Lower Austria

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Lower Austria
Country flag State coat of arms
Country flag State coat of arms
Basic data
National language : German
State capital : St. Polten
Biggest City : St. Polten
National anthem : O home to love you
ISO 3166-2 : AT-3
Abbreviation: Lower Austria
Website: www.noe.gv.at
Map: Lower Austria in Austria
Liechtenstein Schweiz Bodensee Vorarlberg Tirol Tirol Salzburg Kärnten Burgenland Wien Steiermark Oberösterreich Niederösterreich Italien Slowenien Deutschland Kroatien Slowakei Tschechien UngarnLower Austria in Austria.svg
About this picture
Area : 19,186.27 km²
- of which country:
- of which water:
- Rank: 1st of 9th
Geographic location : 47 ° 25 '- 49 ° 1' n.   Br.
14 ° 27 '- 17 ° 4' ö.  L.
Expansion: North – South: 178 km
West – East: 196 km
The highest point: 2076  m above sea level A.
( Schneeberg )
Deepest point: 139  m above sea level A.
( Berg municipality )
Administrative division
Districts : 004 statutory cities
0 20 districts
Judicial districts : 024
Municipalities : 573, of which
076 towns and
327 market communities
Map: administrative districts
Bezirk Amstetten Bezirk Baden (Niederösterreich) Bezirk Bruck an der Leitha Bezirk Gänserndorf Bezirk Gmünd Bezirk Hollabrunn Bezirk Horn Bezirk Korneuburg Krems an der Donau Bezirk Krems-Land Bezirk Lilienfeld Bezirk Melk Bezirk Mistelbach Bezirk Mödling Bezirk Neunkirchen St. Pölten Bezirk St. Pölten-Land Bezirk Scheibbs Bezirk Tulln Bezirk Waidhofen an der Thaya Waidhofen an der Ybbs Wiener Neustadt Bezirk Wiener Neustadt-Land Bezirk ZwettlLocation of the district map A Noe ohne.svg in the state of Lower Austria (clickable map)
About this picture
Residents : 1,684,287 (January 1, 2020)
- Rank: 2nd of 9th
Population density : 88 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners: 10.08% (2019)
Governor : Johanna Mikl-Leitner ( ÖVP )
Ruling parties: ÖVP , SPÖ and FPÖ (labor agreement between ÖVP and SPÖ and between ÖVP and FPÖ)
Distribution of seats in the state parliament :
13 29 7th 
A total of 56 seats
Last choice: January 28, 2018
Gross domestic product : 54.96 billion euros (2016)
GDP per capita: 33,100 euros
Unemployment rate : 6.8% (September 2018)
Schneeberg (Rax-Schneeberg-Gruppe) , the highest peak in Lower Austria
Semmering Railway with Rax in the background
Erlaufstausee with Ötscher in the background

Lower Austria is the largest federal state in Austria in terms of area and the second largest in terms of population. It was first mentioned as Ostarrîchi in AD 996, reached its greatest extent as the Archduchy of Austria under the Enns and has been a federal state since 1920. In 1986 St. Pölten became the state capital. Lower Austria is part of the Centrope European region .


With an area of ​​19,186.27 km², Lower Austria is the largest federal state in Austria . It surrounds the federal capital Vienna and borders in the north on South Bohemia and South Moravia (both Czech Republic ), in the north-east on the Tyrnauer and the Pressburger / Bratislavaer Landschaftsverband (both Slovakia ) as well as in Austria in the south-east on Burgenland , in the south on Styria and in the west Upper Austria . At 414 km (official information), the country has the second longest external border of all Austrian federal states.

Division into quarters

The landscape of Lower Austria is divided into four quarters (the historical names are in brackets):

Map Aut Noe Districts.png

North of the Danube :

South of the Danube:

Historically, the quarters correspond to the four districts of Lower Austria, an administrative unit in the monarchy. This quarter is roughly based on natural conditions, but is of no political significance today. A precise demarcation is therefore only possible in a historical context, because today the administrative units extend beyond the district boundaries. The Danube undoubtedly acts as a border. In the area to the west and east of Manhartsberg , however, there is no clear natural delimitation. With the exception of the area around Klosterneuburg , the administrative boundaries in the Vienna Woods still follow the watershed today . The naming with forest, wine, cider and industrial districts is an illustration of use and acquisition and comes from the monarchy.

At the same time, there are the main regions in spatial planning , with Lower Lower Austria as the “fifth quarter”.

Natural structure

Lower Austria can naturally be divided into several units. In the west there is a geological and landscape division into three parts, which is continued in Upper Austria, and in the east the Alps merge into the Little Carpathians .

Bohemian mass

Lower Austria has a share in the granite and gneiss plateau of the Bohemian Massif (better known as the “Bohemian Granite and Gneiss Highland ”), which can be divided into the Zwettler Land, the Ottenschlager Hochland , the Kamp-Kremser Hochland and the Gföhler Plateau . On the northern border there are still the Gmünd depression reaching into the Czech Republic , the Litschauer Ländchen , the Thaya highlands and the Upper Thayatal . On the western border lie the extensive Horner Basin and the Manhartsberg and south of the Danube the Neustadtler Platte and the Dunkelsteiner Forest .


