travel guide

Austria’s Most Eastern Province

Austria’s most easterly province is, Burgenland – a province of corn and castles, given a 3mile waist by a wedge of Hungary. The great Neusiedlersee Lake lies partly in this Hungarian wedge, but mostly in northern Burgenland. Rarely more than 6 ft deep and fringed with reeds, Neusiedlersee is remarkable for bird-watching, water sports, coarse fishing, and in winter ice-sailing.
East of the lake are salt marshes , noted for varied wildlife and flowers and a plain carrying immense crops of cereals that sweeps across the frontier, into Hungary.
By contrast, the countryside to the western region comprises a mixture of undulating agricultural land and low hills clothed with trees. Eisenstadt, the provincial capital, is sheltered by the Leitha Hills. A small town, it is famous for its” association with Haydn, whose home is now a museum and whose patron, Prince Esterhazy, lived in Esterhazy. A short distance away, on the shores of Neusiedlersee, are the villages of Oggau, Rust, and Morbisch, famous both for their wines and their storks. Near the waist of Burgenland is the picturesque, hill-top, 13th century Castle of Forchtenstein.

Southern Burgenland is different again: a region of valleys, rivers, and villages, and of wooded mountains, many crowned by castles. The most notable of these are Lochenhaus, Schlaining; Giissing, and Bernstein, this last probably better known for its village, which is the centre of the local jade industry.
Burgenland is one of the least known parts of Austria. It is a quiet province where accommodation, although often simple, is relatively easy to obtain even in high season.