- VOCKLABRUCH PART 1 -

Introduction, St Ulrich Church and Heimat Haus

LINKS to pages in the Vöcklabruck site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Vöcklabruck Part 1
2 : Vöclabruck Part 2
HOME PAGE : AUSTRIA 2009
HOME PAGE : COLIN DAY'S LINKS
HOME PAGE : LIST-O-LINKS FULL INDEX

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Vöcklabruck is the administrative center of the Vöcklabruck district, Austria. It is located in the western part of Upper Austria, close to the A1 Autobahn and the B1 highway.

Vöcklabruck's name derives from the River Vöckla which runs through the town, whose name in turn originates from a person's name ('Vechela') and 'Ache', meaning 'flowing water' or 'river'. Vöcklabruck has many shops as well as services and schools. It was chosen for Europäisches Schützentreffen (the European Meeting of Marksmen) in 2003, and has played host to other events such as the Internationale Musiktage (International Music Gathering), Landesgartenschau (provincial garden show) 2007, and an Erdbeerfest (strawberry festival), among others.

The flea market for antiques, materials, etc. is usually held on Fridays. Food markets selling bread, fish, flowers, fruit, meat, sausages and vegetables etc. take place every Wednesday and Saturday morning.

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The town square is closed at either end by two towers. The Lower Tower (right and below) is decorated with the arms of the various possesions of Burgundy ans well as those of the Habsburgs, a reminder thst Emperor Maximillian I, who owned a house in the town,was married to Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold of Burgundy.

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The area around Vöcklabruck was populated in Celtic times and later incorporated into the Roman province Noricum. Around 550, Bavarians moved into the valley along the Vöckla, making it one of the first regions within today's Austria to gain a Bavarian population.

In 1134, the name Vöcklabruck was mentioned for the first time. Between 1134 and 1143, a local nobleman endowed a hospital for Vöcklabruck. Over the course of the 14th century, Vöcklabruck developed into a prosperous market town and was elevated into the rank of a city.
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The city suffered, like most of today's Upper Austria, from the peasant wars that resulted from the reformation. The counter reformation did not improve the situation dramatically. A second series of peasant wars, revolting against the counter reformation and the Habsburg landlords, occurred around 1626, neatly fitting into the Thirty Years War.


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Only in 1718 did Emperor Charles VI provide the city with its former privileges. In the course of the Napoleonic Wars Vöcklabruck was plundered. With the formation of the Vienna Congress Vöcklabruck was finally given to Austria.

In 1893, a building company in Vöcklabruck developed the material "Eternit", a mix of asbestos and cement. It becomes a huge success and contributed to the importance of Vöcklabruck in the 20th century. During WWII, the area of Wagrain held a sub-branch of the concentration camp in Mauthausen (between 1941 and 1942) with some 300 prisoners. Like most of Upper Austria, Vöcklabruck saw a rapid economic development especially after 1990.

The Upper Tower (above and left) also leads into the town square.

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From the Michelin Guide to Austria : "The town square (right) is merely the widening of the main road. Much older buildings are concealed by the Baroque facades lining the square. Number 14 has an arcaded courtyard (below) very much in the Italian style".

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The parish church of St Ulrich (below) was first mentioned in 1391. The building dates from the late 15th century.



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The museum is housed in the Vöcklabruck Benefiziatenhaus (Heimat Haus) beside the parish church, one of the oldest buildings in the city and mentioned in records as early as 1450.

The collections include descriptions of the housing and lives of farmers and citizens One collection deals with the town's association with the composer Anton Bruckner and his first biographer Max Auer. Another collection comprises weapons from the late Middle Ages until the 19th century.

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Metal 'sculpture' in the grounds behind the Heimat Haus (below).




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