI, Linz International Management Training college, Bruckner conservatory, music school, Environmental Academy of Upper Austria, A.-Stifter Institute, Dr.-Karl-Renner Institute, Institute for Organic Architecture, 4 L.-Boltzmann Institutes, Research Institute for Environmental Information Science, Linz Institute for Peace Research (Socio-Psychological Research Department of the Austrian Institute for Peace Research), Linz harbour, foreign sea and river shipping agencies, central railway station and freight station; railway stations Linz-Kleinmuenchen, Linz-Stadthafen, Linz-Urfahr, Linz-Wegscheid; bus terminal, track mountain railway on the Poestlingberg mountain (steepest adhesion worked railway in Central Europe), Grottenbahn fairy-tale train ride, Linz-Hoersching airport, two district-heating power stations (built in 1970 and 1994), run-of-river power station Kleinmuenchen (built in 1978, 11 MW). Each summer, LinzFest festival and Pflasterspektakel street performers´ event, each autumn Ars Electronica, award of Prix Ars Electronica, International Bruckner Festival, Linzer Klangwolke music festival, in spring and autumn Urfahraner Jahrmarkt fair.


Economy: In spite of its being a highly developed industrial centre, the Linz service sector is steadily growing. In 1991 about 66 % of the 145,076 gainfully employed people worked in services, by 1999 this percentage had increased to about 75% of 180,000. About one sixth of the 6,200 companies based in Linz is in manufacturing, with the metal branch predominating. The most important employer in the Linz area is VOEST-Alpine Stahl Linz GmbH ( VOEST-ALPINE STAHL AG) with a staff of 8,200, followed by VOEST-Alpine Machinery Construction & Engineering GmbH, VOEST-Alpine Industrieanlagenbau GmbH and VA TECH ELIN EBG GmbH which are all parts of the VA Technologie AG Group. Other significant industries include the building industry, metallurgy facility construction and machine engineering ( Plasser & Theurer), automation technology, food and beverages industry and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries ( Agrolinz Melamin GmbH), DSM Fine Chemicals Austria GmbH). In the services sector wholesale and retail establishments, banks and insurance companies, business services and social and public services are among the most important employers.


History: The importance of this settlement in earlier times is characterised by the Danube transport route, which stretches in a west-east direction and which is crossed in a south-north direction by the transversal route from the Adriatic Sea to the Baltic Sea. Some Palaeolithic objects have been found, proven evidence of continuous colonisation of the area of Linz since the Neolithic period (burial sites from the early Bronze Age, urnfield period and Hallstatt period in the former village of St. Peter, today industrial area, and Celtic ramparts on the Freinberg and Gruendberg mountains). In the 2nd half of the 1st century A.D. the Romans constructed a camp together with a civilian settlement (which never received the status of a town) in the area of Roemerberg mountain and west of the axis Hauptplatz-Landstrasse. The Roman name "Lentia" derives from the Celtic root "lentos" (= flexible, bent), which is interpreted as settlement at the curve of the river (Danube). In the village of St. Peter two Bavarian burial sites have been discovered (7th century).


First documented mention of the village "Linze" with Martinskirche church and "castrum" (fortified settlement, presumably in the west) in 799. The Raffelstetten Customs Regulations identifies Linz during the Carolingian period as the central village of Traungau, with market and customs regulations. Around 1205/1206 the settlement was given to the Babenbergs by the Haunspergs. The Babenbergs enlarged the village by laying out the main square (ring of walls from the castle across promenade and Graben to the Danube). The settlement developed its town character in the 1st half of the 13th century. The wall encircling the town was razed after a fire in 1800. The first bridge across the Danube was built in 1497. At the end of the 13th century Linz had become the administrative centre of the province, with the seat of the "Hauptmann (governor) ob der Enns". Duke Albrecht VI made the town his official residence, Emperor Friedrich III lived there between 1484/85 and 1489-1493. Under his reign Linz was called "capital" of the province for the first time. In the following years the town continued to be the preferred retreat for the Court whenever war (with the Turks) or epidemics (plague) were imminent.


First signs of the Reformation are detectable in the 20s of the 16th century; around 1600 the Counter-Reformation started, which brought several religious orders to Linz in the following years. In 1783/85 Linz became a bishopric. From the Middle Ages the town had to resist several wars and sieges, of which the peasants´ uprising under S. Fadinger (1626), the occupation during the Austrian War of Succession (1741/42) and the triple occupation during the Coalition Wars against Napoleon (1800/01, 1805/06, 1809) had the most disastrous consequences. The economic importance of Linz was promoted by two trade fairs, which were widely recognised as important trading events from the end of the Middle Ages onwards. In 1672 the Linz woollen factory was established as the first industrial workshop of the monarchy. The horse tram from Linz to Budweis (1832) and to Gmunden (1836) was the first railway of the continent and was mainly used for the transport of salt, but also for passenger traffic. Industrialisation starting in the 2nd half of the 19th century (textile industry, shipyard, engine works, food, beverage and tobacco industry) led to an extension of the town by including the following districts: 1873 Lustenau and Waldegg, 1915 St. Peter, 1919 Urfahr and Poestlingberg, 1923 Kleinmuenchen, 1938 St. Magdalena and Ebelsberg, 1939 Keferfeld (part of Leonding).


