It is located in the north centre of Austria, approximately 30 km south of the Czech border, on both sides of the river Danube, the longest river of the European Union and the longest river in Europe after the Volga.
The population of the city itself is 189,343 (2007), and 271,000 in the Greater Linz conurbation.
One important inhabitant of the city was Johannes Kepler, who spent several years of his life in the city studying mathematics. He discovered, on May 15, 1618, the distance-cubed-over-time-squared — or 'third' — law of planetary motion. Kepler is the namesake of the local public university. Another famous citizen was Anton Bruckner, who spent the years between 1855 and 1868 working as a local composer and church organist in the city. The local concert hall "Brucknerhaus" and a local private music and arts university are named after him.
Adolf Hitler was born in the border town of Braunau am Inn but moved to Linz in his childhood, spending most of his youth there. Hitler's parents are buried in the town of Leonding, near Linz. Hitler was enrolled in the Realschule [school], as was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Hitler had extensive architectural plans for Linz, and wanted to it to be the main cultural centre of the Third Reich. The Rathaus on the Hauptplatz (the Town Hall on the Main square) was used by Hitler to proclaim the Grossdeutsches Reich during the Anschluss of 1938. In order to make the city economically vibrant Hitler initiated a major industrialization of Linz shortly before, and during, World War II. Many factories were dismantled in the newly-acquired Czechoslovakia, and then reassembled in Linz. One in particular came to be know as the Hermann-Göring-Werke, and still exists today as the voestalpine steel company. Linz grew to become a major industrial area; manufacturing chemicals and steel for the Nazi war machine. The Mauthausen-Gusen, located near Linz, were the last Nazi concentration camps to be liberated by the Allies. While in operation, they were the source of quarrying for stone for Hitler's prestige projects across the Reich. The main camp in Mauthausen is just 15.6 miles (25km) away from Linz.
After the war, the river Danube that runs through Linz — from the eastern side to the northern side — which separates the Urfahr district in the north from the rest of Linz — served as the border between the Russian and American occupation troops. The Nibelungen bridge that spans the Danube river from the Hauptplatz (main square) was at that time Linz's version of Checkpoint Charlie. The Nibelungen Brücke with the two bridge head buildings is the only architectural plan Hitler ever carried out in Linz.
The agglomeration includes (parts of) 13 other municipalities with together 271,000 inhabitants. Linz is also part of the Linz-Wels-Steyr metropolitan area of Upper Austria, home to around one third of the state's population (460,000 people) and second-largest urban area in Austria.
The city lies on Austria's main rail axis, the so-called "Westbahn", linking Vienna with western Austria, Germany and Switzerland. There are also varying types of river transport on the Danube; from industrial barges to tourist cruise ships.
The main street "Landstraße" leads from the "Blumauerplatz" to the main square. In the middle of this square the high "Pestsäule" ("plague column", also known as "Dreifaltigkeitssäule" (Dreifaltigkeit means Holy Trinity)) was built to remember the people who died in the plague epidemics.
Near the castle, which is located on the same site as the old Roman fortress Lentia was once built — and also being the former seat of Friedrich the III — the oldest Austrian church is located: Sankt/Saint Martins church. It was built during early medieval Carolingian times.
Other sights include:
The city is now home to a vibrant music and arts scene that is well-funded by the city and the state of Upper Austria. Between the Lentos Art Museum and the "Brucknerhaus", is the "Donaulände", which is also referred to as "Kulturmeile" ("culture mile"). This is a park alongside the river, which is used mainly by young people to relax and meet in summer. It is also used for the Ars Electronica Festival and the "Linz Fest". Linz has other culture institutions, such as the Posthof, which is near the harbour, and the Stadtwerkstatt, which is by the Danube river. Linz will become the European Capital of Culture in 2009.
The Ars Electronica Center (AEC) is a museum and research facility on the north bank of the Danube (in the Urfahr district), across the river from the Hauptplatz (main square). The AEC is a significant world center for new media arts, attracting a large gathering of technologically-oriented artists every year for the Ars Electronica festival. The AEC museum is home to one of the few public 3D CAVEs in Europe.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 36 (1783) in Linz for a concert to be given there, and the work is known today as the Linz Symphony. The first version of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 1 in C minor is known as the Linz version.
Amongst the many "Gymnasien" (high schools) in Linz, is Linz International School Auhof (LISA), which is one of four IB (International Baccalaureate) schools in Austria, and uses English as main language for instruction.
Living in Linz:
Linz is twinned with: