Exploring Vienna’s Jungle

Now it can be said that the capital city of Austria has everything for everyone – lying east of Vienna is what is commonly called the “jungle of the Viennese.” Lobau, the water forest, is one of the major sources of groundwater for the city. As part of the Donau-Auen National Park and one of the last remaining wetland areas in Europe, it is also considered a protected area. Lobau is more than a massive green space, it is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna species.

There are about 800 species of plants, 100 kinds of brooding birds, 30 mammal species, 60 fish and about 13 amphibians. The kingfisher which is the symbol of the National Park lives in Lobau along with other exotic animals such as the grey heron and little ringed plovers. What’s good about it is that while it is a protected area, visitors can still come and experience the natural wonders of Lobau. There are designated places for swimming, hiking, cycling and many other outdoor activities.

One interesting hiking trail in Lobau takes visitors through the area where Napoleon suffered his first defeat during the 1809 battle at Aspern and Essling. There is also the Wien-Lobau National Park House which holds educational exhibitions, events and guided tours inside the water forest. Those who like camping will enjoy the facilities at the family-style naturist club. It’s also pretty easy to go to Lobau from the city center – there is a National Park boat that cruises along the Danube canal right into Lobau.

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