St. Pelten is one of the most popular tourist towns not only in Austria, but throughout Central Europe. It will captivate you with its ancient architecture, rich history, many attractions and a unique atmosphere permeated with the spirit of true Austrian hospitality.
Sankt Pölten, located between the Danube and the foot of the Alps, is not only the largest settlement in the state of Lower Austria, but also the oldest city in the country. Moreover, in 1986 he was awarded the title of the youngest capital of the administrative district.
Over the centuries-old history of its existence, Sankt Pölten, whose population is only 50 thousand people, managed to change several images – from Fort Elium-Centium, erected during the reign of the Roman Empire, to a transshipment point, spread out around the St. Hippolytus Abbey, and the famous cultural and political center, which received the official status of the city in 1159. Currently, St. Pölten is famous not only for a large number of attractions, but also for the mass of cultural events that attract tourists from all over the world.
On a note! The best period for exploring St. Pölten is the summer, when the thermometer rises to a comfortable 25 ° C. The rest of the time the city is exposed to fog, strong winds and quite noticeable frosts.
What to see?
Those who are fortunate enough to visit St. Pölten at least once in their lives are unlikely to forget its wide squares, numerous churches, unique museums and amazing baroque buildings erected by the architect Jacob Prandtauer. We offer a walk through the most famous sights of the administrative center of Lower Austria.
The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary was built in 1150 on the site of the former sanctuary of servitude. The interior of the church is striking in its splendor. Its interior is decorated with ancient frescoes, unique icons and paintings by such great artists as Antonio Tassi, Daniel Gran and Bartolomeo Almonte. The most valuable among them is the portrait of the Queen of Heaven, Mary, frozen over the miraculous symbol of pilgrimage. The baroque-style exterior decoration of the church deserves no less attention. It is represented by a central dome, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, located at the entrance, and four stone figures mounted on a cornice and depicting the main Austrian saints – Anna, Augustine, Joachim and Gregory.
However, many pilgrims are attracted not so much by the luxury reigning in the cathedral as by local legends. According to one of them, in ancient times, a real miracle happened in Die Kathedralkirche Mariä Himmelfahrt – a Madonna face appeared on a section of a large oak tree. A few years later, another inexplicable event happened on the territory of the temple – the white-winged pigeon appeared in front of the old blacksmith, surrounded by a halo of bright light. The master engraved his vision on a huge stone, which has survived to this time.
Address: Domplatz, Sankt Pölten, Austria.
The list of sights of St. Pelten is continued by the local Town Hall, located in the center of the square of the same name and considered the main symbol of the city. The building, erected in the first half of the 14th century, survived more than a dozen reconstructions, therefore several architectural styles can be traced in its appearance – from Baroque to the Renaissance. So, the house of the tradesman T. Pudmer (now the east wing) became the first building of the future pearl of Austria. Then the western half of the city hall was attached to it. Following it, in 1519, an octagonal tower appeared, which served as an arms warehouse and storage for grain. The last one poured a dome resembling a huge bulb.
Rathaus owes its current Baroque appearance to the architect Josef Mungenast, who was engaged in the next renovation of the facade (early 18th century). Thanks to the skillful work of the craftsmen, echoes of bygone days have been preserved on the walls and ceilings of the building – magnificent paintings, sgraffito drawings and unique murals with portraits of Austrian kings.
In subsequent years, Town Hall rooms were used for a variety of purposes. At one time, it housed a museum, a fire department headquarters, a library in which the first “schubertiads” were held, and even a prison. Now on this place are the offices of the measure, parliament and council. A few more premises were given to municipal services and institutions.
Address: Rathausplatz 1, Sankt Pölten 3100, Austria.
The current Museum Niederoesterreich building, dedicated to the history of Lower Austria, was erected according to the plans of the architect Hans Hollein in 2002. Expositions of this attraction occupy about 300 square meters. Here you can see unique collections of archaeological, naturalistic and ethnographic artifacts, works of art dated to the period of the Middle Ages, as well as collections of paintings of the 19-20th century written by Schiele, Kokoschka, Waldmüller, Gauermann and other representatives of Biedermeier and expressionism.
In addition, the museum has a 3-D cinema showing films about the history and first inhabitants of Lower Austria, and a small zoo that contains all the inhabitants of the Danube zone (fish, bees, vipers, amphibians, turtles, insects, ants, vipers, etc. . d.). Thanks to the opportunity to get acquainted with the life of wildlife, the historical museum of St. Pölten has gained great popularity among young tourists.
- Address: Kulturbezirk 5, Sankt Pölten 3100, Austria.
- Opening hours: Tue – sun. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Holy Trinity Column, erected in the 18th century in honor of the victory over the plague, is one of the most famous sights of St. Pelten in Austria. The construction of the building, located in the heart of the Town Hall Square, lasted 15 years and ended only in 1782. In addition to Andreas Grubber, who became the author of this project, the best masons, painters and sculptors worked on it. The result of their efforts was a magnificent stele made of snow-white marble and decorated with graceful sculptures in the form of sacred images and human figures.
At the foot of the Plague Column, the top of which is poured by the iridescent rays of Divine glory, there is a fountain with a pool, and on both sides there are statues of 4 righteous people – Hippolytus, Sebastian, Florian and Leopold. Rumor has it that the restoration of the stele cost the city administration 47 thousand euros.
Address: Rathausplatz, St. Pölten, Austria.
At the end of this short review, it should be noted that the main attractions of St. Pölten are worth walking around. Only in this way can you admire the unusual architectural compositions and feel the soul of this ancient Austrian town. In addition, the capital of Lower Austria pleases with a huge number of green spaces represented by flowering plants and sprawling trees.
Where to stay?
St. Pelten in Austria has a large selection of housing of various price categories.
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(day for 2 people)
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How to get there
The nearest airport is Vienna, 65 km from Sankt Pölten. There are several ways to get from there to the city center, but the train or taxi have the greatest demand. We’ll talk about them.
From Vienna to Sankt Pölten there are 2 direct trains owned by Austrian Railways (ÖBB):
- From Wien Meidling Station to St.Pölten Hbf. Travel time is 23 minutes. Distance – 60 km. Ticket price – from 2 to 16 €;
- Night Train (Nighttrain En) – Follows from Wien Hbf Station to St.Pölten Hbf St.Pölten Hbf. Travel time is 32 minutes. The distance is 64 km. Ticket price – from 10 to 17 €.
Taxi stands are located at Node Vienna. The journey takes a little less than an hour. The fare will cost 100-130 €. The final stop is Sankt Pölten.
As you can see, St. Pelten is a truly amazing place, the sights of which will remain in your memory forever. Have a good rest and an unforgettable experience!