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Lower Austria
"State of Austria
""Flag of Lower Austria
""Coat of arms of Lower Austria
Coat of arms
""Location of Lower Austria
Country  "Austria
Capital "Sankt Pölten
 • "Governor "Johanna Mikl-Leitner ("ÖVP)
 • Deputy Governors
 • Total 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi)
Population (1.1.2016)
 • Total 1,653,419
 • Density 86/km2 (220/sq mi)
"Time zone "CET ("UTC+1)
 • Summer ("DST) "CEST ("UTC+2)
"ISO 3166 code AT-3
"NUTS Region AT1
"Votes in Bundesrat 12 (of 62)
Website www.noe.gv.at

Lower Austria ("German: Niederösterreich, pronounced "[ˈniːdɐˌʔøːstɐʀaɪ̯ç] (""About this sound listen); "Czech: Dolní Rakousy; "Slovak: Dolné Rakúsko) is the northeasternmost state of the nine "states in "Austria. The "capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is "Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been "Vienna, even though "Vienna has not officially been part of Lower Austria since 1921. With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) and a population of 1.612 million people, it is the largest state in Austria, and in terms of population second only to the federal state of "Vienna.



Situated east of "Upper Austria, Lower Austria derives its name from its downriver location on the "Enns River, which flows from west to east. Lower Austria has an international border, 414 km (257 mi) long, with the "Czech Republic (mainly "South Moravia) and "Slovakia. The state has the second longest external border of all Austrian states. It also borders the other Austrian states of "Upper Austria, "Styria and "Burgenland as well as surrounding "Vienna.

Lower Austria is divided into four regions, known as Viertel (quarters):

These regions have different geographical structures. Whilst the Mostviertel is dominated by the foothills of the "Limestone Alps with mountains up to 2,000 "m (AA) high, most of the Waldviertel is a "granite plateau. The hilly Weinviertel lies to the northeast, descends to the plains of "Marchfeld in the east of the state, and is separated by the Danube from the "Vienna Basin to the south, which in turn is separated from the Vienna Woods by a line of thermal springs (the Thermenlinie) running north to south.


Other mountains in Lower Austria may be found at "Category:Mountains of Lower Austria.

Alpine passes[edit]

The state border with Styria runs over both passes.



Almost all of Lower Austria is drained by the Danube. The only river that flows into the North Sea (via the "Moldau and the "Elbe) is the "Lainsitz in northern Waldviertel.

The most important rivers north of the Danube (on its left bank) are the Ysper, "Kamp, "Krems, "Lainsitz, "March and "Thaya. South of the Danube (on its right bank) are the "Enns, "Ybbs, Erlauf, Melk, Pielach, "Traisen, "Schwechat, "Fischa, "Schwarza, "Triesting, Pitten and the "Leitha.



Lower Austria is rich in natural "caves; in all 4,082 have been recorded. Most of the caves have formed in limestone and dolomite rocks and are therefore called "karst caves. Cavities also form in the marble of the Central Alps and the Bohemian Massif. Among the largest caves in Lower Austria are:

The last two are open as "show caves, along with the Allander stalactite cave, the "Unicorn Cave, the Hochkarschacht, the Nixhöhle and the Ötschertropfsteinhöhle.

Land use[edit]

Type of land use Area in km2 Percent of
total area
Farmland 7,000 42
Woods 6,711 40
Grassland 1,750 11
Alpine pastures 300 1.7
Vineyards 315 1.9


The history of Lower Austria is very similar to the "history of Austria. Many castles are located in Lower Austria. "Klosterneuburg Abbey, located here, is one of the oldest abbeys in Austria. Before "World War II, Lower Austria had the largest number of "Jews in Austria.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1869 1,077,232 —    
1880 1,152,767 +7.0%
1890 1,213,471 +5.3%
1900 1,310,506 +8.0%
1910 1,425,238 +8.8%
1923 1,426,885 +0.1%
1934 1,446,675 +1.4%
1939 1,455,373 +0.6%
1951 1,400,471 −3.8%
1961 1,374,012 −1.9%
1971 1,420,816 +3.4%
1981 1,426,370 +0.4%
1990 1,455,968 +2.1%
1995 1,518,489 +4.3%
2000 1,535,083 +1.1%
2005 1,568,949 +2.2%
2010 1,605,897 +2.4%
2014 1,625,335 +1.2%
2015 1,636,287 +0.7%
2016 1,653,419 +1.0%

Administrative divisions[edit]

View of "Krems at the end of "Wachau valley

Lower Austria is divided into four regions: "Waldviertel, "Mostviertel, "Industrieviertel, and "Weinviertel. The "Wachau valley, situated between "Melk and "Krems in the "Mostviertel region, is famous for its landscape, culture, and "wine.

Administratively, the state is divided into 20 districts ("Bezirke), and four independent towns ("Statutarstädte). In total, there are 573 municipalities within Lower Austria.

Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters ("Waldviertel in green, "Weinviertel in red, "Mostviertel in yellow and "Industrieviertel in blue)

Independent towns[edit]


External links[edit]

"" Media related to Lower Austria at Wikimedia Commons

"Coordinates: 48°20′N 15°45′E / 48.333°N 15.750°E / 48.333; 15.750

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