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Austria

Austra scenery
Think of Austria as a big dessert – mountainous whipped cream landscapes, three-tiered castles, the rise and fall empires like sponge cakes in the oven, history like a multi-layered pastry that goes back to the time of the Romans. A German speaking country, Austria has a sweet touch, Gemütlich-ness. Traveling with kids in Austria, the big decision is what to choose next.
    Vienna
    Boat ride on the Danube – A boat ride on the Danube is enjoyable for everyone in the family. The most beautiful stretch is the Wachau Valley, between Krems and Melk, where you'll pass by castles and abbeys along the river, and the town of Durnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned. To really see the scenery, bike along the river (there's a good bike path), and the scenery is spectacular. Click here for the boat schedule.
    Salt mines (Salzwelten) – "White gold," salt, has been mined in Austria for thousands of years. Salt was a valuable commodity and source of wealth to this area. Today the salt mines have been beautifully restored and have lots of fun things for families. Mine tours are for kids 4 years and up.
      Salzwelten Salzburg – Located just outside of Salzburg (which literally means "salt castle"), Salzwelten Salzburg is a must see. On the mine tour, you'll glide in a wooden "raft" across an underground salt lake, slide down a miner's slide, ride in a miner's train and visit a reconstructed open-air Celtic settlement to find out how the miners lived and worked. There's also special family activites and events.
      Salzwelten Hallstatt – Saltzwelten Hallstatt is the oldest salt mine in the world. For 7,000 years salt has been mined here, and continues to the present day (brine is transported in a pipeline to a processing plant).
      On the tour, you'll hear about the "Man in Salt," (discovered in 1734, a man, his clothes and tools perfectly preseved in the salt), ride to an underground lake, and slide on a really long wooden slide, over 200 feet long (this is totally fun for kids).
      To get to the mine from the village of Hallstatt (located on the edge of Lake Hallstattersee), take a short funicular ride up to the entrance, which is guarded by a tower, Rudolfsturm. From the tower, there are great views of the village and lake below.
      If you want to hike back to Hallstatt village, take the Soleleitungsweg, a walking path that follows the pipeline down to the lake (takes more than an hour to get down).
      Salzwelten Altaussee – At Salzwelten Altaussee, the tour takes you inside the massive Sandling salt mountain. Ride on a mining train deep inside, where you'll see rock salt formations and rock layers. This salt mine was also used in World War II by the Nazis to store art works, and you'll tour those "art galleries," with reproductions of art kept safe during the war. Slides take you from one level to the other. In July and Aug., there are special guided tours for kids (slide more than once).
kids books austria
     
childrens books austria The Star of Kazan
 
The Star of Kazan
Eva Ibbotson, Kevin Hawkes

Annika, a foundling, lives in Vienna with three professors, but her life is about to change when an old lady leaves Annika an old trunk. Priceless jewels and the Star of Kazan, crumbling castle, a boy with his Lippizaner horse, this is a sparkling adventure. (Chapter book)

 

     

Mozart was born in Salzburg, and wrote his most famous operas in Vienna. Read about the extraordinary life of this musical prodigy, who composed from than 800 pieces of music. (Picture book)

Older kids will enjoy: Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

 

 
biography kids Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart austria
     
One False Note adventure kids austria
 
One False Note (The 39 Clues #2)
Gordon Korman

The second adventure of Amy and Dan Cahill's world-wide quest leads them to Vienna and Salzburg to find a sheet of Mozart's music. Can you solve the coded letters in the musical notes? (Chapter book)

 

     
Moonlight on the Magic Flute (Magic Tree House)
Mary Pope Osborne

It's 1762 in Vienna. Jack and Annie are invited to a party at Schoenbrunn Palace, where they save a young musician named Wolfie from wild animals who've escaped from the palace zoo. (Easy reader)

 

 
     
marie antoinette kids books austria
 

Antonia, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa, grew up in Vienna, and after she married, became Marie Antoinette. Fictional diary of thirteen year old Antonia, living with her family in the imperial palaces of Vienna and preparing to become the Queen of France. (Chapter book)

 

     
The Musician's Daughter
Susanne Dunlap

18th century mystery adventure, set in the musical court of Prince Esterhazy, Theresa Maria searches for her father's violin and the secret of a gold pendant, aided by her godfather, the composer Franz Joseph Hayden. (Chapter book)

 

 
     
Running with the Horses lippizaner kids books austria  

Inspired by a true story, a girl and her father rescue the Lipizzaner stallions in the Second World War. The riding school has closed, so they ride the last remaining horses, including an old mare, across the high mountains and through the snow, to safety. (Picture book)

 

     
White Stallion of Lipizza
Marquerite Henry

Hans works in his family bakery, but he dreams of of the white Lipizzaner stallions and the famous Riding School in Vienna. After seeing a performance with "Airs Above the Ground," Hans knows that he's going to become a Riding Master at the school. (Illustrated chapter book)

 

 
     
artist austria kids Klimt and His Cat  
Klimt and His Cat
Berenice Capatti, Octavia Monaco

Charming story of the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, and his cat, Katze. Katze watches as Klimt paints in his studio, sketches outdoors or in museums, and with swirls, shapes, gold and silver paint, creates a new style of art. Fabulous illustrations! (Picture book)

 

(More children's books on other Austria pages)
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