The Alps begin in the east near Vienna (and the Bisamberg to the left of the Danube). The first mountain ranges that can be assigned to the Alps are the Lower Austrian Prealps , which consist of flysch and stretch as a narrow band to Steyr . South of this is Lower Austria's share of the Styrian-Lower Austrian Limestone Alps with mountain heights around 2000  m above sea level. A. , especially in the limestone of Rax and Schneeberg . According to the Alpine Association division of the Eastern Alps , a distinction is made between the Ybbstal Alps (with the Göstling Alps as a sub-unit), the Türnitz Alps and the Gutenstein Alps , north of the Gutenstein Alps is the Vienna Woods , south of the Rax-Schneeberg Group and also part of the Mürzsteg Alps to Lower Austria.

Alpine foothills (and Carpathian foothills)

The Lower Austrian Alpine Foreland is the area between the Bohemian Granite and Gneiss highlands and the narrow Lower Austrian Pre-Alps or the Lower Austrian Limestone Alps in the south. In the north-east lies the hilly Weinviertel , which, even if it continues beyond the state border, is to be regarded as the foothills of the Little Carpathians (which extend into neighboring Bratislava ). The landscape term Carpathian foreland is to be viewed critically for Lower Austria insofar as both the corresponding mountains and other parts of the foreland are only located on the other side of the state border. Some authors, such as Martin Seger from the Academy of Sciences, use the term "Weinviertel" for the Lower Austrian part of the Subcarpathian region.

Vienna basin

The Vienna Basin , a collapse zone, and the transitions into the Pannonian Plain are the eastern end of the Alps, which form the border to the Vienna Woods in the striking north-south thermal line . The so-called Wiener Neustädter Bucht continues across the Danube in Marchfeld .

Main places

State capital has been St. Pölten since 1986 ; Until the move there in 1996, the provincial government and administration were housed in Vienna. Vienna became an independent federal state as early as 1920, but was still the provincial capital of Lower Austria until 1986. In terms of regional politics, so-called quarter capitals are also of important central local importance in Lower Austria in the five main regions.

Municipalities with more than 6000 inhabitants
# Communities Inhabitants
(January 1, 2020)
01 St. Polten 55,514 Lower Austria center
02 Wiener Neustadt 45,823 Industrial district
03 Klosterneuburg 27,500 Lower Austria center
04th to bathe 25,958 Industrial district
05 Krems at the Donau 25,036 Lower Austria center
06th Amstetten 23,816 Mostviertel
07th Mödling 20,564 Industrial district
08th Schwechat 19,570 Industrial district
09 Traiskirchen 18,758 Industrial district
10 Stockerau 16,875 Weinviertel
11 Tulln on the Danube 16,230 Lower Austria center
12 Perchtoldsdorf 14,996 Industrial district
13 Ternitz 14,660 Industrial district
14th Korneuburg 13,331 Weinviertel
15th Neunkirchen 12,721 Industrial district
16 Bad Vöslau 12,126 Industrial district
17th Brunn am Gebirge 11,975 Industrial district
18th Hollabrunn 11,882 Weinviertel
19th Gänserndorf 11,643 Weinviertel
20th Groß-Enzersdorf 11,600 Weinviertel
21st Mistelbach 11,583 Weinviertel
22nd Gerasdorf near Vienna 11,401 Weinviertel
23 Ebreichsdorf 11,229 Industrial district
24 Waidhofen an der Ybbs 11,222 Mostviertel
25th Zwettl-Lower Austria 10,779 Waldviertel
26th Strasshof on the northern line 10,767 Weinviertel
27 Purkersdorf 9,818 Lower Austria center
28 Wiener Neudorf 9,354 Industrial district
29 St. Valentine 9,306 Mostviertel
30th Guntramsdorf 9.227 Industrial district
31 Berndorf 9,046 Industrial district
32 Deutsch-Wagram 8,960 Weinviertel
33 Maria Enzersdorf 8,624 Industrial district
34 Neulengbach 8,304 Lower Austria center
35 Bruck an der Leitha 8,036 Industrial district
36 Langenzersdorf 8,027 Weinviertel
37 Herzogenburg 7,844 Lower Austria center
38 St. Andrä-Wordern 7,836 Lower Austria center
39 Press tree 7,754 Lower Austria center
40 Langenlois 7,548 Waldviertel
41 Sieghartskirchen 7,526 Lower Austria center
42 Himberg 7,443 Industrial district
43 Kottingbrunn 7,404 Industrial district
44 Vösendorf 7,329 Industrial district
45 Wolkersdorf in the Weinviertel 7,299 Weinviertel
46 Pottendorf 7,231 Industrial district
47 Hainburg on the Danube 6,837 Industrial district
48 Wilhelmsburg 6,492 Lower Austria center
49 horn 6,428 Waldviertel
50 Traismauer 6.330 Lower Austria center
51 Laa an der Thaya 6.241 Weinviertel

Until Vienna was declared a separate federal state by the Federal Constitution in 1920 , Vienna was the largest city in Lower Austria.


