Mistelbach in Lower Austria:
Police shelter & synonym for Provinciality
If somebody in Vienna talks about a "Mistelbacher", he normally refers to a policeman. Mistelbach in the Weinviertel region, north-east of Vienna, once had some barracks that were used as a shelter for auxiliary police forces that served in the capital - thus the slang-word "Mistelbachian" for a policeman. Otherwise, people in Vienna consider Mistelbach as a synonym for provincial, boring middle-of-nowhere places in Lower Austria. This image of the surrounding province might be justified in some areas, but Mistelbach is actually not that bad after all.
It is a town with more than 11,000 residents, close ties with the agricultural heritage and wine production and an important administrative hub for the region. There are much more provincial places in Lower Austria than Mistelbach. It is well-connected to Vienna and does have a few sights to offer: Apart from a historic town centre with the odd interesting house, there is the "Museumszentrum", a cluster of museums of which one is particularly significant.
The "Hermann Nitsch Museum" is dedicated to - you guessed it - Hermann Nitsch, who lives in nearby Prinzendorf. The artist was one of the leading figures in the Wiener Aktionismus (Vienna Actionism) and one of Austria′s most important contemporary artists.
Some History & Sightseeing in Mistelbach
Other sights of the town, which was once property of the Princes of Liechtenstein, is the Gothic parish church, built around 1500. Note especially the Gothic Madonna made of limestone. Nearby you can see an Romanesque charnel house, which was built around 1200. In the course of its history as a town nearby the border, Mistelbach has been invaded, plundered and devastated a couple of times; nevertheless, there are some historic buildings that were preserved in the city centre.
This applies to the obligatory Rathaus City Hall, a trinity column and a collegiate building of the Barnabite monks, an originally Italian order that had some significance in Austria during the counter-reformation. The Barnabite college was erected after the second Turkish siege in 1687 and is well-known for its frescos by famous Baroque artists.
Several traditional farmhouses do well in merchandising locally produced wine and there are many places where you can learn more about the main product of the Weinviertel area - the best is probably the Weinviertel Vinothek in Siebenhirten. Here you can also find a few traditional farms in their original state.
More Attractions near Mistelbach: Vienna
Other attractions include the "Barockschlössl", a small Baroque villa, which again refers to the winemaking tradition of the area by displaying a historic wine press (I doubt that this word is used in English - I mean the device that is used for squeezing grapes in the process of making wine). So, all in all, Mistelbach can′t be all that provincial, can it? Better the bloody snobbish Viennese took a good look at Mistelbach before they continue making fun of it.
Attractions nearby include…vineyards. Villages. And Vienna. That′s pretty much it - in terms of sightseeing, the surroundings of Mistelbach are not the most rewarding area of Austria. There are - like almost everywhere in Lower Austria - countryside retreats and villas of Vienna′s nobility here and there, but for the really big castles, you should head south to the Marchfeld Plain.