s'Innviertel - The Region
The youngest "quarter" in Upper Austria maintains its Bavarian heritage.
What makes the Innviertel unique? What distinguishes this, the youngest of the four "quarters" of Upper Austria? It was only just under 250 years ago that the region stopped being part of Bavaria and became part of Austria, making the Inn river the western border of Upper Austria. And somehow one cannot shake the impression that something of their original Bavarian nature is still preserved in the genes of this region and its people.
You can see this first of all in the townscapes. Whether in Braunau, Schärding, or Ried, or in the old trading posts such as Obernberg am Inn: the Baroque buildings that are typical of Bavaria dominate the townscapes here. The influence also extends to the beer, which is cultivated with true Bavarian love for the hop drink. Numerous private breweries cultivate their own beer specialities in the Innviertel beer region, from the smallest wheat beer brewery in the world to the full-flavoured Trappist beer. It goes without saying that as well as brewing beer, they also love to drink it here. This is why the people of the Innviertel value excellent hospitality and shady beer gardens.
However, the Innviertel also has a few scenic and cultural gems to offer, such as the Ibmer Moor, the largest continuous moor landscape on Austria, which lies near the border with Salzburg. This stretch of land has a mysterious and primeval feel, as if it belonged to another era in which one might stumble across flesh-eating plants and moor pits. A pleasant aspect of the landscape is the presence of numerous moor lakes, such as the Holzöstersee, whose particularly warm temperatures make a dip in the water highly tempting. The landscapes around the Inn river are also shaped by water. The proud old trading towns are interspersed among lush green wetlands.
The Lower Inn European Nature Reserve, for example, is one of the most popular breeding grounds for all kinds of bird species, making it a real insider’s tip for nature lovers. Right by the banks of the river, you’ll not only find Baroque trading sites, but also the Reichersberg Monastery. Here, the Augustinian canons maintain the tradition of 900 years of monastery history. The Innviertel is also home to another monastery by the water: beyond the heights of the mountainous Sauwald forest, the Trappist monks established Engelszell Monastery by the Danube, the only monastery of the Order in the whole of Austria.