Alpine crossings

There are several important Alpine crossings on the state border with Styria. The most important are the Semmering Pass ( 958  m above sea level ) and the Wechsel Pass ( 890  m above sea level ), which are accessible by high-level roads and railways. The Zellerrain ( 1121  m above sea level ) and the Mendling Pass ( 680  m above sea level ) are passable via federal roads and the Feistritzsattel ( 1298  m above sea level ), the highest pass in Lower Austria, and the Preiner Gscheid ( 1070  m above sea level) A. ) on country roads.

Historically significant, but not to be addressed as a pass, is the route over the Mariazellerland , an inner-alpine pass landscape with the Styrian Seeberg ( 1246  m above sea level ) as the highest mountain crossing. On the Lower Austrian side are the Annaberg ( 976  m above sea level ) and the Kernhofer Gscheid ( 970  m above sea level ). The Mariazellerbahn ends in the middle of the touristically well-developed main town of Mariazell .

Only the Saurüssel ( 552  m above sea level ) leads to Upper Austria . Several crossings on the Leitha and Rosaliengebirge lead into Burgenland .

Worth mentioning are the stretches over the Ochsattel ( 820  m above sea level ), which is popular with motorcyclists, the Riederberg ( 384  m above sea level ) and the Strengberge ( 358  m above sea level ), over which the federal highway B1 leads, as well as the Richtberg ( 581  m above sea level ), over which the Leobersdorfer Bahn ran until 2004 , and furthermore Hochstraß ( 557  m above sea level ) with the outer ring motorway .

All other passes have only regional or local significance.


Lower Austria is almost entirely drained via the Danube. Only the Lainsitz in the northern Waldviertel and its tributaries such as the Braunaubach , Reissbach or Neumühlbach drain over the Vltava into the river system of the Elbe , which flows into the North Sea . The Thaya, which flows on or north of the northern border of Lower Austria, flows into the March directly at the state border with the Czech Republic .

The Danube reaches Lower Austria via the Strudengau , where it has its deepest point in Austria at 20 m at Grein , then flows through the Nibelungengau and finally the Wachau . These three narrow valleys are now followed by two basins, the Tullner Basin and the Vienna Basin , with the Wiener Pforte in between and then the Hainburger Pforte , via which the Danube leaves Lower Austria and Austria.

In Lower Austria, the Danube changes from a mountain river to a lowland river, which means that its upper reaches come to an end. However, this is only partially understandable today due to the many Danube power plants .

The main tributaries are:

north of the Danube /
on the left bank of the Danube
south of the Danube /
on the right bank of the Danube


There are only a few lakes in Lower Austria , which is why reservoirs or the many artificially created ponds are also referred to as lakes. The largest lake is the Ottenstein reservoir (4.3 km²), which forms a chain of power plants with the Dobra reservoir (1.55 km²) and the Thurnberger reservoir (0.55 km²) on the Kamp . The largest natural lakes are the Lunzer See (0.69 km²) and the Erlaufsee (0.56 km²), about half of which is located in Styria. Other large reservoirs are the Erlaufstausee and the Wienerwaldsee (0.32 km²). The two Viehofner lakes and the Ratzersdorfer See are abandoned gravel pits and especially in the Waldviertel there are many active and former fish ponds such as the Herrensee and the Schönau pond near Litschau.


Lower Austria is rich in natural caves . A total of 4,082 of them are recorded in the cadastre . Most of the caves in Lower Austria were formed in the limestone and dolomite rocks of the Limestone Alps and are therefore so-called karst caves . The limestone marble in the Central Alps and in the Bohemian Massif also enables caves to be formed. The largest caves in Lower Austria include:

In addition to the latter two still in Lower Austria are Allander stalactite cave , the Unicorn Cave , the Hochkarschacht that Nixhöhle and Ötschertropfsteinhöhle as show caves out.

Area distribution

Culture type Area in km² Percent of the
total area
Farmland 7000 42
Forest 6711 40
grasslands 1750 11
Alpine pastures and pastures 300 1.7
Vineyards 315 1.9


Lower Austria - the name of which goes back to the previous territory , the Archduchy of Austria under the Enns - and Upper Austria (previously: Austria above the Enns ) are the historical heartlands of Austria and part of the Habsburg hereditary lands .

Liechtenstein Castle

It was originally called "only" Austria (later: under the Enns , sometimes also Nieder der Enns ) and gave the Habsburg or Habsburg-Lothringen dynasty ("House of Austria") and the respective state ( Austrian monarchy , Austrian empire , Austria-Hungary) , Republic of Austria ) the name.

