The city of Hartberg and surrounding country have deep historic roots. There is good reason Hartberg is considered one of Austria’s most delightful small towns.
A settlement history going back well over two thousand years, which has left clear archaeological traces, tells exciting stories. The Ringkogel with the Ringwarte lookout is the most striking point. Over 2000 years ago, the Celts built a fortified settlement on Hartberg’s local mountain, ultimately “ringed” by three thick stone walls. Exactly when this settlement was given up is not known. Perhaps the Romans had long since discovered this fertile land by then.
At the foot of the Ringkogel with a height of nearly 800 metres, in Löffelbach, the foundation walls of an imposing Roman dwelling have been excavated. It was part of a typical Villa Rustica, a Roman country estate of the 3rd or 4th century. Hartberg must have been very important nearly one thousand years later, in the Middle Ages. The unique Romanesque charnel house directly next to the parish church bears witness to this time. Today you can enjoy and explore Hartberg on a city tour as one of 17 small historic towns of Austria.
The Hartberger Karner charnel house is among Austria’s most significant Romanesque buildings. Capitals framing the entrance reveal a Gothic influence. It was constructed as a Romanesque double rotunda. There is a circumferential dentil and round-arched frieze under the eaves of the cone-type roofs. The vertical structure of the main building is of a gracious beauty with nine compound pillars, each of which was originally crowned by grotesque heads. This is only the case with the two front capitals on both sides of the entrance today. According to common belief, they are intended to ward off evil spirits.
From the lookout in the G.E.R.A. Park in Eichberg to the Ringwarte on the Ringkogel, from the Roman grave in Lebing to the Villa Rustica on Eastern Styria’s Roman Wine Road, from settlement history in the Hartberg Museum to the Ökopark, one of the most popular destinations for families. Learn about the production of pumpkin seed oil in the Ölmühle. During a mill tour of the Getreidemühle Posch, the miller personally tells you about how the healthy products are made. With all these possibilities, your holiday in Austria’s garden is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Whether you are a recreational cyclist, bicycle racer, mountain biker or prefer to go on foot, the Hartbergerland with its hilly landscape has plenty to offer for all cycling and hiking enthusiasts. Pedal hard to climb the Ringkogel, Hartberg’s local mountain, or explore the communities at a more relaxed pace and taste regional delicacies in the surrounding wine taverns, cafés and inns. Out and about, enjoying nature and stopping whenever you like – that is surely the best way to experience the Hartbergerland in the midst of Austria’s garden.
The Hartbergerland remembers its roots and offers a wide variety of enticing holiday experiences. Cordial hosts, numerous cultural events and down-home, Styrian culinary delights set the region apart.
Especially in springtime, the district capital of Hartberg, member of the Styrian Flower Road, reveals its colourful side. With Hartberg Castle and Aichberg Castle, the region is also home to two representatives of the Castle Road. Since the slopes of the Ringkogel, Hartberg’s local mountain, offer ideal conditions for winegrowing, Eastern Styria’s Roman Wine Road also leads through the Hartbergerland.
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