On February 12, 1934 the civil war started from Linz ( February 1934 Uprising). During the Nazi era the town became a centre of the armaments industry. Plans for monumental construction along the banks of the Danube and the building of a boulevard were never carried out. 22 air raids (1944/45) caused extensive destruction. Between 1945-1955 Urfahr was part of the Soviet zone of occupation and had its own town administration. With the development of heavy industry after the 2nd World War (VOEST Stickstoffwerke, shipyard) Linz became the centre of Austrian heavy industry. This change from a typical provincial town into a modern industrial and, at the same time, a cultural town with the corresponding infrastructure can be seen very clearly in the townscape. Linz is expanding rapidly, particularly to the south and south-west, where it is merging with the rapidly growing neighbouring towns of Leonding, Traun and Ansfelden. The commuter catchment area comprises the entire Muehlviertel region and stretches beyond Wels, Steyr and Enns.


Religous buildings: The historic centre of Linz is mainly of Baroque character: Old Cathedral (1669-1678), presumably built by P. F. Carlone as Jesuit church with choir stalls (1633) from the collegiate church of Garsten and organ (1789) by F. X. Chrismann from Engelszell (A. Bruckner was organist of the cathedral there between 1855-1868); Capuchin church (1606-1612, 1660-1662 enlarged, since 1784 parish church) with altar panel by J. v. Sandrart, Gothic Madonna and memorial for the conqueror of the Turks, R. Montecuccoli; Carmelite church (1674 and 1690-1726) with altar panel by M. Altomonte, C. G. Carlone and C. v. Reslfeld; town parish church (mentioned in 1286; rebuilt 1649-1656, enlarged 1687-1694) with altar panels by C. v. Reslfeld and in the style of B. Altomonte, with tombstone of Emperor Friedrich III (heart and entrails buried here); on the outer wall of the chancel, Johann-Nepomuk statue (1727) by G. R. Donner; Church of the Hospitallers (1713-1716 begun by J. M. Prunner, extended 1729-1732, consecrated in 1743, modified between 1929 and 1932) with altar panel by M. J. Schmidt and hospital of 1908 and 1978; former Church of the Teutonic Order, today Seminary Church (built between 1718-1725 according to drafts by J. L. v. Hildebrandt under J. M. Prunner), with altar panel by M. Altomonte; Elisabethine Church (1736-1772) with frescos by B. Altomonte and M. Dollicher; classicist façade (monastery 1745-1749 and 1754-1757 by J. M. Krinner and F. A. Pilgram); modern hospital since 1957 in several stages; Landhaus Church, former Church of the Friars Minor (documented mention in 1288), rebuilt between 1751-1758 by J. M. Krinner with altar panels by M. J. Schmidt and B. Altomonte; Ursulinen Church (1736-1772 by J. Haslinger and J.M. Krinner) with altar panels by B. and M. Altomonte, Ursuline convent (1690-1723 by G. and F. M. Pruckmayr) since 1977 provincial cultural centre. Freinberg Church (1829-1840) with Jesuit boarding school (1851-1853 and 1860); New Cathedral (1862-1924 in the style of French Gothic cathedrals according to plans by V. Statz with tower 135 m high), important Historicist building with tombstone of the bishops of Linz, and crib; Holy Family parish church (1907-1912 by M. Schlager); Sacred Heart Church (1901-1903 by R. Jeblinger) with Redemptorist monastery (1899-1900); Kleinmuenchen parish church (documented mention in 1290, rebuilt between 1905-1906 by M. Schlager); Friedenskirche Church in Urfahr (1933/34 and 1949-1951 according to plans by P. Behrens, A. Popp and H. Feichtelbauer and H. Foschum); Michaelskirche church on Bindermichl hill (1954-1957, according to plans by F. Reischl); Theresienkirche church in Keferfeld (1959-1962 by R. Schwarz); Konradskirche church on Froschberg hill (1959-1961 by G. Nobl and O. Kainz); Leopoldskirche church on Auberg hill (1969-1971 by G. Nobl); Protestant Martin-Luther Church (1842-1844); Protestant Reconciliation Church in Dornach (1996/97 by R. Rainer); synagogue (1876/77, destroyed 1938; 1966-1968 rebuilt by F. Goffitzer). A particularly precious monument of art history is the Martinskirche church west of the palace; the original central building (first documented mention in 799) has a Roman stove, construction elements and Carolingian ornaments from the 8th century, Romanesque and Gothic architectural components, Gothic frescos and a Gothic chancel from the 15th century.


