Lower Austria

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Lower Austria

Flag of Niederosterreich.svg
Niederosterreich CoA.svg
Coat of arms
Niederosterreich in Austria.svg
CountryFlag of Austria.svg  Austria
Capital Sankt Pölten
   Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP)
  Deputy Governors
  Total19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi)
 (1 January 2020)
  Density88/km2 (230/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code AT-3
HDI (2017)0.872 [1]
very high · 8th
NUTS Region AT1
Votes in Bundesrat 12 (of 62)
Website www.noe.gv.at

Lower Austria (German : Niederösterreich [ˈniːdɐˌʔøːstɐʁaɪ̯ç] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Czech : Dolní Rakousy; Slovak : Dolné Rakúsko) is one of the nine states of Austria, located in the northeastern corner of the country. Since 1986, the capital of Lower Austria has been Sankt Pölten, replacing Vienna which became a separate state in 1921. With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) and a population of 1.685 million people, Lower Austria is the second most populous federal state (after Vienna). Other large cities are Amstetten, Krems an der Donau and Wiener Neustadt. [2]



With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) situated east of Upper Austria, Lower Austria is the country's largest state. Lower Austria derives its name from its downriver location on the Enns River which flows from the west to the east. Lower Austria has an international border, 414 km (257 mi) long, with the Czech Republic (South Moravia Region) and Slovakia (Bratislava and Trnava Regions). The state has the second longest external border of all Austrian states. It also borders the other Austrian states of Upper Austria, Styria and Burgenland as well as surrounding Vienna.

Lower Austria is divided into four regions, known as Viertel (quarters):

These regions have different geographical structures. Whilst the Mostviertel is dominated by the foothills of the Limestone Alps with mountains up to 2,000  m (AA) high, most of the Waldviertel is a granite plateau. The hilly Weinviertel lies to the northeast, descends to the plains of Marchfeld in the east of the state, and is separated by the Danube from the Vienna Basin to the south, which in turn is separated from the Vienna Woods by a line of thermal springs (the Thermenlinie) running north to south. [3]


Other mountains in Lower Austria may be found at Category:Mountains of Lower Austria.

Alpine passes

The state border with Styria runs over both passes.


Kamp Niederosterreich Rosenburg 2010 01.JPG
March Morava river between Austria and Slovakia during sunset.jpg

Almost all of Lower Austria is drained by the Danube. The only river that flows into the North Sea (via the Moldau and the Elbe) is the Lainsitz in northern Waldviertel, the Erlauf river.

The most important rivers north of the Danube (on its left bank) are the Ysper, Kamp, Krems, Lainsitz, March and Thaya. South of the Danube (on its right bank) are the Enns, Ybbs, Erlauf, Melk, Pielach, Traisen, Schwechat, Fischa, Schwarza, Triesting, Pitten and the Leitha.



Lower Austria is rich in natural caves; in all 4,082 have been recorded. Most of the caves have formed in limestone and dolomite rocks and are therefore called karst caves. Cavities also form in the marble of the Central Alps and the Bohemian Massif. Among the largest caves in Lower Austria are:

The last two are open as show caves, along with the Allander stalactite cave, the Unicorn Cave, the Hochkarschacht, the Nixhöhle and the Ötschertropfsteinhöhle.

Land use

Type of land useArea in km2Percent of
total area
Alpine pastures3001.7


The history of Lower Austria is very similar to the history of Austria. Many castles are located in Lower Austria. Klosterneuburg Abbey, located here, is one of the oldest abbeys in Austria. Before World War II, Lower Austria had the largest number of Jews in Austria.

The names Lower Austria and Upper Austria ) are derived from the earlier names Austria below the Enns and Austria above the Enns, references to the river Enns. Going down from its source on the northern edge of the Central Eastern Alps, the river crosses Upper Austria, then on its lower reaches forms the boundary between Upper Austria and Lower Austria. [4]


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the state was 61.0 billion € in 2018, accounting for 15.8% of the Austria's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 32,300 € or 107% of the EU27 average in the same year. Burgenland is the state with the second lowest GDP per capita in Austria. [5]


Historical population

Administrative divisions

View of Krems at the end of Wachau valley Krems and mautern from ferdinandswarte.jpg
View of Krems at the end of Wachau valley

Lower Austria is divided into four regions: Waldviertel , Mostviertel , Industrieviertel , and Weinviertel . The Wachau valley, situated between Melk and Krems in the Mostviertel region, is famous for its landscape, culture, and wine.

Administratively, the state is divided into 20 districts ( Bezirke ), and four independent towns ( Statutarstädte ). In total, there are 573 municipalities within Lower Austria. [6]

Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters (Waldviertel in green, Weinviertel in red, Mostviertel in yellow, and Industrieviertel in blue) Karte Aut Noe Bezirke.png
Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters (Waldviertel in green, Weinviertel in red, Mostviertel in yellow, and Industrieviertel in blue)

Independent towns


Related Research Articles

Index of Austria-related articles Wikipedia index

Articles related to Austria include:

Krems an der Donau Statutory city in Lower Austria, Austria

Krems an der Donau is a town of 23,992 inhabitants in Austria, in the federal state of Lower Austria. It is the fifth-largest city of Lower Austria and is approximately 70 kilometres west of Vienna. Krems is a city with its own statute, and therefore it is both a municipality and a district.

