Lighthouses of Austria

Before World War I the Austro-Hungarian Empire had a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea in what is now Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, and the imperial government built many fine lighthouses on that coast. But since the end of World War I Austria has been a land-locked country, extending only from the Alps to the Danube. There is quite a bit of navigation on the Danube, and there is boating on many Alpine lakes. The largest of these lakes is the Bodensee, often called Lake Constance in English. The Bodensee is an international waterway: its northern shore is in Germany, the southern shore is in Switzerland, and only the eastern end of the lake is in Austria.

In German, a lighthouse is a Leuchtturm ("light tower"), plural Leuchttürme.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights.

General Sources
Lighthouses in Austria
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Austria
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme der Alpenregion
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Bodensee Lighthouse
* Bregenz Westmole
2009. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); continuous (?) white light; there is also a continuous (?) green light at a focal plane of about 7 m (23 ft). 30 m (98 ft) tower, with four square steel posts supporting a box-like lantern. Jan Olof Nygren's photo of this remarkable light is at right, Wikimedia has a photo by Friedrich Böhringer, there's a photo of the lighthouse in action, and Bing has satellite view. The light was prefabricated and erected by a crane in a single day in May 2009. It is the signature piece in the reconstruction of the harbor. A similar, shorter light was also installed on the east mole. Bregenz is at the eastern end of the Bodensee (Lake Constance) and is the only Austrian town on the lake. Huelse has postcard views of an older and a second older pier light at Bregenz. There are additional lighthouses on the lake in Germany and Switzerland. Located at the end of the west mole of Bregenz. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed.

Leuchtturm Bregenz
Westmole Light, Bregenz, August 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jan Olof Nygren


Neusiedlersee Lighthouse
* Podersdorf-am-See
1998. Active; continuous white light; also a flashing orange is sometimes displayed as a storm warning. 11 m (36 ft) round metal tower with lantern. Lighthouse painted white with three red horizontal bands; lantern painted with red and white vertical stripes. Derzsi Elekes Andor's photo is at rightr, Zdeno Kudolani has a 2008 closeup photo, a 2006 photo and a photo of the lighthouse in operation are available, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse stands on the eastern shore of the Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl), Austria's largest lake, near the Hungarian border at the eastern end of the country. It is well known as a landmark and tourist attraction. Located at the end of a short wooden pier in Podersdorf-am-See. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AUT-003.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Maria Wörth (1890-1945), on the south shore of the Wörthersee west of Klagenfurt. ARLHS AUT-002.
  • Praterspitz (early 1900s), at the junction of the Donaukanal and the Danube on the east side of Vienna. This is the entrance to Vienna's commercial harbor. Daniel Szávoszt-Vass has a historic photo (halfway down the page). The lighthouse has been replaced by a signal tower; Google has an aerial view.
  • St. Wolfgang (?-1961), on the north shore of the Wolfgangsee west of Bad Ischl. ARLHS AUT-004.
Podersdorf-am-See Light
Podersdorf-am-See Light, Podersdorf-am-See, August 2013
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Derzsi Elekes Andor

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Breitenbrunn (date unknown), at the Breitenbrunn campground and marina at the north end of the Neuseidlersee. Google has a satellite view.
  • Donaupark (date unknown), in the Donaupark on the north side of the Danube (Donau) in Vienna. This striking tower was originally built for a theater production in Bregenz, on the Bodensee (Lake Constance) at the extreme western end of Austria. It was moved first to stand outside the Technical Museum in Vienna, and then moved a second time to the Donaupark. It has never been an aid to navigation. Google has an aerial view. ARLHS AUT-001.

Adjoining page: Northwest: Bodensee | Southwest: Switzerland

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Posted October 16, 2006. Checked and revised January 3, 2014. Lighthouses: 2. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.