Today's federal state therefore hardly has any historical traditions that differ from Austrian history . In 1278 it was the scene of a decisive battle that brought the Habsburgs to power here, and in 1918/19 the “inner emigration” of the last Emperor Charles I before he left for exile.

In 1918/19 Lower Austria had to cede smaller areas near Gmünd and the town of Feldsberg with its Liechtenstein Castle to the new state of Czechoslovakia .

Since November 10, 1920, the day the Federal Constitution came into force , Vienna had the rights of a federal state that was politically independent from Lower Austria. The separation of ownership was decided by the end of 1921 with the so-called Separation Act , which was passed with the same wording in Lower Austria (excluding Vienna) and Vienna. At the same time, the remaining common political organs were dissolved.

Called the Niederdonau Gau during the Nazi era , northern Burgenland and southern Moravia were added to the country in autumn 1938 ; at the same time it had to cede numerous communities to the new Greater Vienna . Almost all of these changes were reversed in 1945. In 1946 a greatly reduced expansion of Vienna was decided, but could not come into force until 1954 due to a Soviet objection.

The development of Lower Austria after the Second World War was hampered by the fact that the country belonged to the Soviet occupation zone of Austria. Furthermore, the Iron Curtain was a major obstacle until 1989 .

Sankt Pölten has been the capital of Lower Austria since 1986. The Lower Austrian provincial government and administration moved from Vienna to Sankt Pölten in 1996 . The former Lower Austrian country house , now called Palais Niederösterreich, is located in Herrengasse in the first district of Vienna .

Some of the mostly conservative politicians from Lower Austria or with the province were or are particularly close and who have held prominent positions in Austria:

The central scientific facility for the documentation of the history of Lower Austria can be found in the Museum Niederösterreich and in the regional archive .



Flora regions in Lower Austria

A border runs through Lower Austria between two flora regions, both of which belong to the Holarctic flora. The western part of the country, like almost all of the rest of Austria, belongs to the Central European flora region, while the Weinviertel , the eastern edge of the Waldviertel , the southern slopes of the Wachau , the hill country between St. Pölten and the Tullner basin, the Vienna basin , the Hainburg mountains and the edge region of the Leithagebirge to Pannonischen Flore province includes, in turn, the western part of the südsibirisch-pontic-pannonian Flore region represents.

Outside of Lower Austria, only Burgenland and Vienna have a share in the southern Siberian-Pontic-Pannonian flora region, which extends from southern Siberia via the Ukraine , Transylvania , Vojvodina and the Hungarian lowlands to the eastern edge of the Alps. For this reason, the flora in the eastern part of the country differs greatly from that in the western part, in the eastern part there are many species that are unique in Austria and accordingly worthy of protection. Several species reach their western limit of distribution in Lower Austria, such as the Tátorján sea kale and the forest steppe mugwort .

Is Lower Austria, not least because of its interest in two Flore regions, the richest State: 2369 Vollstatus- vascular plants - species and 2,498 elementary-vascular plants taxa are known. 96 full status species and 110 elementary taxa occur only in Lower Austria, but not in the rest of Austria. Some species are endemic in Lower Austria , such as the thick-root spoonbill , which is extremely threatened with extinction .

natural reserve

Various levels of protection have been set up in Lower Austria in order to preserve regions that are particularly worthy of protection in terms of culture or nature in their original state or to renature them .

These protection levels are:


date Residents
around 1527 0.500,000
around 1600 0.580,000
around 1700 0.630,000
1754 0.922,000
1780 0.974,000
1790 1,000,000
1794/95 1,028,300
1810 1,040,700
1821 1,142,600
1830 0.881,500
1840 0.896,600
1850 0.976.600
1857 0.987.900

Note: The population figures given here relate to today's territory. They contain neither the population of Vienna (1910: 2.1 million), although the city was part of Lower Austria until 1920, nor northern Burgenland , part of the Reichsgau Niederdonau in 1939, and also not South Moravia, which was converted into Reichsgau .
The figures given up to 1700 have been officially rounded. In 1754–1857 and 1869–1923 the civilian population present (i.e. excluding military personnel) was counted, and the resident population in 1934–1981. The figures from 1991 are based on the Central Residential Register (source: Federal Statistics Austria). The figures from 2007 are based on data from Statistics Austria (population in the first quarter of the year).

The population is growing due to the continuous influx from Vienna and the peripheral areas of Lower Austria, especially in the area around Vienna. Since Sankt Pölten was designated the provincial capital of Lower Austria on July 10, 1986, there has also been an increase in immigration here. The landscape-sensitive areas such as the Vienna Woods are to be protected from urban sprawl through spatial planning programs in the state.

The proportion of foreigners at the beginning of 2019 was 10.1 percent.

In 2001:

The Catholic Church in Lower Austria is organized into two dioceses, the Diocese of St. Pölten and the Archdiocese of Vienna , the latter being divided into three vicariates , two of which are in Lower Austria. These are all divided into deaneries, which are formed from the individual parishes.


