Bruck an der Mur: Styria′s North-Eastern Corner
The North-East of Styria is generally considered to be a stop-over area: Either you come from Graz and go to Vienna or the other way round. Tourists barely ever make it to cities like Bruck an der Mur, as they rather head off to Mariazell, Eisenerz or Leoben. They miss out.
Bruck is much more than the region′s economic and cultural heart, more than a traffic hub and a an administrative centre (although it is indeed all of the above, too). There are several things worth noting about the city. Start sightseeing at the Schlossberg, which ascends to the remains of Schloss Landskron.
From there you can enjoy some nice vistas over Bruck, which will give you an idea of the size of the place and where you might want to go later on. The main attraction of Bruck is the ancient Ruprechtskirche Church in Romanesque style. It contains a 15th century fresco of the Last Judgement. It ranks among Austria′s most complete and impressive Medieval frescos.
Sightseeing in a Neglected Part of Styria
On the city′s main square, you can marvel at the facades of burgher houses or enjoy the city′s main well with a 17th century iron canopy typical for Styria, but in particularly elaborate perfection. The most important of the burgher houses is the Kornmesserhaus, a late 15th century building that was once erected for a local iron merchant. This tells you a lot about the history of Bruck: With all the iron ore mining going on in Eisenerz and Leoben, the entire Mur River Valley prospered for centuries as the Habsburg′s armour collection was starving for more and more iron. On the same square, the Jugenstil, Austria′s branch of Art Nouveau, left its mark in Antauerhaus Building at number 10.
If you prefer hiking over sightseeing, the hills surrounding Bruck offer plenty of opportunities for real individualists. Just like the Flachgau region where I am from, the area suffers from being neglected because all its features are met with more splendour nearby: Castles in the Burgenland, pretty hills and good food in the area around Leibnitz and Hartberg, urban excitements in Graz, dramatic sceneries in the Semmering of Lower Austria, the spiritual centre of Mariazell and the industrial heritage of the iron trade around Leoben and Eisenerz.
Just like the Flachgau, the surroundings of Bruck have a lot to offer, though, and it is worth staying a few days if you want to avoid the crowds. Other well-connected destinations are Judenburg and Admont as well as the Styrian share of the Salzkammergut - getting there is a bit of a journey, though, and time-consuming.
Back to: "Styria Sightseeing Guide"