Göstling, Lunz & Lunzer See:
Beach resort of Lower Austria

Lunz am See is a village with approximately 2,000 residents. It can be found in the Eisenwurzen region, which has been influenced by iron ore mining and processing for centuries. Lunz is well-known in Eastern Austria for the Lunzer See, a small lake that is very popular among Viennese and locals. Lunz has extensive forests (about 80 percent of the municipality comprise of them), and picturesque mountains. These selling points draw thousands of visitors to Lunz every year. Coming from the Salzburg lake area myself, I don′t really understand that hype.

Lunz and surroundings are pretty, but I think that Austria has more impressive lakes and mountains to offer. Besides, Lunz is also known as being particularly cold: In 1932, the lowest temperature ever to be measured anywhere in Central Europe was a staggering minus 52.6 degrees Celsius - registered and approved in Lunz. Until today, Lunz is known as a rather cool place even during the summers. However, given that Vienna gets unpleasantly hot and muggy during summers, this might even add to the appeal of Lunz.

Biology & Archaeology in Lunz am See

As I biologist, I can proudly refer to the "Biologische Station Lunz", an institute of limnology that was founded in 1905 by the Viennese scientist Karl Kupelwieser. It is considered to be the oldest institute of limnology in the world and was a cradle for the development of this subject. It is maintained as a cooperation between the University of Vienna, the BOKU and the Donauuniversität Krems. In 1948, the facility was extended to include an institute for research on beekeeping. This institute moved into its own building in 1970.

A few words on the history of Lunz and its surroundings: Some findings from the early stone age, such as a 4000 year old axe, indicate that Lunz has been populated very early. Later settlers included Illyrian and Celtic people, until the kingdom of Noricum became part of the Roman Empire as a province of the same name. Celtic people and Romans established the iron ore mining in Eisenerz (Styria). The ore was taken from Mendling to Lunz and from there further on to the manufactories of Cetium (St. Pölten) and Arelape (Pöchlarn).

History of Lunz & Surroundings

During the age of migration, Awarian and Slavonic trimbes moved into the area. Later, Bavarians consolidated the region as part of their spehere of interest. In 976, the county of Austria was founded. It included Lunz. However, the name was not formally mentioned before 1203 ("Liunze in Montanis"). In 1340, Duke Albrecht XI purchased Lunz and gave it to the monastery of Gaming.

Since around 1400, Lunz had a key-position in the Eisentraße, the trading route for iron ore. This resulted in a Renaissance boom, indicated by many buildings from this period that have surcvived until today. Note for example the Frauenkirche, a church first mentioned in 1392. Or the Amonhaus, built in 1551. During this age, many locksmiths and blacksmiths opened thwir workshops in Lunz. Various Turkish and other invasions, the bubonic plague, the 30-years-war, the counter reformation and Napoleonic Wars caused much trouble in Lunz (and elsehwhere).

Only in the 19th century, the village showed signs of recovery: By 1832, a new iron factory had opened and Lunz was associated with iron in much of the Habsburg Empire. The Töpperbrücke bridge dates back to this period, it was decorated with cast iron figures of saints. Since the late 19th century, tourism played a major role in Lunz. This was fuelled by the construction of the narrow-gauge railway that connects Lunz with Waidhofen an der Ybbs and the Ennstal.

Back to: "Lower Austria Sightseeing Guide"

Sightseeing by Austrian Province

Bregenz and Vorarlberg - Innsbruck and Tyrol - Salzburg - Salzkammergut - Graz and Styria - Klagenfurt and Carinthia - Wachau and Lower Austria - Vienna - Burgenland

Further Reading

Official Website of Lunz am See

Wikipedia on Lunz am See

German Wikipedia on Lunzer See (with pics)

Official Website of Lower Austria