Schlögener Schlinge © Gudrun Krinzinger

Danube natural jewel

The Danube loop in Schlögen

"If you lower your gaze to the Danube, thinking of something dear, briefly, silently pause as if in prayer, a wish will come true for you." This saying is on a wooden plaque at the Schlögener Blick viewpoint. Whether the view to the Danube really helps with wish fulfillment, I cannot confirm. But what I have been able to observe during my repeated visits to the Danube loop is the fascination that the natural wonder exerts on visitors, hikers and cyclists. Because no matter what age group the observer belongs to, everyone first practices silence when he lets his gaze wander over the Schlögener Schlinge. Only after a few minutes are cameras or cell phones pulled out to take a souvenir photo.

Schlögener Schlinge © Gudrun Krinzinger
Schlögener Schlinge © Gudrun Krinzinger
The Danube Loop - The Natural Wonder in Upper Austria

The Donauschlinge or Schlögener Schlinge, as it is also called, is a geological peculiarity. In the Tertiary period, the Danube dug a meandering riverbed through the soft gravel layer and had to maintain it due to the hard grantite rock. Later, the land mass lifted and dug the Danube up to 300 meters deep. In this way, a narrow valley was formed near Schlögen in Upper Austria, where the Danube almost forms a circle. The different hardness of the rock types and erosion did the rest: the famous Danube snare was formed.

The Danube loop in the course of history

The Romans already knew about the strategic place on the banks of the Danube and used the area below the Danube loop as a natural harbor. It is assumed that the place was used both as a landing and reloading place for ships and as a road station. A fort and a civil settlement were built. The remains of the western fort gate can be visited at the Hotel Donauschlinge.

In the Middle Ages, and thus centuries later, an inn for rafters was built in the same place. They shipped logs. Besides the transport of wood, salt and coal were also sought-after trade goods.

The visitor of the viewpoint of the Danube loop will notice that the Danube is still used as a transport route. In addition to the cargo ships, the river cruise ships are particularly eye-catching. Every 10 minutes they pass the Schlögener Schlinge, which was considered dangerous and difficult to navigate until the construction of the power plant in Aschach.

In addition to the excursion boats, the bicycle ferry crosses the Danube at irregular intervals. It transports cyclists from Au to Schlögen and vice versa. The section around Schlögen is of course also popular with hikers because of the impressive nature.

Leisure activities at the Schlögener Schlinge

Nature trail Donauschlinge
A nature trail leads along the Schlögener Schlinge from Au to Grafenau. Information boards along the way provide information about the flora and fauna. The Danube bus takes you comfortably back to the starting point.

With the Zille through the wonder of nature
Since 1739, the Witti craft workshop has been making zillas. If you like, you can hire one of these flat wooden boats and explore the Danube Loop from the water. A boat license is not required.

Hike along the Donausteig - Ciconia circular trail
In addition to the most famous view of the Danube Loop from Schlögener Blick, this circular trail offers further views of the Danube. Interesting information boards complete the hike.
Click here for the tour description.

Memory list for travel planning
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