One of the most noteworthy buildings of Steyr's Stadtplatz is the 18th century Rathaus (city hall). The building is made more beautiful by its church-like belfry and its rococco façade. The Rathaus is also where the tourist information service is located. Please pay them a visit for more information about touring Steyr and its buildings.
Heading north from the Stadtplatz, you'll reach the Steyr River across which is the part of Steyr known as Steyrdorf. In this part of the city, you will find many historical buildings most noticeably Steyr's Michaelerkirche with its frescoed gable. The fresco depicts St. Michael during the fall of the fallen angel (Lucifer). It was built between 1635 and 1647 over the place of 11 houses. I did not get to see it from the inside, but I'm sure there's a lot to see in there as well. The church certainly stands out as one of Steyr's archtectural gems.
The Stadtplatz (city center) of Steyr boasts a beautiful array of architectural jewels as evidenced by the Bummerlhaus and the Parish Church. Both of these excellent examples of gothic architecture. The Stadtplatz in Steyr is also littered with a number of shops (including an old fashioned clock repair shop), a few hotels, and several restaurants. Having visited just after Christmas, there was a large Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas Tree) on display in the center of the Stadtplatz. You can see it on my picture.
The Stadtplatz does offer limited parking, but it is limited. It is probably best to avoid driving into the city center if at all possible as pedestrians are crossing just about everywhere and the road seems more pedestrian then automobile inclined.
Take the time to walk around the Stadtplatz and admire all the beautiful architectural gems. It would be a shame not to.
One of the two highly visible buildings at the northern end of the Stadtplatz are is the Michaelerkirche. The other is Schloß Lamberg, which rests above the city overlooking the two rivers and the Stadtplatz. Schloß Lamberg stands on the site of a castle built in about 980 by the Ottokars who subsequently became Margraves of Styria (Steiermark). The present castle was erected in the 18th century after a great fire destroyed much of the original castle, and many buildings in the old town. This current design is in a very traditional baroque style and fits in well with much of the city's other Baroque and Gothic buildings.
Today, the castle is primarily used as the main police station for Steyr, but it is also used as a venue for weddings and with its giant windows, lovely courtyard, and Baroque flair, it's no wonder it's a favorite of Austrians for weddings. By the way, keep an eye out for the funny stone gnomes/trolls in the courtyard. Also, there is a famous library that can be visited by arranging a tour with the tourist information service located at the Rathaus.
A visit to this castle can be followed with a nice southward stroll along Berggasse. This stroll is accented by many lovely houses, and towards the end of the Berggasse, you'll find Brucknerplatz, From here the Stadtpfarrkirche is just a short distance away, some shopping venues are very close, and some history about Anton Bruckner can be relived.
You can also choose to spend some quiet time in the Schloßpark which overlooks the Steyr river and is adjacent to Schloß Lamberg.
At the southern end of Stadtplatz is Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church), which artchitecturally speaking, is a mix of Gothic and Baroque styles. I did not get to visit the interior, but I've read that there is an extremely ornate high alter and pulpit inside that are worth admiring. Also in the interior is an intersting statue of St. Florian. The famous post bus to Christkindl stops in front of the Marienkirche during Christmas where it picks up passengers headed to the famed town.
Bummerlhaus is a secular building of late-Gothic architecture which deserve the first position in the tips as I notice in the speeches of my local guide that it is his best liked building in town... Parts of it date back to 13th century and in 19th century housed a Inn, "Zum Goldenen Löwen" ("To the Golden Lion") of which still preserves the signboard. The building dues its present name to the nickname of "Bummerl", with which residents called the lion of this signboard. Now there is a bank in 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.
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.
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.
The Kirchengasse heads west-north-west from the Michaelerplatz where the Michaelerkirche is located. Along this little cobbled street, you'll find that most of the buildings here are also quite old. I didn't take all the time I should have to explore this part of town so please feel free to get the upper hand on me.
While at first it may seem a like a waste of time to visit a puppet museum (that's what this place is), I can tell you its worth the small price of admission and the time spent there. For one, hearing the local children's laughter at the various antics of the characters is very enriching, but also, you are witness to one of the most famous mchanical puppet theaters and the dialect in which the performance is carried out is also quite funny to hear. The Steyrer Kripperl is housed along with the Municipal Museum in what used to be a granary (Innerberger Getreidestadel). Peformances at the Steyrer Kripperl are only held in December and January.
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.
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.
I waited for the suggested (just guess by whom ;-)...) right light for a sunnier pic of the Sternhaus but the weather didn't seem to be on my side ;-)... anyway with whatever climate it's really worth a stop to admire its late-Baroque facade which was completely rebuilt after a great fire. Its name comes from a golden star on the main entrance while the two birds which held it represent the iron industry. There are angels on the windows and they show the five human senses.
The composer Anton Bruckner wrote his 8th and 9th symphony during one of his frequent visit of Steyr and he is said to like to play the Chrisman organ at the parish church. And in front of this church, you can find a memorial to him. Then I read he also stayed in the neighbouring sacristan house, the sacristan house of my pic.