Burgenland: history

Burgenland is the easternmost state or "Land" of Austria. It was created following the Treaty of Trianon, a peace agreement signed in 1920 between the Allies of World War I and Hungary. This treaty reduced the size of Hungary. Hungary had to let Austria have the former "Deutsch-Westungarn" (German Western Hungary or Burgenland), a Hungarian but German-speaking province. In those days, people remained uncertain about the right name they should give to this newly established state. The name of "Vierburgenland" (Land of Four Castles) was brought up among others. It was derived from the name of the four Hungarian "vármegye" (in German Komitate, "counties") respectively known as Preßburg (Bratislava, Slovakia), Ödenburg (Sopron, Hungary), Eisenburg (Vas, Hungary) and Wieselburg (Moson, Hungary) which had to cede a part of their respective territories to this newly established province. Nevertheless, when all was said and done, as none of the four towns that had given their names to this new state were situated in the region itself, it was decided not to include the number of former counties in the name of the province and it was thus agreed to call it "Burgenland", a name that is still commonly used today.

Burgenland: geography

Burgenland borders the Austrian provinces of Lower Austria and Styria to the west, and Hungary to the east. To the north, it shares a border of only a few kilometres with Slovakia, and it shares an even shorter border with Slovenia to the south. This territorial configuration led to the fact that Burgenland is the unique Austrian state that shares a common border with Hungary. The shape of the territory of present-day Burgenland will remind you of that of a sandglass: the state is made up of two territories, Northern and Southern Burgenland which are only connected through a narrow four-kilometer-long panhandle.

Northern Burgenland

Sightseeing boat tours across lake Neusiedl. Photo: Alexander EhrlichNorthern Burgenland represents the best part of the very picturesque Pannonian plains, this area is particularly noteworthy owing to a plane topography on the one hand and a warm climate with scarce rainfalls on the other hand. In Northern Burgenland, Lake Neusiedl covers 315 km² (120mi²) and is more than 22 miles long for 4 to 9 miles wide. It is the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe and shelters an exceptional fauna and flora. This area offers you numerous possibilities to have a good time. Another asset of this area is its geographical proximity with Vienna that earned this area the nickname of "Sea of the Viennese". The best part of Lake Neusiedl, around 240 km² (92mi²), is located in Austria and the last 80km² (30mi²) are in Hungary. From both sides of the border, immenses nature reserves allow to safeguard the survival of vegetal and animal species. Northern Burgenland is also very popular thanks to its vast network of bicycle paths with very picturesque itineraries and well-adapted paths for children.

Southern Burgenland

Lockenhaus castle. Photo: Civertan. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Creative Commons.Unlike Northern Burgenland and its immense Pannonian plains, Southern Burgenland, composed of the following districts: Oberpullendorf, Güssing, Jennersdorf and Oberwart, is to a large extent very hilly. In Burgenland, Írottkő (or Geschriebenstein) is the highest mountain of the Kőszeg Mountain range, it rises to 884 metres (2900 ft) above sea level. Geschriebenstein is the last foothill of the Eastern Alps and it is at the same time the physical representation of the national border between Austria and Hungary. An observation tower built in 1913 stands exactly on the border between Austria and Hungary. The cross-border Írottkő Nature Park extends on both sides of this border. Moreover, Southern Burgenland deserves more the name of "Burgenland", because you can find there some impressive castles, especially "Burg Lockenhaus" (cf. photo), a castle built around 1200 and initially called "Leuca" or Burg Güssing, acquired by the Batthyány family. Nevertheless, Southern Burgenland does not only fulfill cultural demands, but also the demands of the ones who looks for relaxation, they will find it in the very popular health resorts of Lutzmannsburg, Stegersbach or Bad Tatzmannsdorf.

Burgenland: places of interest

Burgenland has some well-known places of interest and destinations. The Burgenland Bus team particularly recommends you a tour through the following towns, places and sights in Burgenland:

How to rent a bus for excursions in Burgenland?
It is with great pleasure that the Burgenland Bus team offers you to rent a coach, a bus or a minibus with a driver for your sightseeing tours in Burgenland. For any further question about the bus rental with Burgenland Bus, you will find more information here: How to book a bus excursion?. We will be also delighted to take you anywhere you want to in Burgenland. In this regard, you will find more information here: How to book a bus for a tranfer?. It is with great pleasure that we will answer your questions and advise you !