Waidhofen an der Ybbs#
Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Lower Austria, chartered town in the district of Waidhofen an der Ybbs, alt. 362 m, pop. 11,435, area 131.52 km2, main town in the Eisenwurzen iron-working region, located in a deep valley basin of the River Ybbs. - District commission, forestry enterprise of the Oesterreichische Bundesforste AG, chamber of labour, economic chamber, Institute for Economic Development (WIFI), district chamber of farmers, local health and social insurance office, Buchenbergheim sanatorium, Kolpingwerk (apprentice relief organisation) centre, Reichenauerhof youth home of the province of Lower Austria, sports hall, town library, municipal hall, Volksheim educational association, multi-purpose hall, School Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi, Bundesrealgymnasium secondary school, commercial academy, Hoehere Technische Bundeslehr- und Versuchsanstalt (upper secondary school of engineering), Bundeskonvikt federal boarding school, forestry school, adult education centre, district head office of the EVN Lower Austrian power services, waterworks, road maintenance services, regional innovation centre; 4,485 employed persons (1991), approx. 54 % in the services sector (personal, social and public services, trade); manufacturing sector: metal-working industry (traffic signs, noise protection structures, materials handling technology, lift doors, et.) and plastics-processing industry, office furniture manufacture, manufacture of filters. - First documented mention in 1186, first documented mention of town status in 1273, until 1803 owned by the Freising diocese, economic centre of the Ybbstal valley since the 14th century, located on an important iron-trading route, ironworking. Regularly laid-out medieval town with 2 squares, town fortress and town tower (extended in 1535-1542); parts of the town wall (13th century) with Ybbstor gate and towers integrated into the surrounding buildings have been preserved; parish church (first documented mention 1186), late-Gothic hall church (around 1470), late-Gothic winged altar (1474), Baroque chapel of the Virgin Mary (1715), richly decorated with stuccoes and frescoes; parsonage with late-Baroque façade, painting by M. J. Schmidt (1793); chapel of St. John, twin chapel (14th century) with Baroque Holy Sepulchre group of sculptures; late-Gothic hospital church with former citizens´ hospital, altars (mid-17th century), monumental group of the Triumphant Christ (18th century); former Capuchin church (1644-1652) with statue of the Virgin Mary (around 1520) and altar painting by M. J. Schmidt (1762); castle (1407), today school of forestry, 1885-1887 alterations by F. von Schmidt, with Gothic keep and remains of frescoes (around 1400); column dedicated to the Virgin Mary (1665); museum (founded in 1905) on local history and the development of the iron industry, collection of paintings, K. Wilhelm collection of toys; museum of local history and culture (Piaty collection); permanent collection, "Stadt der Tuerme", in various towers throughout the town ("Stadtturm", "Schlossturm" and "Ybbsturm"); late-Baroque parish church (1784-1786) in the Zell district of the town, with Rococo side altars, statue of the Virgin Mary (beginning of the 16th century), craftsmen´s houses and workshops on the River Ybbs from the 16th and 17th centuries, Schwelloed exhibition power plant.
Literature#E. Freunthaller et al., Waidhofen an der Ybbs, 1953; Oesterreichisches Staedtebuch, vol. IV, part 3, Die Staedte Niederoesterreichs, 1982; P. Maier, Fuehrer durch das Heimatmuseum Waidhofen an der Ybbs. Ein Spiegel der Stadtgeschichte, 1993; P. Maier, Waidhofen an der Ybbs, 1993.