Medieval fantasy: Steyr, Austria

Last year when Christian and Sabine tried to take us on a little walking tour of their nearby city, Steyr, it poured with rain. Instead of sightseeing, we ate cookies and read books to their little girls and frittered away the afternoon in a gemuetlich (cozy) way. This year we did that too, but in addition to the good food and kids books, we did finally get to go for a walk in town. The weather sat right around freezing, no rain, a little snow here and there, but perfectly fine for wandering.

Steyr sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Enns and the Steyr, and has been a center of wealth and industry on and off throughout history. Steyr hosted a thriving iron trade, then, during Empire times they made their money in weapons manufacturing, then bicycles, trucks, and cars. It's currently home to the Austrian headquarters for BMW and it's a popular tourist destination.

I'm not going to waste a bunch of adjectives describing Steyr. I took a lot of pictures which won't do it justice. Pictures are small and viewing them, you won't get a sense of what it's like to be standing in the main square surrounded by a festival of decorative architecture. I'll tell you this, Steyr has everything you want for your medieval (and any other pre-Empire period) fantasy – a drawbridge, a castle (dated back to 980), tiny alleys that end up in crumbling courtyards, soaring rococo church towersÃ-Steyr is now on my official list of places to take people when they come to visit. And to take myself, again, soon.

We stopped for coffee, of course, and later got cake from Christian's favorite bakery. Our selections? A baroque cardinalschnitte: a fluffy cream and mocha colored confection made of sponge topped with coffee mousse topped with more sponge topped with meringue. The other choice was a more medieval schokoladetorte – chocolate cake drowning in rum and wrapped, for modesty, in a layer of marzipan and bittersweet chocolate ganache.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

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Discussion »

  • #1janice

    hi.. i really love austria very much … i will go there once of my life…

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