European Diploma of Protected Areas:
Awarded Areas in Austria
Thayatal National Park
By decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the European Diploma for Protected Areas of the
Council of Europe has been awarded to the National Park of Thayatal for the very “natural” state of the park, its
biological components and the model co-operation on either side of the border with the Czech Podyjí National Park.
The Austrian part of the National Park covers 1.330 ha, 1.260 ha are nature zones and on 70 ha. of nature zone with
management interference for the protection of ecosystems is authorized. The buffer zone comprises less than one hectare.
The Thayatal is an impressive valley with steep cliffs and gentle meadows, natural forests and a fascinating fauna.
In places where economic interference has left its marks, where conifers were planted in inappropriate locations, the
national park staff is trying to foster the growth of indigenous trees. Research is an important activity in national
parks as it enables to gain insight on natural processes through long-term observation.
Wachau Protected Landscape
The "Wachau" lies in the middle of Lower Austria some 65 km west of Vienna. The Wachau is that stretch of the Danube where
the river cuts a roughly 33 km long valley through the basement complex of Bohemian massif between Melk in the west and
Krems in the east, embracing also the hillsides visible from the Danube, including the eastern slopes of the Jauerling
facing the Danube at "Spitzer Graben".
By virtue of its scenic, cultural, economic, biological, and geological individuality the Wachau can be said to be a
self-contained yet richly variational region with very special, impressive characteristics, high aesthetic and cultural
value. As a synthesis of natural landscapes and urbanisation, an ensemble of highly unusual, unmistakable character. The
region is also closed upon itself in an historical sense. Archeological findings made there suggest that the Wachau was
one of the first regions in Europe to become civilised. Its villages, buildings, and civilisation point to a continuous
development going back for more than one thousand years.
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