Definitions

Wienerwald

Wienerwald

[vee-ner-vahlt]
Wienerwald [Ger.,=Vienna forest], forested range, NE Austria, just W of Vienna. An outlier of the Eastern Alps, it rises to 2,930 ft (893 m) in the Schöpfl. The best-known summit, however, is the Kahlenberg (1,585 ft/483 m) near Vienna. The beautiful forests, streams, and hills of the Wienerwald have made it a favorite excursion and resort area for the Viennese.
The Vienna Woods (German Wienerwald) is a low, wooded section of the Alps in eastern Lower Austria and Vienna, covering over 1,000 square kilometres and including the northernmost parts of the entire Alpine chain.

Location

The Vienna Woods may be defined as that group of hills bounded by the rivers Triesting, Gölsen, Traisen and Danube, and is a favourite outdoor destination for the densely-populated area around Vienna .

It is located at the border between the Mostviertel and the Industrieviertel, two of the four quarters of Lower Austria, and reaches far into the city of Vienna.

The mountain ranges of the Vienna Woods are the transition between the Eastern Alps and the Carpathians, separated by the Danube and some tectonic lines near to Vienna. Its north is part of the Alps' sandstone zone, while its south is part of the Northern Limestone Alps. In the east, its border is the thermal line, which forms a geological break line to the Viennese Basin. The forest in the north consists largely of beeches, oaks and hornbeams, whereas in the south conifers, mostly pines and firs add to the botanical mix. The Föhrenberge (Pine Mountains) natural park is in the latter region.

The highest elevation in the Vienna Woods is Schöpfl at 893 m above sea level, the location of the Leopold Figl observatory. Even though the Vienna Woods is a protected landscape, it is threatened by urban sprawl. It is an important recreational area. The Lainzer Tiergarten (an extensive park populated by wild boar and other woodland animals) and the Schwarzenbergpark were created on the territory of the city of Vienna during the 19th century.

Important rivers in the Vienna Woods are the Wien, the Schwechat and the Triesting.

The natural park Sandstein-Wienerwald is near Purkersdorf, some 20 km west of Vienna. There are also some natural caves, such as the Dreidärrischenhöhle ("cave of the three deaf men").

History

The Vienna Woods has probably been populated since the 8th century. Under the influence of the Avars, a Slavic population settled here after the Völkerwanderung, which may account for village names such as Döbling, Liesing or Gablitz. The Vienna Woods was a princely hunting ground, but beginning with the 16th century, it gained importance also for forestry. From 1840 onwards, the industrial development encouraged increased settlement of the area. In 1870, plans were brought forward to mostly clear the forest, but this caused widespread public resistance, in which Josef Schöffel was one of the most important figures.

In 1987, the governors of the states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland signed the Vienna Woods Declaration to protect nature in the region.

External links

German language links

References

See also

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