Lower Austria

Lower Austria

[loh-er]
Lower Austria, Ger. Niederösterreich, province (1991 pop. 1,480,927), c.7,400 sq mi (19,170 sq km), NE Austria. Vienna, although outside its boundaries, is the seat of the provincial government. Lower Austria is the largest of the Austrian provinces, and it borders on the Czech Republic in the north and Slovakia in the east. It is a picturesque, hilly region, drained by the Danube River and containing peaks of the Eastern Alps and the Wienerwald (Vienna Woods). The province includes roughly half of the country's arable land and is noted for its grain production and its wines. The valleys and basins around Vienna and Wiener Neustadt contain more than half of all Austrian industry, including manufactures in metal, textiles, chemicals, paper, and cellulose. The region also supports industries in food processing, sugar refining, brewing, and sawmilling. Petroleum is produced N of the Danube, especially near Zistersdorf. Baden is a well-known spa, and the Semmering region in the south is a tourist and health center. The province has several medieval castles and abbeys. In c.1450 a permanent split was made between Upper and Lower Austria. The region became a Bundesland in 1918; it lost Vienna in 1920. Lower Austria was forced to yield land to Vienna in 1938 but recovered much of it during district reorganization in 1954. The history of Lower Austria coincides with that of Austria.

Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) is one of the nine states or Bundesländer in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria (since 1986) is Sankt Pölten — the most recent capital town in Austria. Prior to 1986, the capital of Lower Austria was Vienna, even though Vienna is not properly part of Lower Austria. With a land area of 19,174 km² and a population of 1.6 million people, it is the largest state in Austria, and in terms of population second only to Vienna (which also is a federal state).

Geography

Located east of Upper Austria, Lower Austria derives its name from where it is situated on the Danube River, which flows from west to east. The state borders on Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and on the other Austrian states of Upper Austria, Styria and Burgenland. The state surrounds Vienna.

History

The history of Lower Austria is very similar to the History of Austria. Many castles are located in Lower Austria. Klosterneuburg Abbey, located here, is one of the oldest abbeys in Austria. Also, before World War II, Lower Austria had the largest number of Jews.

Administrative divisions

Lower Austria is divided into four regions: Waldviertel, Mostviertel, Industrieviertel, and Weinviertel. The Wachau valley, situated between Melk and Krems in the Mostviertel region, is famous for its landscape, culture, and wine.

Administratively, the state is divided into 21 districts (Bezirke), and four Statutarstädte. In total, there are 573 municipalities within Lower Austria.

Statutarstädte

Districts

External links

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