Hohe Tauern National Park
The Hohe Tauern are a mountain range on the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps with the highest peaks east of the Brenner Pass. The ridge forms the southern border of the Austrian federal states of Salzburg, Carinthia and East Tyrol, with a small part in the southwest belonging to the Italian province of South Tyrol. The area also includes Austria’s highest mountain, the Großglockner at 3,798 meters above the Adriatic Sea. The Niedere Tauern join in to the east.
With an area of around 1,834 square kilometers, the Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest nature reserve in the Alps and by far the largest of Austria’s seven national parks. The park has existed since 1981 and was the first national park in Austria. The park includes the Pasterze and numerous other glaciers, the Krimml waterfalls, several glacier valleys and alluvial fans as well as extensive tundra areas and forests. The Swiss pines in particular grow along the tree line, but alpine roses can also be found here. The wildlife of the park includes chamois, alpine ibex and red deer, as well as griffon vultures and the golden eagle. The earlier extinct bearded vulture and the alpine marmot were successfully reintroduced.
Experience the Big Five of the Alps on hikes
Rangers offer appropriate hikes in the national park. Of course everyone wants to see the ibex as the most famous animal in the region. Other “celebrities” include marmots, chamois, eagles and bearded vultures.
But also one of the busiest alpine crossings, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, crosses and divides the national park. In addition, the area is heavily used for tourism and contains some of the most climbed peaks in the Austrian Alps. This makes the national park a well-known and respected experiment to protect nature and to use it as a recreational area.
A landmark of Carinthia
Hochosterwitz Castle in Carinthia, Austria, was built on a limestone cliff that rises 150 meters above the valley and offers the visitor a spectacular view of the neighboring mountains, hills and landscapes. It belongs to the municipality of St. Georgen am Längsee.
History of the weir system
The castle was first mentioned in records in 860. It was a haven for the local population during the Turkish invasion in the 11th and 12th centuries. After the death of Hans Schenk von Osterwitz, the last owner of the original lien, the castle was given to King Friedrich III. returned. In gratitude for the support of the imperial troops during the war against the Turks, the lien on Hochosterwitz Castle was handed over by Emperor Ferdinand I to Christoph Khevenhüller von Aichelberg in 1541. His nephew Georg Khevenhüller finally received the castle and expanded the building to its current size with private money. In the castle courtyard, a marble plaque from 1576 announces that Georg Khevenhüller “reconstructed this castle with his own personal means.
Georg’s love and concern for his castle lasted all his life. The marble tablet also reminds his descendants to “keep the castle as a continuous reminder of the past and as a warning for all time”. Since then, the castle has been in the family for generations. Many centuries have passed, but Hochosterwitz Castle has not changed – only its purpose has changed. Fortunately, there was always a family member who remembered the warning carved in stone by his ancestor and made great sacrifices to keep the castle in good condition.
Also worth seeing inside
Today Hochosterwitz Castle, with its ancestral portraits, the small chapel and the interesting museum, is a popular and fascinating excursion destination. What makes the castle seem so strong when visiting is the obviously well-suited position of the entire complex. The winding entrance is blocked by 14 fortified gates and opens in front of the main castle. The 14 gates are the landmark of the castle. Only its extremely clever and technically correct construction made the castle impregnable, as the enemy had to conquer gate by gate, but could be attacked from all sides at the same time. Visitors can experience the history of the castle in some rooms. Special highlights are several knight festivals and concerts each year. A train brings visitors who cannot walk through the castle to the top.
The Bregenzerwald is one of the main regions of the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. The residents often divide the Bregenzerwald into two main areas, the Vorderwald and the Hinterwald. The Vorderwald with its hills and low mountains is closest to the Rhine Valley. The back forest has the higher mountains with altitudes of up to 2,000 meters. Each of the two regions has its own dialect variants. The population of the Bregenz Forest lives from tourism, agriculture and trade, which is closely linked to the wood processing industry. Many locals also commute to work in the Rhine Valley, the economic center of Vorarlberg.
Versatile holiday region in Austria
The Bregenz Forest offers every nature and culture lover the perfect vacation spot for summer and winter in the middle of the Arlberg massif in the Austrian Alps. Active vacation, cultural vacation or pleasure vacation – vacationers don’t have to decide here. In the Bregenzerwald you will find the perfect symbiosis of exercise, relaxation and enjoyment. Pleasure travelers can experience picturesque panoramas and culinary highlights on the Käsestraße from Bregenz, for example. In this true holiday paradise, the clocks seem to run differently than in the rest of Austria, a little slower, and people still know how to appreciate authenticity as well as culture and tradition.
Sights and activities
From Warth in the east to Sulzbach, in the Bregenzerwald, tourists and those seeking relaxation will find many wildly romantic and culturally exciting holiday destinations. During the summer this beautiful region is an excellent hiking area with various signposted trails that lead to the impressive peaks. In the same region, active holidaymakers are brought to the starting point of their ski day in winter by the Bregenzerwald cable cars. The crystal clear mountain lakes offer a refreshing change as well as exciting motorcycle tours on the windy panorama roads on the Arlberg. In addition to the picturesque nature, the holiday region is also characterized by outstanding architecture and various art and cultural events. A highlight not to be missed on your vacation in Vorarlberg, is the Bregenzerwald Cheese Route. An association of farmers, restaurateurs, craftsmen and traders who promote agriculture and its local products offers culinary hikes with various tastings in front of a breathtaking mountain panorama.