UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lake Neusiedl and the surrounding countryside form a natural geographical entity where the Alps meet the Hungarian lowlands. Over the millennia the interaction of nature and culture have shaped a unique region, which fascinatingly combines elements from the widest range of habitats, languages, climates, fauna and flora.
When the cross-border “Ferto/Neusiedler See Cultural Landscape” was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in December 2001, the villages and towns, the cultural heritage and natural assets in this part of the world were recognised as a “region of outstanding and universal value”.
The heart of the region is lake Neusiedl, the most westerly steppe lake in Eurasia, which is just 1.5 metres deep and whose surface is predominantly covered with reeds. The evaporation from it creates the mild climate that allows a wide range of plants and animals to flourish around its shores, from the wolf spider to bogbean.
Since time immemorial people have also chosen to settle here because of the climate and the favourable position on the Amber Road, one of the oldest European trade routes. Splendid merchant’s houses and magnificent squares grew up in the lakeside communities, such as Rust and Purbach, with the flourishing wine industry. Nowadays visitors from the world over not only prize the region’s scenery and attractions, but also the sport and wellness facilities by the lake, and the diverse cultural programme, from the Lake Festival in Mörbisch to opera in St. Margarethen’s Roman quarry.