Port of Linz
Review and History

The Port of Linz is the third biggest city in Austria and the capital of the state of Upper Austria. It is located on the Danube about 30 kilometers from the border with the Czech Republic. In 2007, almost 190 thousand people lived in the city proper, and 271 thousand lived in Greater Linz.

Port History

The Romans who founded the Port of Linz called it Lentia. It was a provincial government seat for the Holy Roman Empire and an important trade center between Bohemia, Poland, the Balkans, and Italy. It was for a time a very important city in the Habsburg Empire, as Emperor Friedrich III lived there during the last years of his life. When the emperor died in 1493, the Port of Linz lost its status to the cities of Prague and Vienna.

Johannes Kepler spent several years in the city, and the local public university is named after him. Composer Anton Bruckner worked there as a church organist between 1855 and 1868. Today, the local concert hall is named "Brucknerhaus" in his honor.

Adolph Hitler spent most of his childhood in Linz, and it is said he wanted the Port of Linz to be a major cultural center in the Third Reich. Before and during World War II, Hitler undertook industrialization of the city. He dismantled factories in Czechoslovakia and had them re-assembled in the Port of Linz. Today, an important steel company still occupies one of them.

The Port of Linz manufactured chemicals and steel for the Nazis, and the nearby Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps were the last to be liberated. Much of the stone Hitler used for building his new Reich came from quarries where the camp prisoners worked. While it was bombed during the war, the Port of Linz was not damaged to the degree of other Nazi stronghold cities.

After the war, the Danube was the border between American and Russian occupation troops. Being on both sides of the river, and the Nibelungen Bridge became Linz's version of Checkpoint Charlie.

Modern Linz is an industrial city, home to many steel and chemical plants, and one of Austria's most important economic centers. It is also home to PEZ, the candy manufacturers.

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