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Handcrafts and Traditions

Austria is blessed by coincidences: close to nature and informal, yet valuing tradition and etiquette. Once-courtly formalities are lived out with a light touch at elegant events, while the finest labours of hand and head perfect traditional techniques, taking these creatively into the modern era.

Passion for Tradition

Cattle drive at the Almabtrieb at the Achensee © Achensee Tourism Cattle drive at the Almabtrieb at the Achensee © Achensee Tourism

"Almabtrieb" cattle procession

The "Almabtrieb" cattle procession is an annual event all over the Alpine regions of Austria.
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Heilkräuterladen © Verein TEH Heilkräuterladen © Verein TEH

Pinzgau's Natural Medicine

The Pinzgau region, tucked between Tirol and Bavaria, is a quintessential Alpine environment, with its forests, meadows and magnificent farms. Over the centuries the mountain dwellers of Pinzgau, often living isolated from the rest of the world, have found novel ways to survive, existing on what they could find on their doorstep.
Cures and remedies
Stift Heiligenkreuz © Österreich Werbung / Volker Preusser Stift Heiligenkreuz © Österreich Werbung / Volker Preusser

The Sound of Heiligenkreuz Abbey

Heiligenkreuz Abbey, Europe’s largest Cistercian Monastery, lies behind protective walls, less than half an hour’s drive from Vienna. With an uninterrupted 900 years history of monasticism, Heiligenkreuz is both a tourist attraction and a deeply spiritual experience.
Behind protective walls
Bad Goisern: Goiserer shoes - manufacturer of the Goisern Boot © Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH / Andreas Röbl Bad Goisern: Goiserer shoes - manufacturer of the Goisern Boot © Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH / Andreas Röbl

Goiserer Boots

It began 140 years ago in Bad Goisern with the invention of the first “engineered” mountain boot. Today the Goiserer is still the epitome of top quality, but it has evolved to be fit for city life as well.
"Engineered" for mountains
Silent Night Museum Hallein © Stille Nacht Gesellschaft Silent Night Museum Hallein © Stille Nacht Gesellschaft

The “Silent Night” Carol

It touches people from all nations and cultures. The “Silent Night! Holy Night!” carol is an expression of the deepest reflection and a spiritual longing for peace.
Where it all began
Ferlach Rifle © Ludwig Borovnik Ferlach Rifle © Ludwig Borovnik

Ferlach's Master Gunsmiths

They are as beautiful as museum pieces when they leave the workshop, but destined for practical use. Renowned for their precision, weapons made in Ferlach make the heart of every collector beat faster and are coveted by hunters all over the world.
Renowned for precision
Pas de Deux at the Spanish Riding School © Spanische Hofreitschule / Michael Rzepa Pas de Deux at the Spanish Riding School © Spanische Hofreitschule / Michael Rzepa

Spanish Riding School Vienna

The Lipizzaner stallions enchant their public at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, the oldest riding school in the world.
High school of horsemanship
Bregenzerwald Architecture © Österreich Werbung / Hans Wiesenhofer Bregenzerwald Architecture © Österreich Werbung / Hans Wiesenhofer

Wood Architecture in Vorarlberg

In the building traditions of other countries it may be fine stones and hand-made tiles - in Vorarlberg, that status is given to wood. In the Bregenzerwald region, the knowledge about this age-old building material is actively preserved and applied with a contemporary twist.
The elegance of wood
The sarcophagus in the Imperial cryps in Vienna © WienTourismus / Willfried Gredler-Oxenbauer The sarcophagus in the Imperial cryps in Vienna © WienTourismus / Willfried Gredler-Oxenbauer

Cult of the Dead Vienna

The Viennese concern themselves with death quite happily during their lifetime: they sing about it, play with it and build monuments to it. The cult of the dead is a slightly macabre yet gleeful manifestation, and a strategically clever move against the finiteness of life.
Cemetries and tributes
Trachtenmode © Platzhirsch / Bettina Grieshofer Trachtenmode © Platzhirsch / Bettina Grieshofer

Yodelling in Styria

As loud as a scream or as melodious as a song - that’s the yodellers from Styria. Sung as a modulated “jo” syllable, the power of the voice is something which fascinates the world over and invites people to try it for themselves.
Ancient communication
Bregenzerwald Cheese © Käsestraße Bregenzerwald Bregenzerwald Cheese © Käsestraße Bregenzerwald

The Taste of Alpine Pastures

For centuries, the tradition of three-level pasture management in the Alps has been practised in Vorarlberg. This results in some unusual and rare types of cheese. The “Käsestrasse Bregenzerwald” (Bregenzerwald Cheese Trail) invites you to experience this cultural heritage, the people, their hospitality and, of course, the cheese.
The Bregenzerwald cheese trail
Schladming Loden © Joerg Steiner / no  name Schladming Loden © Joerg Steiner / no name

Schladming Loden

Loden has been the high performance product of the Alpine population for centuries, synonymous with the national identity. Nothing protects so naturally against cold, rain and wind. The “Schladminger Rock” is particularly famous, a robust men’s jacket. The cloth for this garment is produced in Austria’s oldest Loden mill.
Naturally cold, rain and wind resistant
Falknerei in Niederösterreich © Österreich Werbung / Sportive Falknerei in Niederösterreich © Österreich Werbung / Sportive

Falconry in Austria

From the falconer’s fist, the falcon launches itself and climbs high into the air, until it spots its prey. For 5000 years, humans have been benefitting from the hunting instinct of birds of prey.
The art of free flight
Salt from Hallein Salt Mine © Österreich Werbung / Peter Rigaud Salt from Hallein Salt Mine © Österreich Werbung / Peter Rigaud

Hallein Salt Mine

You can visit one of the oldest salt mines in the world at Hallein near Salzburg. Its salt provided a livelihood for local people, brought riches to the archbishops, and built the magnificent city of Salzburg we admire today.
Salt of the earth
Ball Season in Vienna © Kaffeesiederball Ball Season in Vienna © Kaffeesiederball

Wiener Walzer and Ball Season

Nowhere are balls so romantically formal as in Vienna. This tradition is intoxicating to locals and visitors for far more than a single night.
Everything dances
The traditional Café Sperl in Vienna © WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud The traditional Café Sperl in Vienna © WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud

Kaffeehaus culture Vienna

The Viennese say they looted sacks of coffee beans after the Turks withdrew following a failed siege in 1683. But it was a spy on the payroll of the Royal Court who gave the city its real taste for coffee. Born in Istanbul, he founded Vienna’s first Kaffeehaus in 1685.
A real taste for coffee

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