Weitra - Gateway to the Waldviertel
The probably best characterization of Weitra as the seat of the medieval Kuenring dynasty is to call it the heart of the Waldviertel. Romantics and historians, nature lovers, hikers, cyclists, golfers and city strollers for sure will find here all they desire.
The impressive background of the town square - the Sgraffito house - dates from the 16th century. It tells of the meaningful history of this old merchants’ town. Weitra can proudly claim to be the oldest brewing town in Austria. In the middle of the 17th century was the heyday of the local brewing industry with as much as 33 breweries and a stately “bourgeois brewery”.
Along the "Weitra beer path" through the historic old town you can follow the trail of beer tradition as far as to the Renaissance castle, the basement of which hosts a brewery museum. Here you also find an interesting exhibition on the “Iron Curtain" and a lovely ancient theatre. The visitor can immerge into the world of the former iron curtain, which was thousands of kilometers long and built to divide Europe. The castle museum gives an overview on more than 800 years of history of the city of Weitra and of the Fürstenberg dynasty. It is worthwhile to climb the castle tower and enjoy an ample view across the hilly countryside around the town. The magnificent, arcaded courtyard overarched by a picturesque umbrella roof is the location of many music and theatre festivals and other events.
The museum "Old textile factory" is a witness of the important role that textile manufacturing played in ancient Weitra. In addition to a permanent exhibition, the museum offers also an annually changing thematic exhibition. Next to the museum is the "Pagoda House", the only four-span hipped roof house in the German-speaking part of the world.