The Bummerlhaus is the best preserved late Gothic mansion in Steyr. The oldest part of the building dates from the 13th century, and it is first mentioned in documents dating from 1450.
What I first noticed about this house, was the very steep, hipped roof. This is a typical Steyr design. The house had richly decorated facade's facing the square.
The name of the house (Bummerl -"plump little dog") stems from its one time seal from its days as an inn. It contained a lion the people of Steyr jokingly said looked like a dog.
It really doesn't matter how you travel towards Steyr. Whether you come by car or by bike you will finally arrive at a parking lot just outside the village center. When you're at that particular parking lot and you look towards the city center of Steyr you can't miss the Marienkirche. Although we immediately said to ourselves that we wanted to visit this impressive church we first walked our way up to the Stadtplatz (main square) to see the sights out there. We hiked our way up to Schloss Lamberg (Lamberg Castle - 980), went back to the picturesque alley Eisengasse which winds down to the Enns. It's therefore very funny to notice that after strolling through some beautiful small streets we finally ended up at the backside of the Marienkirche. The site we definately wanted to see when we first arrived. Right now it was at the end of the afternoon and we where thrilled to see the Marienkirche as a highlight at the end of the beautiful day. The church was still open for visitors, so off we went!
Once inside we immediately saw the altar which is the center of the interior design. It's made of a marble top. The lavishly decorated interior mainly represents the Rococo style with fragments of rich Baroque features. There are two chapels on the church´s forecourt that boast noticeable statues depicting Christ on the Mount of Olives and the Crucifixion. We walked around a bit and can honestly say that this church is a must visit!
Although we were quite early when we first arrived at the Marienkirche in Steyr we were already allowed to enter it. A huge advantage of our early arrival was the fact that there were almost no tourists inside. Either the bus / coach did not arrive yet or everybody was having their breakfast in the hotels. Whenever we visit a church the kids always want to burn a candle, it has become a bit of a tradition. The Sight of burning votive candles - real or electronic - is common in most Catholic churches. The candles are usually placed before statues of saints or at shrines. But how did this tradition get its start?
According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball, the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights. Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some favor from the Lord or the saint before which the votive is placed. So for us lighting a candle is a way of extending our prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf our prayer is offered.
In the summer of 2009 I stayed with my two kids in the small village of Hinterstoder. On a heavily cloudy day I decided to go the city of Steyr, and I was not sorry for that. The origin of the village of Steyr can be traced from as long ago as the year 1000BC, turning it into one of the most ancient spots of the region. Steyr is famous for its historic town centre built around the "Stadtplatz" (town square), which has been very well preserved for several hundred years. Funny thing was that at the moment we entered the city the sky opened up and the sun did arrive! Time for us to explore the village.
We parked the car and walked our way up to the city center, the Stadtplatz (main square) of Steyr and one of the buildings which stroked the eye immediately was the Late Baroque Church: Marienkirche. There has been a church on this location ever since the late 15th century when a Dominican community was founded on the site. We learned that in the 16th century the building was destroyed by a flood and a fire. As a result the convent church was completely rebuilt in early Baroque style by the middle of the 17th century.
You travel along the Enns river throu hills and mountains and some medieval ruins to Waidhofen an der Ybbs. By train you will have to change in Kastenreith, most likely the other train wil be waiting allready, train travel time is about 1,5 hours
There are bicycle rentals in Steyr and all the trains in that area have bicycle compartments.
The MEDIEVAL TOWNSQUARE consists ONLY of GOTHIC,BAROQUE and ROCCOCO HOUSES !
There is NOT A SINGLE MODERN BUILDING on the main square.
Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo architecture meet each other in harmony in the lovely town center. On the northern edge the square leads into the Enge (=the strait), a tiny medieval lane with a rich variety of shops and stores
Steep yourself in the atmosphere of bygone centuries and enjoy a taste of modern-day life at one and the same time!
Epicurean enjoyment of the Upper Austrian cuisine is to be found here (culinary specialty markets are held each Friday night in the summer) as equally as farmers´ markets (held on Thursdays) and highly acclaimed concerts.
Lamberg Castle was first mendtioned as the "Styraburg" in 980, towers above the confluence of the rivers Enns and Steyr. Restored as a baroque castle in 1727 after an extensive town fire.
The remains of the former fortress can only be seen in fragments of the mighty bailey. In the 11th century the Castle was the residence of the Otokar Dynasty. In 1727 the whole structure was destroyed by a great fire. As a result the Castle was completely rebuilt in lavish Baroque style by the Counts of Lamberg.
