Nationalpark Thayatal

2082 Hardegg

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National Park Thayatal
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Key data

The National Park


panoramic map
panoramic map of the Thayatal and Podyjí National Parks
panoramic map

Location and size

The Austrian part of the National Park covers 1.360 ha, 1.231 ha are nature zones and on 106 ha. of nature zone with management interference for the protection of ecosystems is authorized. The buffer zone comprises 23 ha. The Czech Národiní Park Podyjí is 6.620 ha wide, of which 2.220 ha represent the core zone, 2.260 ha the care zone and 1.780 ha the buffer zone.

The Thaya River constitutes the common border over 25 km. However, the river length differs extremely from the bee-line distance, the latter being only 10 km.

Vranov storage lake and power station
Vranov storage lake and power station
Vranov storage lake and power station
The Národní Park Podyjí extends over a river length of 45 km between Vranov and Znojmo. Above the city of Vranov a storage power station constitutes an ecological problem. During the daily flood peaks, the flow rate increases from at least 1 m3/sec. to 30-45 m3/sec. A smaller storage lake above Znojmo is used for the treatment of drinking water for the 45.000 inhabitants of the town.

On the Austrian side, the town of Hardegg is the only locality in the National Park Thayatal. With its 80 inhabitants, the cadastral municipality of Hardegg is also the smallest town in Austria.

Download aerial photo [JPG]

colourful deciduous forest
colourful deciduous forest
colourful deciduous forest


The National Park Thayatal is located on a distinctive climate border. Whereas the eastern part is influenced by the dry Pannonian climate, the humid Atlantic climate dominates on the highlands of the Waldviertel. This is why continental and central European flora and fauna are interspersed in the National Park. The magic of the Thayatal near Hardegg lies in the particularly high diversity of plant species in a small area. The exposure changes constantly along the winding river bends, and the geological habitat factors also differ on a small-scale basis. This is reflected in the flora. In both National Parks 1.288 plant species have been identified so far. In comparison: in the whole of Austria there are 2.950 varieties of plants.

Swallowtail looking for nectar
Swallowtail butterfly looking for nectar
Swallowtail looking for nectar
Birds are of a similar diversity: in the sole Austrian part, over 100 bird species could be identified (more than 150 in both National Parks), and almost 80 of them breed in the Thayatal. Once disturbances have been reduced even further, the sea eagle, now only a winter guest, may be breeding here again too.

A current study confirms the occurrence of more than 500 types of lichen, some of them discovered for the first time in Austria. Among the 950 species of butterflies, there are many moths which are rather unremarkable. The 20 types of bats are an indicator of the good environmental conditions these animals find here.