Fertö, Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape (2001)
Austria

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The Fertö/Neusiedler Lake area has been the meeting place of different cultures for eight millennia. This is graphically demonstrated by its varied landscape, the result of an evolutionary symbiosis between human activity and the physical environment. The remarkable rural architecture of the villages surrounding the lake and several 18th- and 19th-century palaces adds to the area's considerable cultural interest.

The Fertö-Neusiedler Lake has been the meeting place of different cultures for eight millennia, and this is graphically demonstrated by its varied landscape, the result of an evolutionary and symbiotic process of human interaction with the physical environment. 

In northern Burgenland, 50 km from Vienna, Neusiedler Lake is located east of the Leitha mountain range and the Rust hills. It is a steppe lake with an average depth of 1.5 m and a surface of around 300 km². From north to south, it has a length of approx. 36 km. Its southern quarter lies on the territory of neighbouring Hungary.

Austria 1984. World Cultural Heritage. View from Neusiedlersee, Austria.

Neusiedler Lake is not only Austria's biggest lake, in geographic terms it is also the easternmost lake and, at the same time, the lowest point of Austria, as the water level is only 115 m above the level of the Adriatic Sea. 

East of Neusiedler Lake, the Small Hungarian Plain begins in Seewinkel, an area in which numerous saline ponds called Zicklacken are embedded. Many of these ponds dry up in summer, leaving behind extensive salt crusts. Seewinkel and Neusiedler Lake constitute a geographical unit in the east of Austria, the Neusiedler Lake region. 

In particular, the unique fauna and flora of this area make visitors experience the outstanding beauty of nature. Neusiedler Lake and its environment are a protected landscape. The stamp shows a typical scenery of Neusiedler Lake.

In 1972, the Unesco General Conference adopted a Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage. The objective was to select cultural and natural monuments with particular international significance for the whole of mankind and secure their survival for the future. Following Hallstatt, Salzburg, Schönbrunn and others, Lake Neusiedlersee has been declared part of World Heritage, the result of a joint application by Austria and Hungary. The protection covers the entire shore area, the lakeside villages from Mörbisch to Illmitz, the listed old town of Rust surrounded by its town walls and parts of the Seewinkel National Park, as well as the Fertö-Haság National Park and Fertöd Castle in Hungary. 

This most westerly of Europe's steppe lakes, with an unusual flora and fauna, is unique in many respects. It is 33.5 km long, 12 km wide but only 1.8 m deep and, together with the areas of reeds, occupies an area of 285 km², almost 80% of which is in Austria and the rest in Hungary. 

The reed belt on the Austrian side alone occupies roughly 100 km², and together with 45 ponds provides the ideal breeding grounds for 300 bird species, including rarities such as avocets, spoonbills and black-winged stilts. 

The lake's water level fluctuates considerably, and is home to over 30 species of fish, mainly eel, pike-perch, carp and pike. There are also exotic creatures on land such as the south Russian tarantula and the horned dung beetle. 

Austria 2003. World Cultural Heritage. View from Neusiedlersee, Austria.

This is a transboundary property that stretches into neighbouring Hungary, eventually see the below link.

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Austria (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Austria section, for more information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 18 aug 2007  
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