Start: Schutzhaus on the Mugel, Tel.: +43 650 6828798
GPS grid N 47° 21' 31,0" E 15° 11' 17,8"Destination / place to stay: Leoben, second largest city in Styria, tourist information, overnight accommodations: +43 3842 48148, www.tourismus-leoben.at
Cab services: all cab companies at www.herold.at/gelbe-seiten/leoben/taxi-u-personentransporte/
GPS grid N 47° 22' 38,2" E 15° 5' 50,8"
Stage length: 9.9 kilometers
Total walking time (without breaks): 3 ½ hours
Vertical meters ascent: 115 vertical meters
Meters in altitude descent: 1,200 meters in altitude
Difficulties: none, relatively short stage.
Of course, the short stage also allows for a worthwhile stroll through the old town of Leoben with its numerous sights that point to the mining past, including the Leoben Art Gallery.
From the refuge on the Mugel we first go in the direction of Leoben (sign) quite steeply downhill to the Gstattmoaralm and further to the former Schmollhube inn (currently not open, renovation planned for 2017).
Always following the well-marked hiking trail 05, after some time we are then at the Lutzbründl before a fork in the road.
Keeping to the left, we now walk downhill, with Leoben already in sight, to the historic Massenburg. By the way, should we accidentally "catch" the right path - no problem, it also leads to Leoben.
Only a few more minutes on foot and we are in the center of Leoben, our destination for today's stage.
The first mention of Leoben as "Liupina" dates back to the year 904, but the first grave finds testify to a settlement in the Hallstatt period. In the middle of the 13th century, the original market settlement was moved to the Mur loop, where Leoben's old town still lies today. Leoben's location on the Iron Road as well as the iron trading privilege granted in 1314 established the rise of the city and its importance for the next centuries. In 1298, the ostrich, a bird that could eat and digest iron, became Leoben's heraldic animal.
Ring walls, city gates, four corner fortifications and several wall towers formed the fortification of the city in the Middle Ages. Today the Mauttorturm is the only preserved town gate of Leoben. In 1794, the medieval structure was given a mushroom-shaped cap, which gave it the popular name "Schwammerlturm" (mushroom tower).
In the 1830s, the Donawitz metallurgical plant was founded, which today, as an operating site of the voestalpine group, is known in steel production primarily for the production of the longest railroad rails in the world.
In 1849, the k.u.k. Montanlehranstalt, founded by Archduke Johann and opened in Vordernberg, moved to Leoben with its first director, Professor Peter Tunner. From 1904 already known as Montanistische Hochschule, today it is appreciated worldwide as Montanuniversität.
In the tradition of the student fraternities at the Montanuniversität is the " Ledersprung ", which takes place every year around the 4th of December, the name day of St. Barbara. This custom can be classified in the series of admission rites common in medieval guilds. The jump over the "ass or mountain leather", in former times a necessary part of the work clothes of miners for health reasons and today a component of the miner's costume, stands thereby as expression of the personal courage.
In the monastery of Göss , which was founded in 1020 and where General Napoleon Bonaparte signed the preliminary peace of Leoben in 1797, beer was already brewed in the Middle Ages. The first documented reference to the Göss brewery is found in 1459 about a brewer settled in the Nonnenstift. In 1860, a new brewery was built on this site and its reputation grew steadily. Today, Gösser beer is Austria's best beer, at least in terms of advertising!
The Styria Tours app, available for free on Google Play and in the App Store (Android, iOS), offers detailed first-hand information: short facts (length, duration, difficulty, ascent and descent in altitude meters, ratings), map, route descriptions, altimeter, compass, summit finder, navigation along the tour. In addition, you can create your personal favorites list of favorite tours and points, save tours and destinations offline, play on social media channels and more.With the BusBahnBim app from Verbundlinie, timetable information has never been easier: all bus, train and streetcar connections in Austria can be queried by entering locations and/or addresses, stops or important points. The app is available as a free app for smartphones (Android, iOS) - on Google Play and in the App Store.