1920–1934 Lower Austria was initially divided into four constituencies, the state parliament consisted of 60 members. The last democratic elections before the Nazi era took place in 1932: eight constituencies were formed and the number of MPs was reduced to 56. The aim was to politically strengthen the big parties to the detriment of the smaller parties and thus weaken the growing NSDAP in Austria .

From 1934 to 1938 the country was governed by the corporate state ; in March 1938 the Wehrmacht invaded Austria (" Anschluss Österreichs "); the German Reich annexed Austria. From 1938 to 1945 a Reichsstatthalter ( Gauleiter ) headed the state administration and the NSDAP in the country.

Since 1945, state politics has been dominated by the ÖVP , which has been the governor since then and has always won a high proportion of all votes in the federal territory for the federal ÖVP - in the National Council election in Austria in 2019 it was 24.3%, i.e. almost a quarter of the votes allotted to the ÖVP in Austria. The mayors of the municipalities are mainly members of the ÖVP. The SPÖ is the second strongest political force; The Greens , Neos and FPÖ achieve weaker results in this state than the national average.

According to the results of the election on January 28, 2018, the distribution of mandates is:

The state government consists of the governor , his two deputies and six members of the government, who are called state councils . According to the state constitution, the parties send representatives to the state government according to the proportion of the votes they have achieved ("mandatory proportion").

Current members of the state government Mikl-Leitner II are:

In the National Council , Lower Austria is represented by 33 MPs through the respective state election proposals:

  • 13 ÖVP
  • 9 SPÖ
  • 9 FPÖ
  • 1 NEOS
  • 1 NOW (formerly LISTE PILZ)

plus a non-constant number of MPs from the federal election proposals (residual vote lists) (as of 2017 NR election) .

Lower Austria, the second most populous state after Vienna, sends twelve members to the Federal Council :

  • 7 ÖVP
  • 3 SPÖ
  • 2 FPÖ

coat of arms

Description: Five (2: 2: 1) golden eagles facing in blue . A golden three-tower wall crown over the shield .


The Office of the Lower Austrian Provincial Government is the highest administrative body in the state, but not an authority itself , but an administrative auxiliary apparatus of the Lower Austrian provincial government . The office of the Lower Austrian state government is active in its own sphere of activity, i.e. in the implementation of the state laws and also in the transferred sphere of activity, thus in the implementation of federal laws, with which the federal states are empowered either by the constitution or in another way.

In order to be close to the citizens , a certain part of the administration is carried out by the district authorities, which act like branch offices of the office of the Lower Austrian state government. For this purpose, Lower Austria is divided into 20 administrative districts (number since 2017). The four statutory cities , which the district administration itself perceive, occupy a special position .

Since the last municipal reform in 1970 and some minor changes, there are 573 municipalities in Lower Austria  .

A referendum on the so-called capital question in 1986 led to the decision to make St. Pölten the new state capital and to move the central institutions of Lower Austria from Vienna there. From 1986 to 1996 the government quarter in St. Pölten was built and organs, authorities and offices of the state were gradually relocated. In the interests of decentralizing the authorities, various administrative offices were not relocated to St. Pölten, but to the individual regional quarters or district authorities .

Main regions

Krems at the Donau

For operational reasons, Lower Austrian spatial planning has divided the state area into five action areas of the regional development associations or the associated regional management , which, with some deviations, is based on the four scenic districts . A new addition to the state's spatial planning concept is the “Central” region, because this area did not correspond to the classic description of the Mostviertel or the industrial district, but has since shown a great deal of independence, especially since the capital was moved to St. Pölten. The districts of Tulln, St. Pölten, Lilienfeld, the southern part of the Krems district and the statutory cities of St. Pölten and Krems an der Donau are part of it. This mainly trimmed the must, and in smaller parts the forest, wine and industrial districts, with the southwestern Waldviertel also being made into the Mostviertel, so that the communities on the north bank in the Danube valley are now oriented more towards the south, and those towards the west from Vienna to the west.

These main regions combine areas that have common characteristics (geographic relationships, similar economic structure, resource endowments) or similar problems. The main task is to articulate the concerns of these regions, to formulate key topics that are important for development and to initiate suitable lead projects.

The nature conservation concept also defines regions that function as subdivisions of the main regions. Insofar as their borders do not coincide with those of the main regions, they are defined by landscape (as a summary of the landscape sub-areas).

Statutory cities

In Austria, this term is used to designate municipalities that not only have city rights, but are also not subordinate to any district administration, but rather administer the district agendas for the urban area themselves in their city office (magistrate).

