Resting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers in Bavaria is the town of Passau. Lying on the border of Austria, Passau offers a unique and eclectic blend of German and Austria Baroque architecture. St Stephen’s Cathedral is the main focus for tourism in Passau and is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque. The main attractions of the cathedral include a treasury, museum, Italian painted frescoes and the biggest European church organ, boasting 17,774 pipes.
The Austrian city of Linz sits on the banks of the Danube River, 100 miles west of Vienna. It is home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks including: the old castle; St. Martin’s Church; the Baroque Town Hall; the 13th century main square, which features a monument to the Holy Trinity; and the 17th century cathedral. More recently, Linz has developed into an important cultural centre, with a number of schools of art music; several museums; art galleries; libraries; opera houses; and theatres. Additionally, Linz provides a point of access from which to visit the city of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart.
The Austrian town of Krems is situated north-west of Vienna, at the meeting point of the Danube and Krems rivers. It was the location of an imperial fortress around 995, and became a town in the 12th century, at which point it also featured a mint. There are many medieval fortifications still visible in the town including: Steiner Gate, the Pulverturm (“Powder Tower”), and the inner-city Gozzoburg Castle. Krems is renowned for its wine, and no journey to this Austrian town would be complete without tasting it for yourself.
The charming Austrian capital is situated on the River Danube and is a world-renowned centre for classical music, art, theatre and history. Home of the waltz, the Spanish Riding School, Sachertorte and Vienna Boys’ Choir, its central core is easily manageable by foot but excellent public transport is also available. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of Maria Theresia and the Hapsburgs and is one of the most iconic buildings in this great city.
Before 1806, Vienna was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and later it became the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in 1918, the capital of independent Austria which emerged from World War I as a republic. During WWII, Vienna was divided into five zones, but the 1955 State Treaty helped the country regain its independence and Vienna was once again the capital of a sovereign Austria.
Bratislava is the Slovakian capital city and is situated in the south-western part of the country. The city is dominated by the four-towered 13th century Bratislava Castle, which provides views over Slovakia and the neighbouring nations of Austria and Hungary. Bratislava Castle was once home to the Austrian royal family until it was destroyed by fire in 1811, but has since been restored. The city is also home to the Gothic castle of St. Martin, which was the site of the coronation of many kings and queens throughout history.
The River Danube plays a vital role in the build-up of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. It flows right through the heart of the city and has led to the construction of seven magnificent bridges - which connect the old city of Buda, on the right bank, with more modern city of Pest, on the left bank. One of the city’s instantly recognisable highlights is the Hungarian parliament building – a spectacular structure which sits beside the Danube. Venture into Budapest, wander its many streets, and you will discover St. Matthias Church, which was originally built in Romanesque style in the 11th century, but later rebuilt in Gothic style, in the 14th century.
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