Weitra: Lower Austria beyond Civilisation
In an area that isn′t really blessed with an awful lot of attractive spots, Weitra is a noteworthy exception. The Main Square or Rathausplatz is a good starting point for exploring the place. The square doesn′t really stand out from the vast numbers of pretty main squares in Austria, but as far as the Wald- and Weinviertel areas go, it is one of the nicest.
There are walls and fortifications left to marvel at and they invite for a more extensive walk. There are all the "classic" ingredients to a small historic town in Austria: The parish church, some burgher houses, squares and pubs. Beyond that, there are three noteworthy attractions in Weitra.
The one is the Schloss Weitra Castle, owned for centuries by the same family, namely the Fürstenbergs. There is a small town museum in the castle, with a collection as concise as Weitra′s fame. The castle, however, is in parts open to the public and worth a closer look. Most of it dates back to Renaissance days.
Beer & a Castle
A small theatre was added to the castle in the 18th century and is still used for frequent performances by drama groups. Sight number two is the brewery of Weitra, the oldest of the country, which was founded in 1321. The history of Weitra Bräu brewery is strongly connected with the Fürstenberg family and is actually quite a hospital place where beer-aficionados (like myself) will find opportunities to spend some happy hours.
Finally, attraction number three is the museum in the "Alte Textilfabric" or "Old Clothing Manufactory" outside the city centre. It offers art exhibitions, but targets rather a domestic/local audience. I would rather stay in the brewery for another pint or two. Nearby attractions include…Gmünd. That′s pretty much it. In a radius of 50 kilometres, you will also find Freistadt in Upper Austria and the monasteries of Zwettl and Altenburg.
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