Statutory city / administrative seat Area
in km²
January 1st, 2020
Automotive ISIN
Krems at the Donau 51.7 25,036 0KS
St. Polten 108.44 55,514 0P
Waidhofen an der Ybbs 131.19 11,222 0WY
Wiener Neustadt 60.89 45,823 0WN


district Administrative headquarters Area
in km²
January 1st, 2020
Vehicle registration number
Amstetten Amstetten 1186 116,520 0AT THE
to bathe to bathe 754 146.751 0BN
Bruck an der Leitha Bruck an der Leitha 703 103.735 0BL, SW
Gänserndorf Gänserndorf 1272 104,782 0GF
Gmuend Gmuend 787 36,553 0GD
Hollabrunn Hollabrunn 1011 51,033 0HL
horn horn 784 30,936 0HO
Korneuburg Korneuburg 662 91,254 0KO
Krems Krems at the Donau 923 56,487 0KR
Lily field Lily field 932 25,655 0LF
Melk Melk 1014 78.191 0ME
Mistelbach Mistelbach 1293 75,625 0MI
Mödling Mödling 277 119.115 0MD
Neunkirchen Neunkirchen 1150 86,343 0NK
St. Polten St. Polten 1288 131,729 0PL
Scheibbs Scheibbs 1024 41,414 0SB
Tulln Tulln on the Danube 734 104,593 0TU, KG
Waidhofen an der Thaya Waidhofen an der Thaya 669 25,682 0WT
Wiener Neustadt Wiener Neustadt 972 78,307 0WB
Zwettl Zwettl-Lower Austria 1399 41,987 0ZT

At the end of December 2016, the Vienna-Umgebung district was dissolved. The 21 municipalities became part of the surrounding districts on January 1, 2017.

The judicial districts do not have any administrative significance, because the judiciary is separate from the administration in all instances. The judicial districts are loosely based on the administrative districts of the Imperial and Royal Monarchy.


The districts are divided into 573 politically independent municipalities . This is regulated in the “Law on the Division of the State of Lower Austria into Municipalities”, Provincial Law Gazette 1030-94 of December 9, 2011.

The distinction between urban parishes , market parishes and municipalities no longer has any legal significance.



Streets of streets are based on economic requirements and therefore usually run in a star shape towards the cities. In Lower Austria, the federal capital Vienna dominated in the construction of roads. Furthermore, streets also follow the natural conditions such as the valleys. In 2017, the degree of motorization (passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 641.

High-level traffic routes

Among the most important traffic routes include the western motorway A1 and the motorway connecting to large parts of Austria A 2, Vienna. Both are connected via the Vienna outer ring motorway A 21, part of the planned motorway ring around Vienna. After the opening of the east, the A 4. east autobahn and later the A 5 north autobahn were built, which are integrated into the autobahn ring around Vienna via the S 1 outer ring road .

From the Südautobahn, the southeast autobahn A3 branches off into northern Burgenland and the Semmering expressway S 6 into the Styrian Mürz valley . Important in regional traffic is the Danube bank motorway A 22, with the subsequent Stockerau expressway S 5, the connection from Vienna to Krems ( Wachau ).

In the high-ranking road network, since the removal of the Iron Curtain in 1989, there has been a steady increase in transit traffic , especially in the east-west direction. The western autobahn is therefore being expanded to three lanes in each direction. Commuter traffic (between home and work) also takes place to a large extent on the road.

Former federal highways

The roads marked with B are former federal roads and have been in the administration of the federal states since 2002, which means that they are only colloquially referred to as federal roads . In Lower Austria there is Wiener Straße B 1 to Bernstein Straße B 49 and then a few streets with higher numbers.

State roads

In Lower Austria, regional roads are marked with an L in front of them , but these abbreviations are rarely used on traffic signs. State roads with one to three-digit designations indicate a higher significance in the road network, four-digit designations have state roads if they represent small local connections without regional significance. Because it is a peculiarity of Lower Austria that every street that crosses a municipality border is in the administration of the state. The Lower Austrian state road directory is the official directory of all state roads.


Main lines

Important railway lines, so-called main lines , are the Northern Railway , the first steam railway of the monarchy, the Southern Railway , the Eastern Railway and the Western Railway , ranked after their opening. These represent the basic network and handle international long-distance traffic, which is why they are also two-pronged. The Franz-Josefs-Bahn was also operated as the main line until the 1990s; Currently, however, long-distance traffic to Prague is carried on the Northern Railway. The Westbahn was supplemented in 2012 with a new high-speed line through the Wienerwaldtunnel .

Branch lines

The Austrian Federal Railways also operate an extensive network of branch lines dating from before 1918 in the country. The area around Vienna is served by dense regional traffic and rapid transit services; To make it easier to use, the Verkehrsverbund Ostregion (VOR) was created, which extends to the northern and eastern borders of (Lower) Austria.

In order to be able to integrate Vienna Airport directly into the east-west axis of the railway, it is to be connected to the Ostbahn with the Götzendorfer clasp . This could z. B. direct trains from Pressburg to Vienna Airport.

Numerous routes were discontinued due to unprofitability or were subsequently taken over by NÖVOG , which runs some routes such as the narrow-gauge Mariazeller Bahn in regular operation and others as a museum railway. These are, for example, the Wachau Railway and the Phylloxera Express .

Bus transport

On behalf of the state, the Postbus company and other transport companies operate a dense network of bus routes, often parallel to existing railway lines. The Wieselbuses use express buses to travel on a network that ends in St. Pölten.

