Nationalpark Thayatal

2082 Hardegg

T +43 (0) 2949 / 7005 - 0
F +43 (0) 2949 / 7005 - 50

National Park Thayatal
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Summer retreat

Information for visitors | Town of Hardegg

Arriving by bus
Bus drive from Retz to Hardegg
Arriving by bus
If the economic life in Hardegg in the 19th century revolved mainly around cloth making and small trade, towards the end of that century, besides mother-of-pearl turneries, the market was particularly stimulated by tourism.

Already in 1905 the "embellishment association" was created, today's tourist association of the town of Hardegg. With the financial and active support of the summer guests, present since 1875, and the Austrian tourist board, it laid out and marked promenades and hiking paths, and set up benches and tables. In 1906 a tennis court was built, followed later by a second one. In the years before World War I and in the time between the wars, the summer retreat in Hardegg was at its peak (in the thirties the tourist association recorded around 30.000 overnight stays per year against less than 4.000 today).

Invitation to a dance
Historical poster announcing an event
Invitation to a dance

Big names in a small town

Some very famous artists such as Franz Lodwinka and Paul Roczek, both (at different times) professors at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the chamber singer Ruthilde Boesch Mervier and the (cinema) actors Kurt Meisl, Nina Sandt and Marianne Schönauer always enjoyed very much their summer holidays in Hardegg. Victor Kaplan, the inventor of the turbine bearing his name, most probably also spent a summer in Hardegg.

Moreover, the importance of the "commune of Hardegg-Schleimbach" should be noted with regards to tourism development. It was an association of enthusiastic summer retreaters from Hardegg, whose families had been holidaying in the romantic little town since the beginning of tourism, and who had devised their own statutes, elected their (private) mayor and whose members, like in some clubs, were given special names. They issued a humorous newspaper for their members, and through the many events they organized, in Hardegg during the summer and in Vienna in winter, summer guests in Hardegg developed special ties with this town.

Visitors enjoyed the pleasant lifestyle and they did not only spend a few days there, but stayed the whole summer. In the small town, 500 beds were ready to accommodate all guests. For this kind of additional income, inhabitants of Hardegg gave up their own bedrooms and moved into their attics. Thanks to the many guests a healthy economy was guaranteed. Three guest houses, a pastry shop, three merchants, two butchers, two bakers, three boarding houses and numerous traders of farm products catered for the welfare of the guests.