What to do and see in Austria

What to do and see in Austria’s “Pearl of the Dolomites”.

Not too far from the Italian border lies a town which, due to its indisputable beauty, is called the “Pearl of the Dolomites”. The place in question is Lienz, a place with fairy-tale profiles that is able to offer everything you are looking for: history, nature, attractions, culture, snow and ski slopes that delight guests of any age.

What to expect

Lienz is a picturesque Austrian town located in the district of the same name which is part of East Tyrol, of which it is the capital and largest centre. The old city develops at the confluence of several valleys dominated by the Lienz Dolomites, and these are the Drautal, Val Pusteria and Iseltal valleys.

A place that knows how to excite with its immaculate landscapes and its predominantly (and surprisingly) mild climate. Just think that another nickname is “Sonnenstadt”, which translated means “City of the Sun”.

What definitely makes visitors lose their minds is the wide range of offers which concern culture and shopping and all the beautiful attractions that there are to discover in the historic center, which in the summer months is exclusively intended for pedestrians.

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What to see in Lienz

The town of Lienz presents itself to the visitor as a place that seems to have come straight from a fairy tale book. The advice is to start the visit from its main square, Main square, where ancient houses full of porticoes stand out. In the center of it it is impossible not to notice the St. Florian fountain, but the Liebburg is also very suggestive, a building with two towers with bulbous domes which today is the seat of the town hall and symbol of the city.

Then again la vie Rosengasse and Messinggasse where you can find many shops. It was once the industrial district of Lienz, while today it is home to the city market every week where you can buy the best specialties of the area. Do you want some tasty examples? East Tyrolean Speck, “Schlipfkrapfen”, “Pregler” (grappa) and much more.

Johannesplatz is probably the most fascinating square in Lienz because it is particularly large and surrounded by pastel-colored buildings. Another very pretty square is Eropaplatz, in the center of which stands the statue dedicated to Josef II.

They are also very interesting Church and the Franciscan Convent which inside preserve a valuable Gothic nave decorated with beautiful frescoes. In a slightly secluded position from the historic centre, the complex also offers a library and a community centre.

Also not to be missed is the monument to the Tyrolean freedom struggle located in Swiss alley. From here it is very easy to reach with a short walk St. Andrew’s Church, that is, the oldest in Lienz.

It is mandatory to enter inside, where it will be impossible not to notice the baroque style main altar. Furthermore, the last counts of Gorizia are buried right here.

And then the most exciting monument of all in the city: the Bruck Castle, built on a fascinating hill. Today it is the headquarters of Museum of the city of Lienz where you can discover notable collections of works of art and a chapel decorated with Gothic frescoes. But the truth is that it has a very eventful history behind it, which began in 1252 and has continued up to the present day, a period in which it has transformed into the most impressive museum in the city surrounded by an idyllic park.

Not to be missed near Lienz is the only Roman city in Tyrol, Aguntumwhere a museum comes to life where you can admire numerous finds from the archaeological site, as well as the ancient walls, the houses of the past and the baths.

mountains, lienz, dolomites

Lienz trip in winter

Lienz is the “Pearl of the Dolomites” not only for its undeniable beauty, but also because it is an ideal destination for those who love winter sports. In these parts, in fact, there are two main ski resorts, Hochstein and Zettersfeldwhich often host international competitions such as the Alpine Skiing World Cup and the Snowboard World Championships.

The Zettersfeld ski area, which due to its location and beauty is nicknamed “the sunny terrace of East Tyrol”, is loved precisely for the grandiose panorama it offers of the surrounding Dolomites, but also because most of the time it has optimal conditions for skiers, snowboarders, families and beginners.

The Hochstein ski area is certainly no less exciting: there are 7 kilometers of slopes that end directly in the city. Those who love cross-country skiing which has a long tradition here will also have satisfaction. An example of all this is the legendary race Dolomitenlauf cwhich comes to life every year in January.

And then Christmas, which is shown in all its magic in the main square of Lienz which is filled with visitors interested in buying products in the traditional Christmas market, such as a cup of hot mulled wine, a piece of Tyrolean zelten or fresh krapfen and Christmas sweets.

Lienz during the summer

The “Pearl of the Dolomites” is a very interesting destination during the winter, but in the warmer months the emotions probably double.

Its surroundings – but to be perfectly honest Tyrol in general – are a paradise for those who want to go hiking in the mountains, particularly in the Zettersfeld. In fact, it is precisely from here that the Hohe Tauern National Park which, in addition to offering the sunniest area in all of Austria, allows you to undertake an almost infinite number of paths amidst the purest vegetation.

Then there are interesting cycle paths such as the Drauradweg along the Drava, the Iseltalradweg or the Glocknerradweg. Those who prefer mountain biking, however, will be spoiled for choice because there are 600 kilometers of special trails.

Starting from Lienz, you can also reach other beauties in the area such as the Hochstein which offers many possibilities for excursions, refuges and mountain huts.

It is also very fascinating Galicia Gorge to be reached via a panoramic path that allows you to admire the surrounding landscape in all its splendor.

The beauty of Lienz, therefore, does not end in its historic center, because even the nature which embraces it is a succession of wonders and emotions.

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