Danube shipping

With the largest Danube port in Lower Austria, Krems, freight shipping on the international Danube waterway is of great importance for transport. In passenger shipping, in addition to local traffic in the Wachau , cruise ships from all over Europe are particularly noteworthy, which operate on the Danube or the Rhine-Main-Danube route. Numerous Danube ferries , some of which carry vehicles, cross the river. Leisure traffic is based on smaller harbors and deployment points and is reflected in the Tulln boat fair . The express boats Vienna-Bratislava only pass through Lower Austria.

Air traffic

Schwechat in Lower Austria is the location of Austria's largest airport, Vienna Airport , which, thanks to the EU's eastward expansion, has meanwhile developed into an important hub in international air traffic. The state of Lower Austria is a 20% shareholder in the airport operating company.

The Armed Forces Brumowski Air Base is located in Langenlebarn . Regional airports are the airport Altlichtenwarth which dobersberg airport , the airport Krems , the airfield Ottenschlag , the airfield Seitenstetten , the Spitzerberg Airport , the stockerau airport , the airfield St. Georgen am Ybbsfeld which Völtendorf Airport and the bad vöslau airport . Wiener Neustadt has a small aircraft manufacture and the Aviaticum flight museum at the private airfield in the East , as well as the largest unpaved and oldest in Europe, the military airfield in Wiener Neustadt / West .


The economically strongest regions in Lower Austria are along the thermal bath line . The district with the highest tax revenue is the Mödling district on the southern edge of Vienna. The further the areas are from Vienna, the weaker their economic power becomes. In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union , the region achieved an index of 105 in terms of purchasing power standards in 2014 (EU-28: 100; Austria: 129).

After the Second World War , Lower Austria was in the Soviet occupation zone . While elsewhere in Austria the economy could already begin to be rebuilt, many large companies here remained destroyed or were in the hands of the Soviet USIA . Austria's reparations to the Soviet Union were made, among other things, in the form of oil that was extracted in Marchfeld . Only after the conclusion of the State Treaty in 1955 was it possible to begin intensive economic reconstruction in Lower Austria. Until 1989, the Iron Curtain still had an inhibiting effect on economic power. Even today, many people from the Waldviertel commute to their place of work in Vienna as day or weekend commuters.

The state politicians constantly strive to establish new companies in Lower Austria, mostly through the state-owned company Eco Plus and the start-up agency RIZ .


The state-owned EVN has the last mile of energy supply with electricity and gas . Vienna's peripheral communities are still supplied by Wien Energie . The last place in Lower Austria was Harmanschlag in the Gmünd district in 1963 that was connected to the power grid.

At the end of 2015, Lower Austria will achieve a complete supply of renewable energy , with the four regional districts participating in the individual types of generation in different ways. The share of solar thermal generation is highest in the Mostviertel . In the Waldviertel it is water power, in the Weinviertel it is wind power . A mix of all forms can only be found in the industrial district .


Lower Austria's largest media are ORF Niederösterreich , an offshoot of the public radio and television company, and the weekly newspaper Niederösterreichische Nachrichten (NÖN) from the Niederösterreichisches Pressehaus publishing house . In Lower Austria, however, media appearing are mostly consumed in Vienna.


42% of the total land area is arable land. 40% are designated as forest area. Livestock farming , arable farming and forestry are strong industries. (However, the number of those employed there has fallen to less than ten percent of all employed people in the last 50 years.)

Another important branch of the economy is viticulture , which can be found mainly in the Weinviertel , the Wachau and the thermal region . Of the total of six DAC wine-growing regions in all of Austria, where high-quality wine is produced, four are in Lower Austria.


View of the eastern Wachau

For Lower Austria, day tourism from the Vienna agglomeration is of great economic importance. The country presents itself as a natural leisure area for all seasons. The "Niederösterreich-Card", which is valid all year round, supports this branch of business as well as the numerous summer cultural festivals in all parts of the country.

The country has gained significantly in overnight tourism thanks to guests from Central and Eastern European countries. For example, the Waldviertel bordering the Czech Republic has the strongest increase in overnight stays. The southern environs of Vienna (Schwechat, Vösendorf ) in particular benefit from city ​​tourism thanks to the transport connections . Since the end of the 20th century, the landscape around the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wachau has also seen greater visitor frequency.

The tourism industry mainly advertises the large cultural centers in the country such as the many monasteries and castles . Even farm holiday is heavily promoted and readily accepted. Lower Austria's considerable part of the Eastern Alps is little known nationwide ; it is advertised under the term “ Viennese Alps ”. In winter, the ski areas mainly attract guests from the former Eastern Bloc and day visitors from Vienna. The ski slopes are not very high and are at risk from climate change.

Christiane Hörbiger promotes tourism in Lower Austria. The writer Alfred Komarek is indirectly promoting sympathy for the country with his novel and TV character of the Weinviertel gendarmerie inspector Simon Polt .



