Trip to the unique Raabs an der Thaya

With a group of motivated Austria guides, I took a trip to Raabs an der Thaya. Only one and half hour driving by car from Vienna is the municipality of Raabs an der Thaya in the district of Waidhofen an der Thaya located directly on the border to the Czech Republic.

As a part of Lower Austrian Waldviertel, the so-called “Pearl of the Thayatal” has around 4000 thousand inhabitants. This is the place where the two source rivers of the Thaya, the German and the Moravian Thaya, meet.

Raabs (Slavik Rakoza), for a long time, was the border between Bohemians and Austrians, so that’s why the Chezch and Slovak call the Austrians “Rakouskany,” people who live over the border in Rakoza.

In the city center proudly stands the Raabs an der Thaya Castle. It’s one of the earliest stone castles built in the territory of present-day Austria. In the 11th-13th centuries, the castle and village (first mentioned in 1100) at the confluence of the Moravian and German Thaya formed the center of a so-called “royal district”.  

With the Schallaburg castle, Raabs is, along with Gars am Kamp, one of the most important Austrian courts in terms of building and settlement history.

Here you can see the confluence of the German Thaya with the Moravian Thaya. The German Thaya has its source in the Waldviertel. After 75.8 km, it joins the second source of the Thaya, the Moravian Thaya, in Raabs an der Thaya.

The Moravian Thaya (the left source river of the Thaya) rises in the Czech Republic in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. At Raabs an der Thaya after 68.2 km joins the German Thaya to Thaya.

It leaves Austria at Drossendorf and flows as a border river after a length of 235.4 km into the March, whose waters flow into the Black Sea after joining the Danube.

It was time to take a break before we drive to our next stop. Must try is typically “Schweinbraten mit Waldviertelknödel,” it can be served in a restaurant in the city center.

You cannot imagine a visit to Raabs without visiting the Kollmitz Ruins of a medieval fortress in the Thaya Valley. The ruin is a popular destination for people from near and far. Over a marked hiking trail from Raabs, can be reached within an hour’s walk.

We decided to go there by car, after 15. minutes drive, we reach out to the medieval castle. The medieval castle ruins are one of the most extensive ruins in Austria. They were built in the 13th century and, for a long time, served as a boundary defense against Bohemia.  

The castle changed its ownership several times during the centuries. Now it belongs to the municipality of Raabs an der Thaya. Two of the towers, both of which have marvelous views over the Thaya valley, are accessible to the public.  

Once there, you can take a snack at the snack station, which is open from May to October. We have a local guide there who tell us many stories about the castle, his history, and his struggle during the years to become what today is.

A day tour to Raabs, walk alongside the river Thaya and climbing up to the top of the ruins, just a perfect way to end the week.

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