Sankt Pölten: The young, old city

The provincial capital of Lower Austria surprises its visitors with a cultural mixture of Baroque, Art Nouveau and modern architecture.

Almost no other Austrian city combines so many contrasts as Sankt Pölten: It doesn’t matter if you are strolling through the picturesque Old Town or the modern government quarter. Wherever you go, you discover secret treasures of art history.

Austria’s youngest state capital Sankt Pölten – often abbreviated to St. Pölten - has a long history. As St. Pölten was officially declared a city by the bishop of Passau in 1159, it is Austria’s eldest city as well. In ancient times, the place was known as a Roman colony called Aelium Cetium. The actual name St. Pölten arises from the monastery Saint Hippolytus, which was founded in the Middle Ages. Until the city became capital of Lower Austria in 1986, other main influences in its varied history were brought by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, peasant revolts or the Turkish wars.

Going on a walk through history

Well-preserved buildings of opulent Baroque combine with houses of modern architecture to a harmonic ensemble: Follow the footsteps of the former great architects Jakob Prandtauer and Joseph Munggenast. Let yourself be inspired by the elegance of Art Nouveau and its master Joseph Olbrich. Or explore the modern architecture of today’s stars Hans Hollein and Ernst Hoffmann in the government quarter and in the cultural district.

City of culture

St. Pölten has an excellent reputation concerning its cultural life. Therefore, it is stage for numerous modern and classical events throughout the year. The most important art hotspots are the Museum Niederösterreich, especially dedicated to young biologists and history lovers, and the Festspielhaus St. Pölten, delighting all aficionados of classical and modern music. During the FM4-Frequency festival and the Beatpatrol festival in summer, the city becomes a mecca of international youth culture. Romantic lovers will have a great time on the summer festival on Rathausplatz offering various culinary delights, an open-air cinema as well as a rich music program.