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Autumn walk in historic Steyr

© by Ana Lucia Marcos

Picturesque but far from old-fashioned, Steyr is a lively market town at the foot of the Alps. 1000-year-old Steyr has one of Austria’s finest town squares, surrounded by Gothic and Baroque architecture.

The lovely town at the foot of the Alps in Upper Austria has one of Austria’s best-preserved historical centres. Located where the rivers Steyr and Enns meet, the market town celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 1980. As a result, Steyr is a cosy and vibrant town. North of the city, the almost flat landscapes of the Danube Valley unfold, while to the south, the Alps rise to over 2000 meters. Even the historic town centre, which is far from just an open-air museum, is pretty lively. Hence, Steyr is a beautiful place to explore for a day or three.

Market day

Thursday and Saturday mornings are market days, making Steyr extra lively. The town is divided into three parts; Altstadt (historic centre), located between the Steyr and Enns rivers. Steyerdorf is situated on the north side of the Steyr and Enns rivers, and finally, Ennsdorf (where you find the train station) is located in the east on the banks of Enns. In addition to visiting the Stadtplatz (Central square), you should also take a trip across the river to the north. Exploring the old industrial district, a mix of homes, schools, and shops today show you a different side of Steyr. It’s nice to stroll along the river Steyr, divided by an island, before it meets Enns.

Walking in historic Steyr

Here’s a suggestion for a lovely stroll that takes you through some of the finest streets in Steyr. First, cross the bridge under Schloss Lamberg to the north side of the river Steyr and continue along Wehrgrabengasse. Then cross a side arm of the River Steyr at Wehrgrabengasse 29. Turn left at Fabrikstrasse and take the stairs (Wasserberg) up to Sierninger Strasse. Follow this street down to Michaelerkirche, where you can cross the bridge and take Enge Gasse back to Stadtplatz. Steyr’s main attraction is the town square, or there Stadtplatz as it is called in German, which is right in the heart of Altstadt.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Stadtplatz

Around the town square is where you will find most of the ancient historical buildings. Much of the architecture, that makes Steyr one of Austria’s most beautiful historic towns, was built from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Before starting sightseeing, get a city map and some brochures at the tourist office to know what you are looking at. Moreover, when you walk around the old town, do not forget to look up. As the most delicate architectural details often are found on the upper floors. Furthermore, make excursions away from the Stadtplatz and into the narrow alleys (Gassen) and stairways (Stiegen). There are six stairways since the difference between the upper and lower part of the old town can be up to 40 meters.

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English Garden

After a nice walk with historic architecture, shopping and perhaps even a Wienerschnitzel, you could head to the park to relax. Behind Castle Lamberg and the town centre lies the Schlosspark (Castle park), which was first laid out in 1476. Today’s park dated back to 1844 and was designed as an “English garden”. So you can easily spend a few hours in the shade of the trees on a hot summer day or enjoy romantic walks with your beloved on a sunny autumn day.

Christmas Post Office

If you are in the region before Christmas, you should get their Christmas cards stamped at the Christmas Post Office in Steyr. The post office, which has zip code A-4411 Christkindl (child Jesus), opened its doors 65 years ago. When it opened in 1950, the post office quickly became popular and received approximately 42,000 Christmas cards that went out to the whole world. Today, more than 2 million letters and cards are sent from the Christmas Post Office at the Hotel & Restaurant Christkindlwirt during Advent every year.

For more info, check out these links:

Steyr Tourist Office
Small historic towns in Austria
Steyrtalbahn (Museum train)
Upper Austria Tourism

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Written by Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia has traveled the world, but fell completely in love with Austria. She loves the dramatic mountain landscape, the phototastiske lakes and the captivating castles. Moreover, a real Wienerschnitzel is always on the menu when she explores the alpine country.