Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 23rd November, 2008
One of the few things Linz is known for outside Austria is its characteristic confectionery, ‘Linzertorte’ — a tasty pastry made with ground almonds, cloves, blackcurrants, cocoa powder and even rum, amongst other ingredients. Just the sort of thing to have a slice of with a strong coffee after struggling through the snow, as I did this morning, when thirty other foreign hacks and I were taken up to the hilltop baroque pilgrimage basilica at Postlingberg, from which one gets a wonderful view over the whole city, the Alps on one horizon and the Czech frontier on the other. The River Danube itself was for a while a frontier of sorts at Linz, as it separated the American and Russian occupation zones for fifteen years or so after the Second World War. On ‘re-unification’, the Urfahr bank was properly incorporated into the Linz metropolitan area and a modern new City Hall was built there. Many millions of euros are currently being spent on smartening up the whole city centre, not least the old quarter. And the local bakers will doubtless be working overtime to ensure that there is enough Linzertorte to satisfy the appetites of the expected curious tourists during Linz09, European Capital of Culture.