Rohrau, Austria

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Rohrau
Coat of arms of Rohrau
Coat of arms
Rohrau is located in Austria
Rohrau
Rohrau
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 48°4′N 16°51′E / 48.067°N 16.850°E / 48.067; 16.850Coordinates: 48°4′N 16°51′E / 48.067°N 16.850°E / 48.067; 16.850
Country Austria
State Lower Austria
District Bruck an der Leitha
Government
 • Mayor Herbert Speckl
Area
 • Total 20.47 km2 (7.90 sq mi)
Elevation 148 m (486 ft)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 1,534
 • Density 75/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 2471
Area code 02164
Website rohrau.at/system/web/default.aspx (German)

Rohrau (German: Marktgemeinde Rohrau) is a village in Austria. The name Rohrau comes from two single German words, Rohr which means 'reed' and Au which means 'riparian forest' - the name of the village tells its location - south of the village there is a riparian forest and a swamp covered with reed. Rohrau is located in the "industrial quarter" (Industrieviertel) of the state of Lower Austria. 8.66% of the land is forested; the rest used for farming; there is a kindergarten and a primary school (Volksschule).

Districts (Katastralgemeinden)[edit]

  • Rohrau
  • Gerhaus
  • Hollern
  • Pachfurth

History[edit]

The area in pre-Roman times belonged to the Celtic kingdom of Noricum. In Roman Times the region around Rohrau was part of the Roman province of Pannonia; Rohrau is near Carnuntum, a former Roman settlement and fort now called Petronell/Carnuntum. Rohrau grew along an old road next to river Leitha connecting Carnuntum to the next bridge crossing the river at Bruck an der Leitha, which is today the district capital.

The Harrach palace in Rohrau

In the Middle Ages a castle was built, surrounded by a moat; later it was converted to a chateau; its facade as seen today is in the "Josephinian Style", a late and very rare Baroque style that only was used during the reign of Emperor Joseph II in the late 18th century. The chateau has been owned by the Counts of Harrach since 1524 and contains the largest private collection of Dutch oil paintings in Austria.

In the 16th century Rohrau was given the right to hold a market; the village has since then been called a Marktgemeinde; 'market community'.

In the early 18th century the town was plagued by attacks from the Kuruczes, described by Geiringer as "the peasant army of the anti-Habsburg Hungarian party". In 1704 they plundered the town, burning homes, and returned to do the same in 1706; a further attack took place in 1707. A resident who lost his house to the flames in both 1704 and 1706 was Lorenz Koller (born 1675), who was the Marktrichter (roughly, mayor) of the town and the maternal grandfather of Joseph Haydn (see below).[2]

Rohrau as former border town[edit]

Rohrau, situated on the River Leitha, is a former border village. Currently, it stands in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, just across the river from the neighbouring state of Burgenland. The latter was part of Hungary until 1921. Rohrau once had a border checkpoint at the bridge crossing the river to what was then Hungary (this checkpoint is now a farmhouse). This border was not international, since Austria and Hungary where both part of the same Empire of Austria-Hungary and in fact the local noble family Harrach owned the land on both sides.

Rohrau and Haydn[edit]

Haydn's birth home in Rohrau, now a museum

The composer Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau in 1732. His father Mathias was a master wheelwright who served as Marktrichter of the village; something akin to mayor. His mother had previously worked as a cook in the Harrach palace. Haydn lived in Rohrau only until about 1738, when he was sent away to attend boarding school in nearby Hainburg.

The composer's birth home (it is also the birth home of his brother Michael Haydn) is today a museum; it only partially reflects its original form since it has been repeatedly restored following fires and floods. It has also been expanded to serve its purpose as a museum.

The Haydn monument in the center of Rohrau

A monument to Haydn was erected by Count Karl Leonhard Harrach in 1793, during the composer's own lifetime; it is thus the oldest of all Haydn monuments.[3] It was originally placed in the park of Harrach Palace, on an artificial island (the "Haydn-Insel") in the Leitha River, created for the purpose.[4] The monument was later transferred to the center of the village, where it stands today. When Haydn returned from London in 1795, he visited the monument; this was the occasion for an emotional return to his old home town.[5]

Historical population of Rohrau[edit]

  • 1971: 1,341
  • 1981: 1,258
  • 1991: 1,224
  • 2001: 1,455

Economy[edit]

There are 74 companies, of which 47 are related to agricultural and forestry. 633 persons are employed. The activity rate is 17.59%.

Local agricultural products: sugar beets, wheat, maize/corn, potatoes, sheep.

Local politics[edit]

The village mayor (Bürgermeister) is Herbert Speckl, a conservative. The "village secretary" (Gemeindesekratär) is Josef Rössler. The mandates at village council are (in seats) 14 ÖVP (conservative), 4 SPÖ (socialists/labour), 1 FPÖ (right)(Election 2010). Traditionally the conservative party (Österreichische Volkspartei) has a stronghold in Lower Austria, due to their support among farmers, crafters and bureau employees.

Church[edit]

Church of St. Vitus, Rohrau

Rohrau is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. The Catholic priest at the church of St. Vitus is Dr. Norbert Mendecki.

Sights[edit]

  • Schloß Harrach - Gallery Website: [1]
  • Haydnhaus Museum (birthplace of Joseph Haydn) Website: [2]
  • Pfarrkirche St. Vitus (St. Vitus church) containing the "Haydn-Orgel" a historic church organ, also the Baroque grave of Haydn's parents situated in the churchyard, and the chapel in front of the church.
  • The Joseph Haydn Monument in front of the city hall

Famous persons[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahres- und Quartalsanfang, 2013-01-01.
  2. ^ Source for this paragraph: Geiringer (1983:5)
  3. ^ Webster (n.d., section 1)
  4. ^ Head, Mathew (2000) Music with "No Past?" Archaeologies of Joseph Haydn and "The Creation". 19th-Century Music 23:191-217. Reference is to page 1.
  5. ^ Geiringer (1983:11)

References[edit]

  • Geiringer, Karl (1983) Joseph Haydn: A creative life in music. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Webster, James (n.d.) "Joseph Haydn"; article in the New Grove, online edition.