Lower Austria

Lower Austria (German: Niederösterreich [ˈniːdɐˌʔøːstɐʁaɪç] (listen); Czech: Dolní Rakousy; Slovak: Dolné Rakúsko) is the northeasternmost of the nine states of Austria. Since 1986, the capital of Lower Austria has been St. Polten, the most recently designated capital in Austria. Previously, Lower Austria's capital was Vienna, even though Vienna has not officially been part of Lower Austria since 1921. With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) and a population of 1.612 million people, Lower Austria is the country's largest state; it is the second most populous after the federal state of Vienna. Other main cities are Amstetten, Krems an der Donau and Wiener Neustadt.

Lower Austria

Flag of Lower Austria

Coat of arms of Lower Austria

Coat of arms
Location of Lower Austria
Country Austria
CapitalSankt Pölten
 • GovernorJohanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP)
 • Deputy Governors
  • Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP)
 • Total19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi)
 • Total1,670,688
 • Density87/km2 (230/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeAT-3
HDI (2017)0.872[1]
very high · 8th
NUTS RegionAT1
Votes in Bundesrat12 (of 62)


Situated east of Upper Austria, Lower Austria derives its name from its downriver location on the Enns River, which flows from west to east. Lower Austria has an international border, 414 km (257 mi) long, with the Czech Republic (South Moravia Region) and Slovakia (Bratislava and Trnava Regions). The state has the second longest external border of all Austrian states. It also borders the other Austrian states of Upper Austria, Styria and Burgenland as well as surrounding Vienna.

Lower Austria is divided into four regions, known as Viertel (quarters):

These regions have different geographical structures. Whilst the Mostviertel is dominated by the foothills of the Limestone Alps with mountains up to 2,000 m (AA) high, most of the Waldviertel is a granite plateau. The hilly Weinviertel lies to the northeast, descends to the plains of Marchfeld in the east of the state, and is separated by the Danube from the Vienna Basin to the south, which in turn is separated from the Vienna Woods by a line of thermal springs (the Thermenlinie) running north to south.


  • Schneeberg (Klosterwappen; 2,076 m)
  • Rax (Scheibwaldhöhe; 1,943 m; highest summit: Heukuppe; 2,007 m – Styria)
  • Ötscher (1,893 m)
  • Dürrenstein (1,878 m)
  • Schneealpe (Ameisbühel; 1,828 m; highest summit: Windberg; 1,903 m – Styria)
  • Hochkar (1,808 m)
  • Gamsstein (1,774 m)
  • Stumpfmauer (1,770 m)
  • Göller (1,766 m)
  • Hochwechsel (1,743 m)
  • Gippel (1,669 m)
  • Großer Sonnleitstein (1,639 m)
  • Großer Zellerhut (1,639 m)
  • Gemeindealpe (1,626 m)
  • Scheiblingstein (1,622 m) (not to be confused with Scheiblingstein (2,197 m), which is in Styria)
  • Drahtekogel (1,565 m)
  • Sonnwendstein (1,523 m)
  • Obersberg (1,467 m)
  • Königsberg (1,452 m)
  • Großer Sulzberg (1,400 m)
  • Reisalpe (1,399 m)
  • Gahns (1,380 m)
  • Tirolerkogel (1,377 m)
  • Türnitzer Höger (1,372 m)
  • Unterberg (1,342 m)
  • Traisenberg (1,230 m)
  • Dürre Wand (1,222 m)
  • Hohenstein (1,195 m)
  • Eisenstein (1,185 m)
  • Hohe Wand (1,132 m)
  • Großer Peilstein (1,061 m)
  • Weinsberg (1,041 m)
  • Hocheck (1,036 m)
  • Nebelstein (1,017 m)
  • Eibl (1,007 m)
  • Hohe Mandling (967 m)
  • Jauerling (961 m)
  • Anninger (675 m)
  • Buschberg (491 m)

Other mountains in Lower Austria may be found at Category:Mountains of Lower Austria.

