Steyr and Bethlehem

2009-06-12 16:00:00




Country: Austria

Date of Agreement: 9 October 1999

Current Mayor: Gerald Hackl



Steyr, a small historical town in Upper Austria, is romantically located at the junction of the rivers Enns and Steyr. Steyr presents itself as the most well preserved medieval urban complex in Austria, embedded in a landscape that even Franc Schuber found “beautiful beyond words”. The perfect symbiosis between town, countryside, and river makes Steyr a unique experience. The town square, a gem of medieval urban architecture accommodates all great styles of the past. Excellently preserved gothic, renaissance, baroque and rococo buildings harmoniously exist side by side.

Three kms to the southwest of Steyr lies Christkindl, a popular destination among pilgrims. Centuries ago Ferdinad Sertl, a bandmaster suffering from epilepsy, placed a small wax figure of the infant Jesus into the cavity of a pine tree and regularly prayed in front of the statuette. When he was actually healed many pilgrims began travelling to this place to bring their request to “the infant Jesus under the sky”, as the place was eventually named. In 1699 a small chapel was built around the pine tree. Later, abbot Anselm Angerer committed himself to erecting a church there. Today the 1000 year old town of Steyr, located between Salzburg and Vienna has a population of 43,000 and is the centre of attraction for visitors from the world over. Steyr offers romanticism, relaxation, and flair. It magnificient natural landscapes are an ideal destination for excursions.

A specific sound has been the symbol of the town's wealth. It was the sound of blacksmiths forging red-hot iron. In 1844, Leopold Werndl established the continent's largest weapons factory there, turning Steyr into one of Austria's most important economic centres. Today, Steyr Daimler Puch AG, which emerged from Wrendl's weapons factory, as well as other multinationals such as BMW, MAN and SKF underscore Steyr's significance as an industrial centre that exists in harmony side by side with an outstandingly well-preserved old town centre.



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