Reichenau an der Rax
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|Reichenau an der Rax|
|• Mayor||Johann Leopold Ledolter (ÖVP)|
|• Total||89.5 km2 (34.6 sq mi)|
|Elevation||484 m (1,588 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||29/km2 (76/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Original an ore mining and forestry area, Reichenau due to its picturesque setting became a summer resort of the Viennese nobility in the 19th century. From 1854 on the development of the area was decisively promoted by the opening of the Semmering railway line with a train station in neighbouring Payerbach, part of the Austrian Southern Railway (Südbahn) from the Vienna Südbahnhof to Trieste. Reichenau was directly connected to Payerbach by the Höllentalbahn narrow gauge railway in 1926 at the same time with the opening of the Raxseilbahn, the oldest aerial tramway in Austria.
In 1873 a drinking water pipeline to Vienna was built to supply the Austro-Hungarian capital with mountain water rising from the Rax range.
In 1872 Archduke Charles Louis of Austria had the Villa Wartholz residence erected near his favourite hunting grounds, according to plans by Heinrich von Ferstel. In 1889 Nathaniel Anselm von Rothschild followed with the building of Hinterleiten Palace. He however did not spend much time in Reichenau and shortly afterwards donated the palais to a veterans foundation, while the Villa Wartholz remained a seat of the Habsburg family, especially of Charles and his wife Zita; their first son, Otto, was born and baptized there, and when Charles become Emperor of Austria, Villa Wartholz was his summer residence in the years 1917 and 1918.
Reichenau was also the summer retreat of the author Heimito von Doderer, where he wrote large parts of his novel Die Strudlhofstiege.
- Otto von Habsburg, head of the House of Habsburg from 1922 to 2006, was born at Villa Wartholz in Reichenau on November 20, 1912.
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