Alpine passes

The state border with Styria runs over both passes.


Almost all of Lower Austria is drained by the Danube. The only river that flows into the North Sea (via the Moldau and the Elbe) is the Lainsitz in northern Waldviertel.

The most important rivers north of the Danube (on its left bank) are the Ysper, Kamp, Krems, Lainsitz, March and Thaya. South of the Danube (on its right bank) are the Enns, Ybbs, Erlauf, Melk, Pielach, Traisen, Schwechat, Fischa, Schwarza, Triesting, Pitten and the Leitha.


  • Ottenstein Reservoir (4.3 km2)
  • Lunzer See (0.69 km2)
  • Erlaufsee (0.56 km2, of which about half lies in Lower Austria)
  • Erlauf Reservoir
  • Wienerwaldsee (0.32 km2)


Lower Austria is rich in natural caves; in all 4,082 have been recorded. Most of the caves have formed in limestone and dolomite rocks and are therefore called karst caves. Cavities also form in the marble of the Central Alps and the Bohemian Massif. Among the largest caves in Lower Austria are:

The last two are open as show caves, along with the Allander stalactite cave, the Unicorn Cave, the Hochkarschacht, the Nixhöhle and the Ötschertropfsteinhöhle.

Land use

Type of land use Area in km2 Percent of
total area
Farmland 7,000 42
Woods 6,711 40
Grassland 1,750 11
Alpine pastures 300 1.7
Vineyards 315 1.9


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. Before World War II, Lower Austria had the largest number of Jews in Austria.


Historical population

Administrative divisions

Krems and mautern from ferdinandswarte
View of Krems at the end of Wachau valley

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 20 districts (Bezirke), and four independent towns (Statutarstädte). In total, there are 573 municipalities within Lower Austria.

Karte Aut Noe Bezirke
Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters (Waldviertel in green, Weinviertel in red, Mostviertel in yellow and Industrieviertel in blue)

Independent towns



  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.

External links

Media related to Lower Austria at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 48°20′N 15°45′E / 48.333°N 15.750°E

Amstetten, Lower Austria

Amstetten (German pronunciation: [amˈʃtɛtn̩]) is a town in Lower Austria. It is the capital of the Amstetten District and the centre of the historical region Mostviertel ("Most" -cider, "viertel"- a quarter of the provence Lower Austria)

Johanna Mikl-Leitner

Johanna Mikl-Leitner (born (1964-02-09)9 February 1964) is an Austrian politician (ÖVP) and since 19 April 2017 the governor of Lower Austria.

Krems an der Donau

Krems an der Donau (German pronunciation: [ˈkʁɛms ʔan dɛɐ̯ ˈdoːnaʊ]; Czech: Kremže) is a town of 23,992 inhabitants in Austria, in the federal state of Lower Austria. It is the fifth-largest city of Lower Austria and is approximately 70 kilometres (43 miles) west of Vienna. Krems is a city with its own statute (or Statutarstadt), and therefore it is both a municipality and a district.

List of postal codes in Austria

Postal codes in Austria consist of four digits. They were introduced on 1 January 1966. Each code denotes a post office of the Österreichische Post company.

The first digit identifies a geographic delivery area within Austria. The second identifies a routing area. The third defines the route the mail takes either with the car/truck or with the train. The fourth stands for the post office outlet in the routing city.

Lower Austrian Football Association

The Lower Austrian Football Association (German: Niederösterreichischer Fussballverband; NÖFV) is the umbrella organization of the football clubs of the Austrian state Lower Austria. The NÖFV was founded in 1911 and has its headquarters in Sankt Pölten.

The NÖFV is one of 8 regional organizations of the Austrian Football Association (German: Österreichischer Fußball-Bund, ÖFB).

The NÖFV is provider of the Sportschule Lindabrunn.

Maria Enzersdorf

Maria Enzersdorf is a town in the district of Mödling in the Austrian state of Lower Austria.

