The Smallest and the Darkest City in Austria - Rattenberg

Ogi Savic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

With only 0,11 km² Rattenberg is the smallest municipality in Austria, which area corresponds to exactly one quarter of the state area of ​​the Vatican City. Because of its small size, it doesn’t have a post office, police station, kindergarten, fire department, cemetery, sports field, train stop. All these facilities are located outside of the city limits. Rattenberg is located on the right bank of the river Inn in federal state Tyrol. It can easily be reached both with public and individual transportation because it lies very conveniently in Inn Valley.

Rattenberg is a very well preserved medieval city with the historic centre popular with the tourist. Almost entire city is pedestrian area. It is one of the few towns in the World whose townscape has remained almost completely the same as it was in the Middle Ages. Therefore, the city is under state protection as cultural heritage of the great importance. Directly above the town centre on the hill overlooking the Inn Valley ruins of castle can be found.

Being located at the Rat Mountain’s north foothills, the mountain blocks direct sunlight for much of the winter, about three months precisely. Rattenberg is one of the few places at significant southerly latitude that experiences a prolonged period without direct sunlight. To cope with this problem the Light Academy Bartenbach has developed the concept of the huge reflecting mirrors which could provide the city centre with the daylight. However, this project has never been implemented.

Despite the winter darkness Rattenberg is known as the glass city for its for its glass processing industry with 4 centuries long tradition. In the main street you can find a lot of shops selling products from glass. The most famous is Kisslinger Glasswork. Every year, thousands of guests experience live the demonstration of the master glassmakers, from the hot stove to the finished glass. There is a unique opportunity to watch creative work of local glass blowers, grinders, engravers. You can also visit the exhibition room built into the mountain, where you can see glass art from the region or even from the Venetian area.

To conclude, Tyrol is well-known for its attractions such as capital Innsbruck, with its Olympic venues, amazing ski areas, lakes, glaciers, good food, astonishing architecture, or scenic railways and steam ships, however those less known such as the city if Rattenberg shouldn’t be neglected when planing your visit.

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