A jungle in the city? That's right! Part of the Donau-Auen National Park is located in Vienna and allows unspoiled nature to be experienced up close. Welcome to the Lobau, the "jungle" of the Viennese.
The Lobau, the "water world", lies to the east of Vienna, has an area of 2,300 hectares, and makes up almost a quarter of the entire area of the Donau-Auen National Park. It is one of six Austrian national parks and protects one of the last major floodplain landscapes in Central Europe.
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The Lobau truly enriches Vienna's diverse flora and fauna. An excursion here is especially worthwhile for birdwatchers and animal lovers: the area is home to more than 800 types of plant, 30 mammalian and 100 breeding bird species, as well as 8 reptile, 13 amphibian and 60 fish species. Beaver, white-tailed eagle, praying mantis, gray heron, small emperor moth, and little ringed plover populate this secretive world. The kingfisher, the "flying jewel", is also at home here and is the symbol of the national park.
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A well-signed network of hiking and cycle routes criss-crosses the Lobau.
If you'd like to hike along historic trails in the Lobau, then the ten kilometer-long Napoleon loop trail comes highly recommended. Archduke Carl gave Napoleon his first taste of defeat in the battle at Aspern and Essling in 1809. As a memorial to this, stone obelisks were erected at all the main sites of the event and two museums were built. The hiking trail, which can be freely accessed all year round and lies entirely in the Lobau, leads to battle sites as well as to Napoleon's headquarters and the French Cemetery.
Nature and architecture can be experienced in harmony in the National Park House. On offer are exhibitions, informational events and a shop on the topic of the alluvial forest. The guided adventure hikes, which present the special features of the alluvial forest ecosystem, are also worth recommending. For the Viennese, the Lobau is not just a green oasis but also offers an extensive range of activities. From the adventure hike to an excursion with the National Park Boat or a hiking trip – everything is possible here. Some bodies of water can even be used for swimming. Like the Dechantlacke pond, for example, one of the most natural of Vienna's natural bathing areas.