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Braunau am Inn

Braunau is a substantial border town on the Inn River and one of the prettiest spots in the entire region. It was built by the Dukes of Lower Bavaria, who ruled it for a long time. Originally intended as a bridgehead in their battles with the East, the town remained one of the bestfortified towns in this part of Europe until the 17th century. In 1779 it passed to Austria, together with the rest of the province. The Baroque fortifications were dismantled by Napoleon, but some sections survived, including the remains of several medieval buildings. The centre of this Gothic town is occupied by the unusually elongated Stadtplatz, surrounded by historic houses. At 8 Johann-Fischer-Gasse, built in 1385, an old bell-foundry has survived almost intact. Together with the former ducal castle at 0 Altstadt next door, it is now the home of the regional museum, showing art, handicrafts and traditions of the Inn region. The town’s symbol is the stone tower of the Stephanskirche (parish church of St Stephen) which is nearly 100 m (330 ft) tall. Construction began in 1492, but the Baroque cupola dates from a later period. Inside the church is a lovely stone pulpit. The only surviving parts of the original altarpiece by Michael Zurn are figures of the Madonna with Child and Saints Stephen and Laurence. The altar itself dates from 1906; it is a Neo-Gothic copy of Michael Pacher’s altar in St. Wolfgang (205). Among the tombs outside the church is one of Hans Staininger, who is shown with a curly beard that reaches to his toes — and was said to have been the cause of his untimely death. Braunau was also the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, who lived at 5 Salzburger Vorstadt until he was two.

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Braunau am Inn
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