Rohrbach in the Mühlviertel:
Upper Austria Sightseeing north of Linz
Rohrbach is a market town in the Mühlviertel area, a very scenic chunk of Austria north of Linz. Unfortunately, the Mühlviertel is off the main routes through Austria and a bit rainy and cold; therefore, it has a hard time attracting visitors, which I think is a pity as it is rich in natural and cultural attractions. Approximately 2,500 people make Rohrbach anything but a metropolis; nevertheless, it plays a significant role as an educational and administrative centre for the region. Rohrbach is also a county town (Bezirkshauptstadt) and home to a regional court. It makes a good base to explore the northern parts of the Mühlviertel, for hiking, nature and rural/village appeals rather than "big" sighseeing.
In terms of attractions, Rohrbach offers the obligatory sights: The Rathaus city hall, a market square with some fine town houses. There is a public pool fashionably called "AquaRo". Otherwise, the hills of the surroundings are nice for some walking (in case you are British: in a way, the landscape resembles the Cotswolds, but with a distinct Austrian cultural note to it instead of the hyper-English one that you find in the Cotswolds). Note also the "Museum des Buchdrucks" in Rohrbach, an upgraded version of a town museum which is dedicated to book printing and its history.
Speaking of historical things - a few words on the history of Rohrbach: The community was first mentioned as a town with market privileges in 1320. Duke Albrecht renewed and even extended the market rights of Rohrbach in 1459. It shared essentially the history with other Mühlviertel market towns - read for comparison my articles on Freistadt (my favourite of the area) or Perg.
History of Rohrbach, Upper Austria
Summed up, history reads as such: Random medieval town, enjoyed a jolly good time towards the end of the Middle Ages and ramped up church, town houses and such around 1500. Reformation sucked, with lots of Protestant peasants starting wars and riots here and there. Economic decline, slight recovery with the counterreformation after 1600, thrown back occasionally with the odd peasants′ revolt.
Rohrbach gets occupied in the Napoleonic Wars and badly plundered, followed by a slow, slow recovery. Cut off the main traffic routes and to Bohemia and Moravia in the 20th century, which fostered the rural remoteness of the region and Rohrbach. No serious damages by any world wars (who would bomb the countryside?).
In 1986, Rohrbach is elevated to the rank of a city - which, considering its population of 2,500 people is not quite understandable to me. Today, the population comprises of commuters who work in Linz and people that work for local companies, schools, in the administration or medical sector. End of Rohrbach′s history so far.
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