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November 06, 2006

The Pöstlingbergbahn

Once we had bought our "Linz City Ticket" from the main train station, we had to get the tram up to Hauptplatz to visit the main tourist office to pick up our museum entry ticket and our free postcards. We then stopped for a coffee to plan our day, and set off for my #1 destination - the Pöstlingbergbahn.


Pöstlingberg is the mini-mountain to the north of Linz, and the Pöstlingbergbahn is the tramway that runs to the summit. It was built in 1898, and still operates vintage rolling stock. The tramway climbs up 255m to the top of the Pöstlingberg, and is officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as Europe's steepest mountain railway.

The cabins are still mostly fitted out with wood, and each journey consists of one unit either ascending or descending from the mountain. At each end the driver has to get out and reverse the directions of the prongs carrying the overhead current to the motors. There are stops along the way, but most people seem to go from the very bottom to the very top. Along the way we were afforded some spectacular views over Linz.


When we got to the top our first stop was the Wallfahrtsbasilika. This church can be seen from all over Linz, and is dedicated to the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary - which is a Catholic thing which frankly I had hitherto never heard of. We found the church to be a bit gaudily decorated, although the painting on the inside of the dome was impressive.


There was a viewing platform which offered a really panoramic view across the city below, and then we were off to our next sight-seeing stop - the Grottobahn.


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This sounds quite beautiful - I'd have loved to have gone on it!

Yeah, it was a funny little thing. The cars were very small and only had one set of wheels in the middle, so it was quite jerky, but an excellent piece of engineering none-the-less. The views were birlliant, but we were lucky the sun was out a bit on the way up.

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