When you say Wels you mean history, exploration tours, great sights and a generous atmosphere that characterizes the entire area. This Austrian city is a truly quiet, yet lively touristic destination. Many of the visitors that come to Wels are actually looking for peace and rest. And they will definitely find it together with lots of great leisure activities. If we take a look around, you’ll get an idea about what it is so special about this place, making it so inviting for tourists. Loads of historic monuments, old houses, ruins and more await us.
Mention should be made that this is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Austria, bearing settlement traces that date back to the Neolithic times. During the Roman occupation, this used to be the center of the province of Noricum. Even as early as the Roman times Wels had city status, counting around 20,000 inhabitants, which is really impressive if we consider the period. Many of the present day tourist sights are tributary to the past; for instance the sixty-four resident houses are fine proof of the different cultural styles that marked this area.
Typical Upper Austian Sunset
For a complete insight into Wels’ past, you should make a visit to the former Minoritean monastery. It houses a complex collection of items that date back to prehistory along with the early Roman period. All the discoveries that have been made, provide a really comprehensive image of the way life used to be in this area. Such a tour of Wels is for those who really want to grasp the meaning of the city and gain an understanding of its atmosphere.
Part of the Roman city has been reconstructed and is open for visitors, there you will learn many new things on tradesmen outlets and about life in the villas of the wealthy Roman patricians. When you see a kitchen and a living room built in the ancient Roman style it seems as if the past comes alive. Wels authorities have also opened a street of tombs belonging to the same period. Since the funeral ceremonies are completely different from what we know today, tourists take it as a curiosity to see how the Romans were buried.
One sight worth visiting is the Dragoon Museum; there, the tradition and camaraderie of a dragoon regiment has been maintained for almost a century. The museum is established in the original dragoon barracks that were in use eighty years before. The project was supported by the Upper Austrian authorities, and the Museum is now a true attraction in the city. Besides various weapons on display, you’ll also get the chance to learn something on the fighting techniques in use at the time.
For Middle Age relics and houses, you need to go south of the city square, in the area known as the Unterstetten. Once full of wooden sheds, now it has some wonderful Late Middle Age houses that are the pride of the city. There are beautifully decorated facades designed in the traditional local style that bring colour to the place and preserve the “old town” atmosphere. Walking is the best way to discover the treasures of Old Wels, and wandering on the silent narrow streets is a great way of experiencing the past.
Wels is the most popular city for shopping in Upper Austria, with one of the most diverse range of shops in all of Austria. There are popular shopping festivals such as Wels Shopping Night or the open street shopping festival known as the Wels Advent Festival. Antique lovers will find the antique flea market a real bargain. Such events are a good opportunity to experience the local brew and the fresh products that come from the surrounding rural areas.