Linz City Travel Guide


Like most cities in Austria, the city of Linz is based on the Roman expansion to the North. The bending of the River Danube made this territory a strategic point and a small castle fortified it. The castle and its settlements where named Lentia. Linz was first mentioned in 799 AD, when the Bavarians expanded to the South and this area was transformed into a trading hub.

Starting at the beginning of the 16th century the ideas of the Reformation reached Linz and where happily welcomed. By 1542, the first protestant major was elected and the Landhaus was erected. In 1600 the Habsburgers initiated the Counter Reformation. By 1700 the Linz's layout was formed and remains to this day, with Baroque buildings and the erecting of different monasteries. A wool fabrication plant was built, giving work to up to 50.000 people, making Linz Austria's main textile factory and a center of trade.

With industrialisation in the early 19th century Linz grew more and more into a commercial city, which made it a traget for above average air raids during World War II. In 1966 Linz became a university city with the construction of the Johannes Kepler University.

For decades Voest Alpine industries and Chemie Linz have been major players in the city's economy. After severe troubles both enterprises are sound once more and provide jobs for a significant number of people. For a long time Linz was considered to be an industrial city , with all the negatives that go with it: dirty, smelly and devoid of cultural activities. However, with internationally renowned institutions like the Brucknerhaus and ARS Electronica Center and many other activities Linz has managed to shed this image and attracts a large number of tourists and guests. In 2003 a spectacular museum was built on the banks of the Danube. Lentos is an impressive modern building and houses a good collection of contemporary art featuring works by Kokoschka, Schiele, Klimt, Attersee or Hrdlicka.

Nowadays, Linz is the second largest city in Austria and a very important location for industry. It is home to approximately 200.000 people and host to the annual Bruckner Festival and the Ars Electronica, a fair dedicated to technology and contemporary electronic art.