The entire old town area of Rust, which is one of the most picturesque of its kind, is now a listed building. The numerous town houses from the 16th - 19th centuries have well-kept Baroque or Rennaissance facades with beautiful window and portal frames, bay windows, coats of arms and stucco decorations. The city centre covers an area of about 9 hectares and is inhabited by about 320 Rusters.
The historic city centre is protected by the "Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict". Blue and white boards mark the induvidual objects.
When the free city of Rust - together with Salzburg and Krems - was selected by the plenipotentiaries of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 1975 as a model city for the European Year of Heritage Protection, a small town was deliberately chosen in which - unlike many other historical cities - there are no residential areas threatened by decay. Rust was chosen because it was a vital and not a revitalised old town and the houses still have their original function as residential and business buildings for the citizens.
In 2001 the old town of Rust was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Fertö-to - Neusiedler See region. Rust has already been awarded serveral times for its efforts in the preservation monuments and culture as "Burgenland's most beautiful city".