A towering history
The Lederer Tower tells its story
Call me “Ledererturm”. I’m proud to be the landmark of the town of Wels. At 37.7 metres high I form the western end of the picturesque town square. The 64 town houses on the square are all in styles from various different epochs and the sight still enchants me today. I’ve admired the square for a long time: the first documentary mention of it was on 24 July 1326.
But the history of the city goes back much, much further, because this site on the River Traun was settled as early as the Neolithic period. The name Wels is of Celtic origin and the Romans also appreciated the central location. The first Roman settlement probably originated in the second half of the 1st century AD. Emperor Hadrian made Ovilava a municipium and in the 4 AD, it became the capital of the newly created province of Ufernoricum on the Danube as part of administrative reforms under Emperor Diocletian.
The history of my beautiful home town continued to be defined by change and was shaped by the rule of the Bavarians, Babenbergs and Habsburgs. Wels has Emperor Maximilian I, the “last knight”, to thank for the lucrative privileges that were responsible for town’s economic upturn. Maximilian died in Wels Castle in 1519.
I look back on both the citizens of Wels and the history of the town with pride.
The historic buildings bear witness to an eventful history – one that still flows through the veins of the streets, but the town has developed into a pulsing centre of pure joie de vivre. Festivities, parties, celebrations, my God, what I could tell you. From the laughing children on the ice rink in the middle of the town square to the Welser Volksfest, which has been taking place since 1878, and the many music events. And for the crowning glory is the Welser Weihnachtswelt Christmas market, I dress up in glitter and bathe the entire town centre in Christmassy brilliance.
A visit pays off in other ways too. The squares and streets are perfect for a stroll or a wander around and you’ll often discover a hidden little gem on a foray through the shopping streets of Wels. The numerous independent businesses, exclusive boutiques and well-known chain stores ensure an exquisite mix of sectors in the centre of town. And when the sun’s out, the numerous inns and coffee houses also offer inviting outdoor seating areas in the pedestrian zone, where you can take a break.
Many things have happened and many things are yet to happen. From my place on the town square, I’m looking forward to the future and the numerous visitors who will pass through my gates. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting those travelling on the Roman Cycle Trail.
Author: Wels Marketing & Touristik GmbH