Top Historic Sights in Linz, Austria

Explore the historic highlights of Linz

Linz Old Cathedral

The Old Cathedral (Alter Dom) in Linz was built by Jesuits between 1669 and 1683 in Baroque style. From 1785 to 1909 it served as cathedral of the Diocese of Linz. The church was erected near the former Jesuits" College at the south end of the Hauptplatz. The church was originally called the Church of Ignatius and was dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Order. The Jesuit Order was dissolve ...
Founded: 1669-1683 | Location: Linz, Austria

Linz Castle

The first written document of castle in Linz dates from 799 AD, during the reign of Charlemagne. Today there are still some walls of this castle, together with bastions and the Friedrich Gate, named after Emperor Friedrich III, who resided here until his death in 1493. As the temporary heart of the Habsburg Empire, Linz was raised by the Emperor to the status of provincial capital. In the 17th century, Rudolf II rebuilt t ...
Founded: 8th century | Location: Linz, Austria

Linz New Cathedral

The New Cathedral (Mariä-Empfängnis-Dom) construction plans were started in 1855 by Bishop Franz-Josef Rudigier. The first stone was laid in 1862. In 1924 Bishop Johannes Maria Gföllner consecrated the finished building as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The plans, drawn by the master builder of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Vincenz Statz, were made in the French high Gothic style. With 20,000 seats, the cat ...
Founded: 1862-1924 | Location: Linz, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Externsteine Stones

The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.