Ostmark (Austria) Austria as part of Nazi Germany between 1938–1945

Ostmark was the name used by Nazi propaganda from 1938 to 1942 to replace that of the formerly independent Federal State of Austria after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany. From the Anschluss until 1939, the official name used was Land Österreich.

Bezirk Melk is a district of the state of Lower Austria in Austria.

Dunkelsteinerwald mountain range

The Dunkelsteinerwald is a hill country south of the Danube in the Mostviertel region of Lower Austria. It is located at the shore of the Danube between Melk and Mautern, south of Krems.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Weinviertel</i> geographic region

The Weinviertel or Viertel unter dem Manhartsberg is located in the northeast of Lower Austria.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Mostviertel</i> subdivision of the region of Lower Austria

Mostviertel is the southwestern quarter of the four quarters of Lower Austria. It is bordered on the north by the Danube and to the south and west by the state borders of Styria and Upper Austria respectively. The Wienerwald forms the natural border to the east and gives the quarter its second name, "The Quarter over the Wienerwald".

Duchy of Austria A medieval principality of the Holy Roman Empire, established in 1156 by the Privilegium Minus

The Duchy of Austria was a medieval principality of the Holy Roman Empire, established in 1156 by the Privilegium Minus, when the Margraviate of Austria (Ostarrîchi) was detached from Bavaria and elevated to a duchy in its own right. After the ruling dukes of the House of Babenberg became extinct in male line, there was as much as three decades of rivalry on inheritance and rulership, until the German king Rudolf I took over the dominion as the first monarch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1276. Thereafter, Austria became the patrimony and ancestral homeland of the dynasty and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1453, the archducal title of the Austrian rulers, invented by Duke Rudolf IV in the forged Privilegium Maius of 1359, was officially acknowledged by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III.

Tulln an der Donau Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Tulln an der Donau is a historic town in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, the administrative seat of Tulln District. Because of its abundance of parks and gardens, Tulln is often referred to as Blumenstadt.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Waldviertel</i> subdivision of the region of Lower Austria

The Waldviertel is the northwestern region of the northeast Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is bounded to the south by the Danube, to the southwest by Upper Austria, to the northwest and the north by the Czech Republic and to the east by the Manhartsberg, which is the survey point dividing Waldviertel from Weinviertel. Geologically it is a part of the Bohemian Massif.

In the NUTS codes of Austria (AT), the three levels are:

Rabenstein an der Pielach Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Rabenstein an der Pielach is a municipality in the district of Sankt Pölten-Land in Lower Austria, Austria.

The Krems is a river in Waldviertel in northern Lower Austria. There are actually two rivers: the so-called "Große Krems", denoting either the whole river system or the main tributary only, and the smaller one called "Kleine Krems". The Krems originally flowed into the Danube by Krems an der Donau, but when the Danube power station Altenwörth was built at Altenwörth, the mouth of the river — together with that of the Kamp — was moved to Altenwörth.

Radio Niederösterreich radio station

Radio Niederösterreich is the regional radio for Lower Austria, and is part of the Österreich 2 group. It is broadcast by the ORF, and the programs from Radio Niederösterreich are made in the ORF Niederösterreich Studio.

The 1996 UEFA European Under-16 Championship was the 14th edition of UEFA's European Under-16 Football Championship. Austria hosted the championship, during April 29 – May 11, 1996. 16 teams entered the competition, and Portugal defeated France in the final to win the competition for the third time. Portugal was the first team to win the title two years in a row.

The Western Railway is a two-track, partly four-track, electrified railway line in Austria that runs from Vienna to Salzburg via St. Pölten and Linz Hauptbahnhof and is one of the major lines of Austria. It was originally opened as the Empress Elisabeth Railway in 1858 (Vienna–Linz). The line is owned and operated by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).

Türnitz Alps mountain range

The Türnitz Alps are a mountain range of the Northern Limestone Alps in southern Lower Austria and the adjacent state of Styria. They stretch from the Erlauf valley in the west to the valleys of the Traisen and Unrechttraisen in the east. To the south they are bordered by the Salza valley in Halltal and the municipality of Mariazell.

Wachau valley in Austria

The Wachau is an Austrian valley with a picturesque landscape formed by the Danube river. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Lower Austria, located midway between the towns of Melk and Krems that also attracts "connoisseurs and epicureans" for its high-quality wines. It is 36 kilometres (22 mi) in length and was already settled in prehistoric times. A well-known place and tourist attraction is Dürnstein, where King Richard the Lion-Heart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V. The architectural elegance of its ancient monasteries, castles and ruins combined with the urban architecture of its towns and villages, and the cultivation of vines as an important agricultural produce are the dominant features of the valley.


  1. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. "About the State Parliament of Lower Austria – NÖ Landtag". noe-landtag.gv.at (in German). Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  3. "Visitor-Information". www.lower-austria.info. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  4. "History of Lower Austria – NÖ Landtag". noe-landtag.gv.at (in German). Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  5. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  6. "Lower Austria in Numbers" (PDF).

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Lower Austria at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 48°20′N15°45′E / 48.333°N 15.750°E / 48.333; 15.750