Puchberg am Schneeberg


Puchberg am Schneeberg

Infobox Ort in Österreich
Art = Marktgemeinde
Name = Puchberg am Schneeberg
Wappen = 100px-Puchberg Wappen.jpg
lat_deg = 47 | lat_min = 47 | lat_sec = 00
lon_deg = 15 | lon_min = 54 | lon_sec = 00
Bundesland = Niederösterreich
Bezirk = Neunkirchen
Höhe = 585
Fläche = 83.17
Einwohner = 2722
Stand = 2005-12-31
PLZ = 2733, 2734, 2761
Vorwahl = 02636
Kfz = NK
Gemeindekennziffer = 3 18 26
NUTS = AT122
Adresse = Wiener Neustädter Straße 17 2734 Puchberg
Website = [http://www.puchberg.at www.puchberg.at]
Bürgermeister = Michael Knabl
Partei = SPÖ
Gemeinderatanzahl = 21
Gemeinderat = 12 SPÖ, 9 ÖVP
Wahljahr = 2005

Puchberg am Schneeberg is a town in the south-eastern part of Lower Austria in the industrial district in Austria, situated at the foot of the Schneeberg (2,076 m), the highest mountain of Lower Austria.

History

Puchberg is a very old and picturesque town that has been in existence at least since the Roman times, when it was situated on the Amber road that brought amber from Poland to Rome and places thereon. The main street that runs through Puchberg and on to Vienna is part of that road, and Roman street signs (a bas relief hand pointing the way) have been excavated and some have been repositioned alongside the road. Legend has it that the town of Puchberg was officially founded when a group of Roma grew tired of their nomadic existence and settled down in the little camp, but if this is true all traces of the Roma were assimilated centuries ago into the general Austrian population. French soldiers settling down during the Napoleonic wars were similarly assimilated, and the general atmosphere is of one of traditional Austrian country life.

The town view is dominated by the spectacular mountain Schneeberg and the castle ruins that date from the 13th century and is the oldest in the region. It is still owned by the Count of Hoyus and is open for special events, although unofficially locals like to climb in the windows for courtyard picnics and tennis games. There were two other castles in the area. The first of these, Stixenstein, is located a bit out of town on the curviest road in Austria (a real accomplishment in a country with more mountains per square meter than any other European country) and is very large and well preserved. It is the property of the city of Vienna and is open for special occasions. The second was almost in the center of town, but it was destroyed during WWII, and the ruin imploded to bury the weapons left behind.

The castle shares its hilltop with the school Puchberg museum and the church. The church building itself is mostly a reconstruction following the destruction of WWII, but the grounds contain graves from the past nine centuries and the church baptism, marriage and death records can trace some local families’ histories back for five.

Due to its location along the road from the East to Vienna Puchberg suffered two invasions by the Ottoman Empire on the way to besiege Vienna, and in the Austrian tradition several buildings are marked by plaques detailing what happened there (and many other key events such as the end of the plague and visits by the emperor). For similar reasons Puchberg also suffered during World War II as the Soviet/Nazi front passed right through it, although fortunately many of its beautiful and historic buildings and farmhouses survived. Much of Puchberg was built in the 18th and 19th centuries as the region became a resort area for the Viennese upper classes seeking to escape the city in summer, and it still serves as a nature retreat today.

ubdivisions:

*Puchberg am Schneeberg
*Rohrbachgraben
*Stolzenwörth

ites of interest

*Burgruine Puchberg, the castle which was first built in around 1204, the oldest in Lower Austria. Its age was determined on the basis dendrochronological investigations at wooden remainders. It shares its hilltop square with the school, church, village museum and a memorial. The castle celebrates its 800th birthday in 2005 with events throughout the summer including a 1205 reenactment in August. [http://www.historiavivens1300.at/images/ruine/r_ansicht01.jpgPhoto]

*School - where the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was an elementary school teacher

chneeberg

[http://www.pbase.com/bowling4jason/image/21629706] [http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/photo_link.pl/photo_id/126303/mountain_id/2411/object_id/2411/type/mountain] - Schneeberg literally means "snow mountain," which is appropriate as it is the highest mountain in Niederosterreich and has snow on top year-round. The brave can hike to the top or climb the many cliffs it offers, those just in search of a hike can take the chair lift past the cliffs and hike the rest of the way through rocky fields, tundra and snow, and those who prefer an easy day with gorgeous scenery and state-of-the art nineteenth century technology can take the Zahnradbahn, or cog-wheel train, the Schneebergbahn. [http://www.schneebergbahn.at/] you can have you choice of a 100-year old steam-powered train or a more modern diesel-electric Salamander one. The older train appears quaint now, but when it was first built it was a technical marvel and the emperor Franz Joseph came out to inspect and ride in it.

The top of Schneeberg is mostly flat with some steeper areas at the end of the trail, which ends at the top of the mountain at a small inn called the Fisher's Hut. There is also a hotel at the mountaintop train station and an alpine Gasthaus at the half-way point that serves excellent traditional Austrian country pastries and sausages. On Schneeberg itself you will see spectacular views of the surrounding valleys [http://www.schneebergbahn.at/wall/ausblick_800x600.jpg] , tundra, pine bushes (the altitude is too high for the pine trees to reach their full height, and so they grow outwards instead, and patches of pure snow. The air and snow is very clean up there and the snow serves as the source of the region water supply. Snowmelt from Schneeberg was also the source of the Emperor's drinking water, and he sent a rider out every day to pick up his supply. In the summer there are some areas on the mountain that also have cows and oxen, but they are universally friendly and not very interested in people. In the winter you can take the train up for snow boarding terrain and mountain climbing, while the lower levels have a few ski run serviced by the chair lift. At the higher elevations you can see wild mountain goats and the occasional deer.

Schneeberg is also the site of a church built in the memory of the Empress Elisabeth, more popularly known by her nickname Sissi, who was assassinated by a nihilist in 1898. Among others the builders included Franz Zenz of Puchberg.

The Lake - The heart of Puchberg's downtown is occupied by a lake surrounded by a path and landscaped flowers and plants. The lake itself is occupied by trout, ducks and swans, all of which you can see from the row boats available for rent. Two cafes overlook the lake and most festivals such as the national day and the August Volksfest take place on its banks. There is also an outdoor stage where music and theater are available free of charge most weekends and some weekday evenings in the summer. In the winter the lake freezes over and it is available for ice-skating as long as it will hold a person's weight.

The farms - In addition to tourism, the primary industry of Puchberg is dairy farming. Due to the mountainous nature of the area large industrial farms are impossible, and instead family farms dot the landscape. Many of the farmhouses are more than 200 years old and at least one is almost five hundred. Many farms offer the opportunity to stay with them and experience traditional farm life or stop by for a meal of trout, sausage or goulash and fresh dairy products with the ubiquitous beer and homemade wine or cider (plus milk and mineral water).

Nature - Puchberg environs include the Hohe Wand, a high cliff network good for hiking and rock climbing, two waterfalls including one over convert|100|ft|m high, caves, alpine lakes and fields, multiple mountains and trails that pass through all of them as well as some of the neighboring farms. In addition to hiking, mountain biking is quite popular and an alpine school offers excursions and lessons in mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding and offers heliskiing as well. The position of the mountain Himberg relative to neighboring fields is advantageous to paragliders and hangliders who are occasionally seen.

The spas - There are two spas in Puchberg that offer various programs under the heading Kurort Puchberg (Cure/Rejuvenation Destination Puchberg).


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