UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites of Austria
Written by Valentina Romano
Before the founding of the Ancient Roman Empire, Austria used to be the land of the Celts, the heart of the Celtic Kingdom. Then with the invasion of the Romans it became a province, until finally in the middle ages—14th, 15th century—Austria became the central point of the Holy Roman Empire.
Thanks to the country’s centuries-old history, Austria features some beautiful cultural sites. UNESCO chose 9 of those to include in its World Heritage Sites’ List.
All those sites are cultural, and they are all spread around the country. Not to bore you to death, the Golden Scope picked only 5 sites to describe and show you: Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn (under UNESCO since 1996), Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape (1997), City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg (1999), Wachau Cultural Landscape (2000), and last, but not least, Historic Centre of Vienna (2001)
UNESCO’s WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF AUSTRIA
The Palace of Schönbrunn—built in the 17th century— was the official residence of the Hasburg emperors until 1918. Designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi, this site is the first ever zoo of the world. In 1752 several animals were kept in captivity all around the property.
The Hallstatt-Dachstein is located in the Eastern Alps. Since the mediaeval times, this site has been based on salt mining, indeed the town near the mines was given the name of Hallstatt, which means salt settlement.
The City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg is a clear example of the detailed and refined Hasburg architectural style of the 18th century. The contrast between the surrounding natural landscape with the brick and stone mansions that compose the city is absolutely stunning.
The Wachau Cultural Landscape is a stretch of the Danube Valley between Melk and Krems, featuring a breath-taking panorama. When on this site, it is possible to admire different forms of architecture (monasteries, castles, ruins), urban design, (towns and villages), and agricultural use, principally for the cultivation of vines —of its evolution since prehistoric times.
The Historic Centre of Vienna is definitely a must-visit when in Austria. As Vienna was first developed during the Celtic Kingdom, it presents architectural characteristics from that era, as well as from the Ancient Roman Empire, and Austro-Hungarian Empire. The historic centre includes Baroque castles as well as gardens and buildings, monuments and parks from the 19th century.
(All photos are taken from Google.com, and they all belong to their original owners)