Central Burgenland. Sunshine Country
Aptly named, Sunshine Country lies where the sun shines roughly 300 days out of the year. Where vineyards extend across gentle hillsides, fields of grain rustle and sway in the wind, and dense forests cast welcome shade. And because red wine thrives here, it is also aptly known as Blaufränkischland. This is Central Burgenland – a region that suffers no shortage of castles either.
Sun, epicurean pleasures, FRANZ LISZT
Central Burgenland stands for sunshine, epicurean pleasures – and for culture. Castles and palaces that recount the history of the former German West Hungary. Mysterious banquet halls, valuable treasures, expansive horizons. And sporadically, a small farmhouse. Virtually inconspicuous, yet quaintly spruced up pretty as a picture. You, Central Burgenland, are home to great sons and daughters. Franz Liszt not the least of them. Standing in Raiding isn’t only the house in which he was born, whitewashed and now re-functioned into a museum. Right next to it is the Liszt Center, home of the Liszt Festival as well as a venue for other concerts.
Castles and palaces in Central Burgenland
Castles and palaces – such as Deutschkreutz, resided in by artists, or Kobersdorf, performed at by actors. Or surrounded by magical gardens, such as Lackenbach. Burg Forchtenstein, an emblem of Burgenland, lies quite close by, while the Landsee Ruins, one of the biggest fortifications in Europe, isn’t far away either. And then there is Burg Lockenhaus, which fiercely guards secrets of its own. Inside it lies a mysterious place of worship that continues to puzzle historians to this very day.
No TWO days alike
From bicycles and Segways to fun-carts and hand-cars – whatever it is that rolls, can also be counted on for great fun. Which also applies to chasing “little white balls” on the Sonnengolf course or exhilarating zipline rides on the Flying Fox out on the Sonnenland high-ropes course. Located right next to Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg, one of the top bathing hotspots in Central Burgenland. Too fast for you? In that case, we might suggest an extended hike or walk inside Landseer Berge Nature Park, on the Geschriebenstein, through the vineyards, or along the historic remnants of the Amber Road built by the Romans.
And then there is: wine!
What would Blaufränkischland be without wine? Without wineries, wine taverns and country inns? The focal points of winegrowing in Central Burgenland are Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsburg. There, wine isn’t merely tasted, it is unequivocally celebrated. At wine festivals, for example, which already get underway in May and continue until November. Though bear in mind, wine in Central Burgenland is in season virtually year-round.
LACKENBACH. A PLACE WITH A RICH HISTORY
“Minor Louku” – Small Lackenbach. It was under this name that the village was first documented in the year 1222. Minds still differ about the precise meaning of the word “Louko”. Some see Middle High German roots in the name, while others are inclined to give it Hungarian ancestry. Some espy a hint of Slavic in there somewhere. That said, no matter what conclusions you ultimately draw, there is zero doubt about the strong cocktail of German, Hungarian and Slavic influences swirling in the region. Hardly surprising really, since Lackenbach in Burgenland is just a few kilometers from the Hungarian border. Meanwhile, the small communities of Nikitsch and Grosswarasdorf, where Croatian is still spoken, aren’t too far away either. “Small Lackenbach” used to be a tranquil spot under the jurisdiction of Landsee. But that idyll would become a thing of the past when, in the mid-16th century, a castle was built. Changing ownership on multiple occasions, in 1612 it passed by marriage into the control of the Esterházy family. The former “Small Lackenbach” now became a flourishing commercial center. Soon, Jews from Neckenmarkt also settled here – Lackenbach became one of the “Seven Boroughs of Burgenland”, putting it under the protection of the Princes Esterházy.
Lackenbach went down in the annals of history primarily because of one battle: Count Nikolaus Esterházy, fighting alongside imperial troops, vanquished the marauding troops of Gabor Bethlen. Loyalty to the Emperor was rewarded, enabling the Esterházy family to ascend to become one of the leading families within the Hungarian monarchy; and adding Forchtenstein and Eisenstadt to the Esterházy land holdings, while Lackenbach gradually took on more of a commercial role. This bustling hive of activity is clearly evident in the region to this very day. In the castle orchard, in the vineyards around Lackenbach, and at any of the numerous festivals celebrated in the region.