Secular buildings: Landhaus (1564-1571) with "Steinerner Saal", Renaissance north portal (around 1570) and arcades with three storeys (1568-1574) with Planetenbrunnen fountain (1582), 1574-1627 seat of the "Landschaftsschule" where J. Kepler taught; old town hall (1513/14 new building, 1658/59 adaptations); Bischofshof (1721-1726), built as Kremsmuensterer Hof according to plans by J. Prandtauer; Kremsmuensterer Stiftshaus (1579/80 by C. Canevale); Nordisches Stift collegiate church (1608/09) by F. Silva, enlarged between 1675-1677, since 1973 Nordico town museum; Prunerstift (1734-1738), since 1979 music school; provincial theatre with Empire façade (1802/03), rebuilding of Grosses Haus 1955-1958 and of Kammerspiele (theatres) 1956-1958 according to plans by C. Holzmeister; Kreuzschwesternschule (1926/27 built to plans of C. Holzmeister); crematorium with urn cemetery (1926-1931) by J. Schulte, H. Arndt and P. Theer; tobacco factory (1929-1935) by P. Behrens and A. Popp; Disterweg school (1929-1931) by C. Kuehne; Nibelungen bridge (1938-1940) by K. Schaechterle and F. Tamms; bridgehead constructions (1940-1943) by R. Fick; several housing developments (from 1939): Bindermichl, Spallerhof, Keferfeld, Froschberg, Neue Heimat and in Urfahr. After 1945 numerous modern housing estates were built. Main railway station (1945-1950) by A. Wilhelm; branch office of National Bank (1951-1953 by E. Boltenstern and E. Wachberger); Institute of Economic Development (1960-1966 by H. Aigner and E. Hismayr); Johannes-Kepler University (1964, ongoing expansion); Brucknerhaus (1969-1974 by H. and K. Siren); VOEST-bridge (1969-1972); Steyregg bridge (1976-1979); New town hall (1979-1985 by R. Falkner and A. Fuertler); from the mid 1980s, large housing projects, e.g. Auwiesen, Ennsfeld, Kastgruende, Auhoffeld, Pulvermuehlstrasse. Design-Centre (1991-1993 by T. Herzog). Ars Electronica Center - Museum der Zukunft ("Museum of the Future") (1994-1996).


Castles and Palaces: Castle (documented mention in 1286, presumably not identical with "castrum" of 799) with Friedrichstor portal, blazon (1481) and ramped wall, rebuilt between 1604-1614, partly destroyed by fire in 1800, temporary residence of Friedrich III and Albrecht VI, from the times of Joseph II used as military hospital, prison, barracks and refugee camp, after restoration from 1959-1966, today houses the provincial museum Francisco Carolinum; as fortification originally 32 round towers in the form of a "fortified camp" around the town with Fort Poestlingberg built under archduke Maximilian d´Este (1831-1837); Bergschloessl (1718); Auhof (core 16th century, façade and roof 18th century), today office of the rector of the university; Ebelsberg Palace.


Monuments: Peace Obelisk (1650); Fadinger column (1702 and 1769); Trinity column (1717-1723); Stifter monument (1902 by H. Rathausky); Stelzhamer monument (1908 by F. Metzner); "Freude am Schoenen" ("The Joy of Beauty") (1908 by A. Hanak); Forum Metall (sculptures in Donaupark 1977).


In 1997 the parks and green spaces had an area of 53.82 km2, 47.75 km2 of which were wooded and green areas and 6.07 km2 are bodies of water: Volksgarten, Bauernberg- and Freinberganlagen, botanical gardens, Schlossberg gardens, Donaupark, Wasserwald/Volkspark Kleinmuenchen recreational area, Erholungspark


Urfahr recreational area, Bergschloessl-Park, Hummelhofwald forest, Pichlinger Au riverine wetlands and others.

Literature#

L. Regesten, 1952ff.; Jahrbuch der Stadt Linz, 1935-1937 and 1949-1954; Historisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Linz, 1955ff.; Naturkundliches Jahrbuch der Stadt Linz, 1955ff.; Kunstjahrbuch der Stadt Linz, 1961ff.; Linz. Archaeologische Forschungen, 1962ff.; J. Schmidt, Die Linzer Kirchen (Oe. Kunsttopographie 36), 1964; Oesterreichisches Staedtebuch, vol. I, Oberoesterreich, 1968; A. Wied et al., Die profanen Kunstdenkmaeler der Stadt Linz. Die Altstadt, 1977; O. Constantini, Stadtfuehrer Linz, 1980; W. Katzinger, Linz. Chronik, 1984; H. Thaler et al., Die profanen Bau- und Kunstdenkmaeler der Stadt Linz (Oe. Kunsttopographie 50), 1986; W. Knoglinger, 500 Jahre Linz Landeshauptstadt, 1989; O. Ruhsam, Historische Bibliographie der Stadt Linz, 1989; F. Mayrhofer and W. Katzinger, Geschichte der Stadt Linz, 2 vols., 1990; H. Lackner and G. Stadler, Fabriken in der Stadt, 2 vols., 1990; R. Zinnhobler, Kirche in Linz, 1990; H. Ebner, J. Ebner and R. Weissengruber, Literatur in Linz, 1991; S. Groessing et al., Sport in Linz, 1992; I. Andruchowitz, Schule in einer Provinzialhauptstadt, 1994; H. Schimek and F. X. Goldner, Stadt Bau Kunst, 1997.