Mostviertel Region, Lower Austria:
Travel Guide for Mostviertel Area, Niederösterreich
The province of Lower Austria is divided into four distinct cultural regions, the "Viertel" ("Quarters"): Mostviertel, the Waldviertel, the Weinviertel and Industrieviertel. The Mostviertel is a region in Lower Austria; the term is used colloquially and does generally not correspond with political boundaries. However, the division into "Viertel" ("quarters") is the most common among Austrians and often matches with regions that promote tourism offers in a joint effort.
The Mostviertel can be found in the south-east of Lower Austria, the largest of the political provinces of Austria. Its northern border is formed by the Danube, the southern and western borders are the political ones to Upper Austria and Styria (Steiermark). Towards east, the Mostviertel extends to the Wienerwald (Vienna Woods), which is also the reason why the region is sometimes called "Viertel ober dem Wienerwald" (Quarter beyond the Vienna Woods). Many Austrians, however, consider the eastern border marked by the city of St. Pölten.
The Mostviertel comprises of a pleasant, hilly landscape; it is generally densely populated and contains the two biggest cities of Lower Austria, the capital St. Pölten and the infamous Amstetten (infamous for the Fritzl-case). In addition to those, there are several large cities - after all, Lower Austria is the biggest province of the country. The political districts that are part of the Mostviertel are Amstetten, Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Scheibbs, parts of Melk, Lilienfeld, parts of Tulln and St. Pölten.
Name of the Mostviertel
As you might have noticed, this includes significant parts of the Wachau. Those areas are rather touristy, as they are popular by domestic travellers, but also loved by international visitors who come to the Wachau on day-trips from Vienna. The western part of the Mostviertel (for example Amstetten) are not touristy whatsoever. Not even among domestic (Austrian) tourists. This is despite of the fact that the Mostviertel contains much of the historic heartlands of Austria and several noteworthy attractions.
The term Mostviertel means "Cider Quarter" and refers to the many orchards of apple and pear trees. Only special variations are used for making cider - and this is done only in those areas too cold for growing wine. You will notice the difference this fact adds to the landscape once you enter the Wachau, Austria′s western-most ′proper′ wine region. If you fancy exploring the Mostviertel and its agricultural heritage, note the "Moststraße", a theme road dedicated to the region′s primary product. In addition to orchards, the Moststraße connects farms, look-outs, inns and traditional restaurants.
Mostviertel Features & Things to See
Another characteristic feature of the Mostviertel are the outlays of its farms, the "Vierkanter", a rectangular building with a central court. Apart from the still important agriculture, the economy of the Mostviertel is generally doing well. Many residents commute to Linz, but local industries perform strongly - for example, in wood/paper or steel/arms industries. This has been the case for centuries, especially the southern Mostviertel (Eisenwurzen) has been shaped by the processing and trade of iron ore from Eisenerz in Styria.
This is particularly noticeable in the picturesque town of Waidhofen an der Ybbs and the region around Göstling and Lunz am See. Note the monasteries of Melk, Herzogenburg, Seitenstetten, Lilienfeld and Gaming. But also several castles and palaces in the area. The best selling point of the Mostviertel that I can offer, however, are the rural charms of the region. The Mostviertel is not the most exciting part of Austria (with the exception of the Wachau), but might appeal to those of my readers who are in quest for an off-the-beaten track idea for their Austria-trip.