Nature lovers, particularly those who love to be close to bodies of water, should find time to visit the Lobau national park. Situated in the 22nd district of Vienna on the eastern side, the place which literally means water-forest features many lake and rivers.
Lobau used to be a floodplain in the northern part of the Danube River. Before the 19th century, the river when it overflows would caused floods in the surrounding area and this resulted in the formation of small side-rivers, lakes and moorlands.
Folllowing the Danube’s regulation and dams were built, the area became a popular weekend go-to place for many Viennese. Since 1978, the area has been a protected area but it was in 1996 when it officially became a national park.
Almost a third of the entire Lobau area lies in the Donau-Auen National Park. Part of this water-forest also belongs to Großenzersdorf, Lower Austria.
History has it that the site was where the Battle of Aspern-Essling took place in 1809. The battle led to the first major defeat experienced by Napoleon.
Today, it is home to more than 800 plant species, 30 mammal and 100 bird species, 8 reptile, 13 amphibian and 60 fish species. Interestingly, the kingfisher also known as the flying jewel is the Lobau’s symbol.
And apart from providing people with a green oasis, the park also offers an opportunity to do outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, cycling and even swimming.
Lobau is among the six national parks in Austria and protects one of the last remaining large wetlands in Central Europe.