Giving Linz a look-in

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January 11th 2019
Published: January 25th 2019
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Let's be honest now, the Austrian city of Linz hardly springs to mind when you begin to list out all of the places and cultural facets for which Austria is best known. That said, Linz is the nation's third-largest metropolis, so on that level alone, it would appear that there should be something of interest to capture the tourist's attention, at least for just one full day, as was the quota of time set aside within which to unravel the various threads of Linz and see how the whole package fared. Landmarks here are fairly plentiful, and the key area from which all other orientation can be measured is the main square, with its detailed monument and colourful, stylish buildings flanking it. The variety of churches and cathedrals within the city's confines is impressive enough, and it is worth building them into a tourist itinerary in order to see how they differ in colour, shape and overall allure. Three of these gems are Karmeliten Church, Martins Church and Minoriten church, and in a city where the castle appears to be almost functional-looking rather than a central European architectural gem, it is worth seeking out the buildings more put together with that all-important attention to detail. If it is museums which rock your world, then Linz has a fair few, ranging from the more unique (Teeth / dentistry museum) to the futuristic (Ars electronica centre), the latter being an example of the modernity which has slithered its way into the city's traditional tapestry. Parks and gardens are another facet of city life which have clearly rescued Linz from the onslaught of out and out urbanization, and the city's overall level of liveability, on an international level, is just about the place's main draw card, possibly elevated even further by the fact that this city is neither mobbed by tourists nor indeed coated too thickly in a tourist layer which makes it feel like just another excuse to capitalize on the incoming visitor's tendency to part with their hard currency when the vibes are intentionally entrancing them. At this point, it had become apparent that Linz is something of at least a 'one of everything' city, with just about all vital aspects of cultural life covered, and the shopping culture too appears to appeal to locals and tourists alike, with enough of a range of stores within easy reach to deem its city status cemented. The dining scene too is another strong point, and although one full day here is hardly going to reveal anything too comprehensive or representative of the city, the random pick of a Vietnamese eaterie where fresh and clean flavours abound served as a reminder that a nation with a high set of standards for liveability manifests itself well when it comes to eating out. In terms of Austrian past figures associated with Linz, it seems to capture both extremes of the popularity scale (Mozart and Hitler!), yet it is reassuring to know which of the two is documented by a shrine to his greatness (Mozart house). So, all in all, how did Linz fare on the 'checking out a largely unacknowledged city' scale? Surprisingly well, if you're the type who thinks places are unacknowledged for a reason, still really well if you are of the opinion that that are a whole load of unacknowledged gems out there in the ether. Also, this was mid-January, and not really the time when Linz would be expected to buzz with a lively crowd and goings-on a-plenty, but as a way of drawing a successful ski trip to a close, I'll justifiably allow Linz to be an integral part of that success story.


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