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  • Dunkelsteinerwald and Bergern
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    The Wachau World Heritage Site

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    The Dunkelsteinerwald, the “dark stone forest”, was already in the Paleolithic and later for Celts and Romans alike a retreat and an important border between the Danube and the Alpine foothills. Over millions of years the Danube has made its way through the mountainous landscape of the Bohemian Massif and gradually separated the Dunkelsteinerwald in the south from today's Waldviertel in the north. At the same time, a unique landscape structure, still influenced by the Middle Ages, was created, the fissures of which offered ideal conditions for the construction of castles and monasteries.

    In the middle of the Dunkelsteinerwald lies the municipality of Bergern, whose area, due to the extremely varied elevation in the Dunkelsteinerwald, has different climatic and agricultural conditions that are equally suitable for viticulture, fruit growing, arable farming and forestry.

    If you look down into the valley from the Ferdinandswarte close to Unterbergern, you not only see clearly how the Danube stream makes its way through the Bohemian Massif, but also have a good view of the alluvial forest near Rührsdorf, about which you can find out more at station 10 of our app guide. 

    Today the section between Melk and Krems is the last free-flowing stretch of the Danube west of Vienna. This not only benefits a multitude of animals and plants, but also the wild and romantic World Cultural Heritage landscape of the Wachau, which can be enjoyed from the Ferdinandswarte.

    Supported by the Federal Province of Lower Austria (LEADER).

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