The kindergarten system is mainly organized by the public sector. The Lower Austrian Kindergarten Act gives the political communities clear guidelines when establishing a kindergarten. In these facilities, known as Lower Austrian state kindergartens, the municipalities take on the planning, construction and maintenance and the state provides the educational kindergarten staff. At the same time, the state is also the supervisory authority for around 1,000 state kindergartens in Lower Austria.

There are also around 40 private kindergartens. In most cases, the operators are church organizations.


In addition to compulsory education, there are numerous higher education schools in Lower Austria that complete with a Matura . These are mostly located in the district capitals and mainly in school towns such as Baden , Hollabrunn , Krems an der Donau, St. Pölten or Wiener Neustadt .

Tertiary education sector

University training is offered by the following institutions:

In addition, there is a professionally oriented academic training in:

There are also vocational schools:


Hof Castle
Pottendorf Castle
View from the state museum to the festival hall
Provincial Museum of Lower Austria

There are numerous monasteries and monasteries in Lower Austria that have always functioned as cultural centers. The best known are:

Most of the palaces and fortresses that were once reserved for the aristocracy are now sights, exhibition venues and concert halls, for example the Schallaburg and Schloss Hof as well as the castles Grafenegg , Thürntal , Wilfersdorf , Artstetten , Rosenau , Greillenstein , Eckartsau , Niederweiden , Laxenburg , Rohrau and Rosenburg am Kamp .

Important facilities are the Lower Austrian State Museum , newly built in the St. Pölten cultural district, the Krems art mile with the art gallery and the newly built caricature museum , the Roman excavations in the Carnuntum Archeology Park , the Egon Schiele Museum in Tulln , the Kokoschka House in Pöchlarn , the Museum of Prehistory and the Heldenberg . Every second year the state government organizes a large state exhibition .

The Festspielhaus St. Pölten , which opened in 1997, is played all year round. The city theaters in St. Pölten and Baden also offer theaters . There are also summer stages in Berndorf , Stockerau , Langenlois , Felsenbühne Staatz (musicals), Weißenkirchen in the Wachau and near Liechtenstein Castle . The extensive range is promoted in the " Lower Austria Theater Festival ". There is also the annual Danube Festival .

Many facilities are operated by the state-owned Niederösterreich Kultur GmbH. guided. The cultural network of Lower Austria with the quarter festival is a source of impetus for regional art and cultural initiatives . A service partner and organizer in the area of folk culture is the Lower Austria Folk Culture Project with the business areas of music school management, choir scene, museum management, folk culture Europe and the Lower Austrian folk music festival. In adult education, the Lower Austria education and homeland organization should be mentioned in particular .

The art house cinemas Cinema Paradiso in St. Pölten and the Austrian Film Gallery in Krems contribute significantly to the preservation of cinema culture and the art of film .



The "land around Vienna" was and is the workplace of many authors and the setting for numerous works of fiction (examples):

Scientific literature

In the scientific literature, a social science study researched in Lower Austria has achieved the rank of a classic among experts:

Science and Research

One of the goals of the state's location policy is to locate scientific institutions. To be mentioned here are among others:

In the first decade of the 21st century, several locations emerged as research centers in Lower Austria:

Security and Social

The state police department of Lower Austria is based in St. Pölten .

Disaster and fire protection are provided by 1646 volunteer fire brigades and 90  company fire brigades . The state fire brigade command as well as the fire brigade's training facility and the state fire brigade school are located in Tulln on the Danube . The alarm is issued via the fire brigade's own alarm centers , which either cover one or more districts. In addition, at the location of the state fire brigade association in Tulln, the state warning center for Lower Austria is located with a redundant position at the state government in Tulln .

The ambulance service is generally carried out in Lower Austria by the Red Cross , which is represented in all districts and in numerous local offices, and in some areas also by the Samaritan Association . The Red Cross is based in Tulln, while the ASBÖ is based in Wilhelmsburg . The coordination of almost all rescue equipment in the state is carried out by the rescue control center 144 Notruf Niederösterreich , which is managed as a company and in which the state is 66% shareholder. The maintenance of the rescue workers was the task of the municipalities until 2020 through the contribution previously known colloquially as rescue shilling , later rescue euro , before this will also take place directly from 2021 through a regulation by the state.

The Lower Austria military command is located in the Hesserkaserne in St. Pölten .

Social services such as home nursing are offered by the regional associations of the Austrian Aid Organization and Caritas .

All public hospitals are owned by the federal state and are managed by the Niederösterreichische Landeskliniken-Holding .

In addition to these services, there are other voluntary aid organizations that are involved in disaster control. These include:

See also

Portal: Lower Austria  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Lower Austria

Web links

Commons : Lower Austria  - Collection of Images
 Wikinews: Lower Austria  - in the news
Wikivoyage: Lower Austria  - Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Niederösterreich  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  2. Population at the beginning of the year since 2002 by summarized nationality - Lower Austria , Statistics Austria
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Coordinates: 48 ° 12 '  N , 15 ° 38'  E