There are several castles and ruins in the forests surrounding Maria Enzersdorf, including Liechtenstein Castle and the Schwarzer Turm (Black Tower) in the surrounding forest and Schloss Hunyadi in the town itself.

Miss Austria

Miss Austria is the oldest national beauty pageant in Austria.

Neunkirchen, Austria

Neunkirchen is the capital of the district of Neunkirchen in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. As of 2006 it has a population of 11,564.

It was first mentioned in 1094 as "Niuwenchirgun". The town was given city status in 1920.

Outline of Austria

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Austria:

Austria – landlocked sovereign country located in Central Europe. It borders both Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The capital is the city of Vienna on the Danube River.

SC Wiener Neustadt

SC Wiener Neustadt is an Austrian association football club based in Wiener Neustadt.

Sankt Pölten

Sankt Pölten (German pronunciation: [zaŋkt ˈpœltn̩] (listen)), mostly abbreviated to the official name St. Pölten, is the capital and largest city of the State of Lower Austria in northeast Austria, with 52,716 inhabitants as of 1 January 2015. St Pölten is a city with its own statute (or Statutarstadt) and therefore it is both a municipality and a district in the Mostviertel.

Semmering, Austria

Semmering is a town in the district of Neunkirchen in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is famous for its skiing, and has hosted the Alpine skiing World Cup several times. When the famous Semmering Railway was completed in 1854, it brought many tourists from Vienna to here. Today, tourists are fewer, but more than 100,000 overnight stays are still recorded each year. In 2011, the town had a permanent population of 571.

States of Austria

Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder. Since Land is also the German word for "country", the term Bundesländer ("federation states") is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms. Even though English "land" is a cognate, the term (Bundes)land is commonly rendered as "state" or "province" by tradition in English writing.


Styria (German: Steiermark, German pronunciation: [ˈʃtaɪ̯ɐˌmaːk] (listen), Croatian and Slovene: Štajerska, Hungarian: Stájerország, Czech: Štýrsko; Slovak: Štajersko) is a state, or Bundesland, located in the southeast of Austria. In area it is the second largest (after Lower Austria) of the nine Austrian federated states, covering 16,401 km2 (6,332 sq mi). It borders Slovenia (Carinthia Statistical Region, Drava Statistical Region and Mura Statistical Region) and the Austrian states of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Burgenland, and Carinthia. The capital city is Graz which had 276,526 inhabitants at the beginning of 2015.

Tulln an der Donau

Tulln an der Donau (Tulln on the Danube) is a historic town in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, the administrative seat of Tulln District. Because of its abundance of parks and gardens, Tulln is often referred to as Blumenstadt ("City of Flowers").

Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1-centimetre-tall (4.4 in) Venus figurine estimated to have been made 30,000 BCE. It was found on August 7, 1908 by a workman named Johann Veran or Josef Veram during excavations conducted by archaeologists Josef Szombathy, Hugo Obermaier and Josef Bayer at a paleolithic site near Willendorf, a village in Lower Austria near the town of Krems. It is carved from an oolitic limestone that is not local to the area, and tinted with red ochre. The figurine is now in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Vienna Woods

The Vienna Woods (German: Wienerwald) are forested highlands that form the northeastern foothills of the Northern Limestone Alps in the states of Lower Austria and Vienna. The 45 kilometres (28 mi) long and 20–30 kilometres (12–19 mi) wide range of hills is heavily wooded and a popular recreation area with the Viennese.

Wiener Neustadt

Wiener Neustadt (German pronunciation: [ˈviːnɐ ˈnɔʏʃtat]) is a city located south of Vienna, in the state of Lower Austria, in north-east Austria. It is a self-governed city and the seat of the district administration of Wiener Neustadt-Land District. The city is the site of one of the world's oldest military academies, the Theresian Military Academy, which was established by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1752 to train officers for the Austrian army.

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