With roots dating back to 1194, Wiener Neustadt is home to one of the oldest military academies on the planet. The town was built in the early 12th century by the House of Babenberg, a noble dynasty of Austrian royals. In the 15th century, it became a Habsburg residence, with Friedrich III leaving a somewhat tongue in cheek impression. Throughout the city, his infamous “everything in the world is subservient to Austria” motto can be found engraved on the stonework.
While Wiener Neustadt isn’t one of Austria’s most tourist oriented towns, it is a fantastic base for exploring Greater Vienna. The atmosphere is laidback and authentic, with the foothills of the Alps, the majestic Lake Neusiedl and the Hungarian border just a stone’s throw away.
The town’s keynote access point is Wiener Neustadt Hauptbahnhof train station, which is operated by the Austrian Federal Railway. From Vienna, the journey takes around 80-minutes. The Südautobahn runs through the town’s western boundary, with the drive taking 40-minutes from Vienna, 2 hours from Graz and 30-minutes from Hungary.
Legend has it that the town was built using a ransom payment handed down by the English for the safe return of King Richard the Lionheart. For British visitors, this stirs up playful controversy over whether or not the town officially belongs to Austria or England.