The Schloss Lamberg castle/library owns more than 11,000 books, among them many prints dating back to the 16th century. They are displayed in the Lamberg castle library, one of the biggest private libraries in the country. The library can only be visited on advance booking at the Steyr tourist board or as part of a guided city tour every Saturday or on appointment from mid-May until mid-October.
The beautiful cathedral was designed by the same architect as St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna.
This three-aisle church was built on the site of a Romanesque church from 1443 through 1522. Erected in the hey days of the town the structure was called the "Steyr Minister" from its size and significance. The church is dedicated to St Aegidius and St Coloman. The most noticeable and striking architectural features of the Church´s interior are two windows that date back to the 14th and 15th century: The "Laxenburg Window" and the window depicting the Death Of Mary and her Crowning as Queen of Heaven.
In the middle is the town's enblem - the Gothic Bummerlhaus. It still stands today as it stood six hundred years ago.
The Bummerlhaus is considered one of the finest pieces of Gothic architecture for its size in Central Europe.
Parts of the building date back to the 13th century. In the 19th century, the structure housed the "Zum Goldenen Löwen" ("To the Golden Lion") Inn. The Lion, which can still be seen on the signboard, was lovingly dubbed "Bummerl" by the residents, meaning `little plump dog´. Thus the Inn was given the name "Bummerlhaus". The inner courtyard with its magnificent arcades and columns is definitely worth visiting.
St. Michael's Church is situated on the left bank of the river Steyr, opposite "Zwischenbrücken". Built as a Jesuit Church in 1635. To the left, in front of the church: former hospital church with former hospital (Bürgerspital). Endowed by Queen Elisabeth - early 14th century.
All I know about this building is thanks to our fellow VT'er 'globetrott' who gave me the big tour of Steyr. There's not much history that I know about this building. It houses a small shop on the street level and it gets it's name from the stars visible on the façade of the building. The Sternhaus is worth seeing for its unique architecture. I also know from reading globetrott's tips on Steyr that this is his favorite building in his hometown.
During Christmas, Steyr gets busier because nearby Christkindl becomes a hotspot for tourists. For one, the post office in Christkindl issues special Christmas stamps which are a favorite of many. Also Christkindl is home to one of Austria's many pilgrimage churches. From Steyr, a special bus is set up to take travelers from Steyr to the town of Christkindl only 3 km away. This antique bus runs from the Marienkirche in Steyr's Stadtplatz over to the town center of Christkindl. The bus is run by the Post service (as are most of the buses in Austria) and as such bears the mark of Postbus on it's side. This special Christkindl bus is worth seeing because it is such an antique.
On my picture you can see what could have been the Schuberthaus. It is the house in the middle with the yellow color. While Schubert spent a lot of time in this house, he never lived here. He visited the daughter of Mr. Stalzer often and performed in the house.
The Viennese composer Franz Schubert came to the wealthy industrial city of Steyr in 1819 at the invitation of Johann Vogl, a native of the city. He stayed there for the better part of a year and while there, he gained a commission to write what would become one of his best-known works, the Trout Quintet , and set a number of poems to music (like the Erlkönig). Well okay, I'm not sure if he set the Goethe poem Erlkönig to music in Steyr, but you get the point.
Schubert fell in love with the one of the daughters of Mr. Stalzer, but her father did not accept him as a suitable suitor so Schubert's love went unfulfilled.
The actual Shuberthaus is somewhere on the Pfarrgasse and I did not get to see it.
From the center of the Stadtplatz, you can see the tower of the Stadtpfarrkirche rising over the Schmollgruber Haus to the south. To get there you must go a little way up the hill on the street called the Pfarrgasse. This gothic creation from the 15th century shares some features with the Stephansdom in Vienna. One of these is that they were both designed by the same architect, Hans Puchsbaum. It is quite obvious that the Stadtpfarrkirche is a much cruder work than the Stephansdom, but it is still worth seeing.
I apologize for the picture. It is actually the best one I took of it. We examined it after dark and as such, those pictures are not good. This one is not from the city center, but you can see part of the roof along with the tower. Please accept this one until I go back and get another.
The Bummerlhaus a symbol of the town with its gothic appearance and steep gable. In its present form, it dates back to 1497, and has a late gothic three-story effect. This is one of Steyr's real architectural gems and worth a look.