I have always wanted to pay a visit to Lienz – the ‘capital’ of the region East Tyrol, which is an exclave of the region Tyrol, located in the South(west) of Austria on the border to Italy. The city’s name is so similar to the city where I went to school – Linz. However, only slightly over 12,000 people live there, so it’s very very small in comparison to Vienna’s 1.7 mio and Linz’ 191,000.
As I’ve already been warned before that there’s not much to do or see in Lienz, we only planned on staying there for one afternoon. As my boyfriend’s grandparents offered to accompany us, we took the car and drove a few extra miles to see the beautiful Gailtal, a valley formed by the Gail river that is surrounded by the Lienz Dolomites, Gailtal Alps, Carnic Alps and the Karawanks. On our road trip we saw quite some impressive mountains as well as steep roads and meadows. As it was in the midst of summer which is the time for haying, we saw many busy alpine farmers doing their work.
As we took our time exploring the countryside and due to the narrow roads and everything, we arrived quite late in the afternoon in Lienz – perfect for getting a cup of coffee at the main square to get a first impression of the city and its people. The main square of Lienz is surrounded by colorful buildings, with a green area, benches and a small fountain. It was quite busy that day, there seemed to be many tourists wandering around – mainly Italians :)
The first noticeable building on the main square is definitely the Liebburg, built in the 17th century and used to be the home of some barons and counts. Since 1988 it is the townhouse of the city.
After our little break at a café at the main square we just strolled around for a bit, without any clear direction. Well, we stayed more or less just in the pedestrian area, but we also explored some side roads. It was really nice walking around and seeing all the beautiful house facades and the cute alleys.
We also came across the Johannesplatz with a Marian column. A highlight for most of the tourists (and kids!), and of course also for us was the appearance of a rainbow right above the column.
What struck me most was that you could see the mountains almost everywhere within the city. You just had to look through an alley and there they were!
It was such a lovely afternoon in such a beautiful small town – surrounded by the beautiful nature ! Even though it is not my type of city where I could imagine myself living in (as it is just too small for my taste), staying there for even such short amount of time was really relaxing and calming. If you ever get the chance of going there – do it! If you’re in the situation where you could spare a couple of hours and you happen to be ‘relatively’ near , go & explore the Lienz! :)