Idylic, sleepy and peaceful, that’s Heiligenbrunn’s cellar district, or Kellerviertel. The perfect day out for people of any age who love conviviality and are looking to escape the stressful hurly-burly of daily life. The cellar district is an extensive collection of wine cellars, in use since the 18th century and almost completely intact. The old wine cellars, many of which are still thatched, mostly contain old wine presses dating from the 17th century.
The majority of the wine cellars can still be used for their original purpose and this is demonstrated most impressively. Heiligenbrunn’s cellar district is not a museum, because all the cellars are privately owned. In 1969 Burgenland’s state government declared the cellar district to be a conservation area and between 1983 and 1986 108 cellars in total became listed buildings.
Even then Heiligenbrunn’s cellar district was recognised to be of paramount folkloristic importance. In Burgenland chalets have typically always been constructed of wood. There are two core areas which make up the cellar district - the Stifterberg, with its compact, 500-metre long “Kellergasse” and the ancient Zeinerberg, long renowned for the mythical “Rübezahl” woodland spirit.
There are 123 cellar-type structures in the two areas. The local winegrower’s association, the Weinbau- und Kellerverein Heiligenbrunn, offers guided tours throughout most of the year. The route leads from the Ulrichs-Quelle spring to the show cellars, and from there to the Kellergasse, where there is also the opportunity to taste Uhudler wine. Some 15,000 visitors per year come to Heiligenbrunn’s cellar district.