The whole of Rust Old Town, which is one of the most picturesque of its kind, is a protected monument. The many houses dating from the 16th to the 19th century have well-preserved Baroque or Renaissance facades, with lovely window and door frames, bay windows, coats of arms and stucco decoration. The heart of the town covers an area of nine hectares and has a population of 320.

When in 1975 the Free City of Rust was chosen by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, together with Salzburg and Krems, as a model town for the European Year of Monument Protection, they purposely selected a small town where the residential quarter was not on the verge of ruin, unlike many other historic towns and cities. They chose Rust because there was a vibrant old town here, not one that had been rejuvenated.


The historic centre is protected by the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict. The individual properties are identified by blue-and-white plaques.

The buildings still function as the citizens’ homes and businesses, as they always have.

In 2001 Rust Old Town was included on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites, together with the Fertö-to-Neusiedler See region. Rust has already received several accolades as “Burgenland’s Most Beautiful Town” as a result of its efforts to preserve its buildings and culture.


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