Amstetten is a town in Lower Austria. It is the capital of the Amstetten District and the centre of the historical region Mostviertel (“Most” – cider, “viertel” – a quarter of the province Lower Austria).
Amstetten is situated between Linz (60 km) and Vienna (120 km) on the highway and just over an hour from Vienna by highspeed-train, and lies on the river Ybbs and Url [de] as well near the Danube river.
There are traces of human settlements from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age in the area. The first permanent settlement in the area to be mentioned in written sources was Ulmerfeld, mentioned in 995. The first mention of Amstetten itself is dated to 1111. In 1858, the town was linked to the rest of Austria-Hungary by railroad. Since 1868, it has also been the seat of the local district administration. During World War II, there were two subcamps of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Amstetten. The town was home to Josef Fritzl and Josef Hickersberger.
Amstetten has a variety of schools which cater to the needs of its residents, and residents of neighbouring villages. These include a Gymnasium, HLW Amstetten and HAK Amstetten. Language learning in Amstetten is enhanced greatly by the presence of English Language Assistants from the UK and USA, who also run regular extra-curricular events in the local area. There is also a vocational boarding school for technical professions and craftsman education.
Amstetten provides good shopping opportunities for its residents. There is a shopping centre with clothes shops, shoe shops, a supermarket, technology shops and other amenities. The shopping centre also has free WiFi. Amstetten’s high street has some clothes shops and several restaurants. There are two second hand shops in Amstetten where good quality clothes can be purchased cheaply. There are several large supermarkets including an Interspar, Merkur and Hofer.
Unfortunately, details of Amstetten’s culture scene are not easily found online. For detailed information of events in Amstetten, the City Hall (Rathaus) can provide programmes and leaflets. Johann Pölz Halle is the local concert hall where school balls, theatre performances and concerts are held. Amstetten has an annual ‘Kulturwochen’, a series of weeks in Autumn dedicated to Culture. This includes performances from the Amstetten Symphony Orchestra and local Amateur dramatic groups, as well as professional theatre, cabarets, story-telling, lectures and exhibitions. In Winter, Amstetten has its own Christmas Market. In Summer, a summer musical theatre made of amateurs and professionals entertains in what is called ‘Musicalsummer Amstetten’.
Amstetten has several churches. There is a small forest and a river for walking opportunities. There is an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, the ‘Naturbad’, which is designed to bring the aesthetics of a natural pool into a manmade pool. The pool has a sauna and a slide. There are several gyms in Amstetten as well as a dance and music school.
Amstetten has several bars and clubs. K1 is in a cellar and is popular among the younger party-goers. There are also two metal bars including the ‘Pandora Bar’.
Amstetten has a train station and is served by OEBB trains and the Westbahn trains. From the station, there are direct rail services to Linz and Vienna, as well as local tourist attraction Melk.