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Bucklige Welt – land of the thousand hills

© by Niederösterreich-Werbung / Michael Liebert

The Bucklige Welt region, only about an hour south of Vienna, is perfect for those who want to enjoy a few quiet days. Experience a wonderful diversity of nature, culture and history, off the beaten path.

A very hilly landscape characterizes the Bucklige Welt region in the southeastern corner of Lower Austria. Hence, the name means something like “world of bumps” in German. This is the easternmost end of the Alps, which extends through Austria. From here, the flat Pannonian plains dominate the landscape far into Hungary.

Land of the thousand hills

We drove around randomly, as we often do in Austria, and when we arrived in Bucklige Welt, we were impressed by the landscape. Around every turn, over every hilltop – of which there were plenty – new perspectives open up. The hill country rises to altitudes between 375 and 900 meters above sea level. As the distances are small, and there are many small roads crisscrossing the region, it’s perfect for discovering by car or bicycle. The area is 585 km² and consists of 23 municipalities with 39,000 inhabitants. Even though many traces have been found after the Celts (about 700 to 500 BC), the forested areas were not systematically cleared for agriculture until the 1100s. As a result, today, the area is characterized by a mix of forest and farm landscapes. Villages and small towns are spread throughout the region.

Local history, culture and culinary delights

In Bucklige Welt, you can relax and enjoy Austria at its best. Although the region is popular with weekend tourists from Vienna, you meet far fewer tourists here than, for example, further west in Austria. Holiday in Bucklige Welt is about relaxing and enjoying life. Here you collect holiday memories by immersing yourself in local history, culture and culinary delights. The easiest way to see the region is by car. Like in other parts of Austria, you’ll find many farm roads that give you access to countless detours. Bring a picnic basket, find a hilltop and enjoy the view and good food. Here are three places on your to-do list when visiting the Bucklige Welt.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Aussichtswarte auf dem Hutwisch

There are plenty of viewpoints in the region. You can have great views of the surrounding area on almost every hilltop. Nevertheless, we recommend a trip to the viewing tower at Hutwisch (Aussichtswarte auf dem Hutwisch). The 22 m high wood tower is on top of an 896m high hill. From the tower, it is easy to see why the region has been named “Bucklige Welt” or “the land of 1000 hills”. On clear days you can see Lower Austria’s highest mountain Schneeberg (2076m), Lake Neusiedler and the Steiner Alps in Slovenia. From the parking lot at the L146, it is approx. a 600 m walk up the tower by a gravel road or paths. See Google Maps.

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Kirchschlag in der Buckligen Welt

The Bucklige Welt region has many idyllic villages and towns, all distinctive and new to visitors. If you only have time to visit one of them, we recommend Kirchschlag. The small town with just under 3000 inhabitants offers historic buildings and a medieval castle, which thrones on a hill above the city. Around the main square (Hauptplatz), you will find shops, cafes and restaurants. Finally, take the time to stroll off to the park at the church.

Kirchschlag Castle

Any tour of Austria should include a visit to a medieval castle. Perched on the hill above the village, a fairytale-like castle towers over the valley. Parts of the castle have (Burgruine Kirchschlag) been restored, and it is easy to get an impression of its former splendour. Just next to the castle stands the fire tower, which has nothing to do with the castle and is a much newer building. Here you can get even better views than from the castle – if you climb all the stairs. There is a free entrance to the castle, and parking is available at Hauptplatz (Main Square), and from here, it is a 5-10-minute walk up to the castle. See Google Maps.

For more info:

Bucklige Welt (info on German)
Bucklige Welt (interactive map)

Sights:

Zinnfigurenwelt (Tin Figure Museum)
Bucklige Welt Wind (Windmill with viewing platform)

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.