Freistadt is located in the Austrian Region of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich), the is the largest town of the Mühlviertel region. This used to be one of the last border fortresses on the route leading to Bohemia. Today, it’s just a few kilometers from the border of the Czech Republic.
Freistadt has impressive medieval architecture, including a well-preserved medieval wall surrounding the town. The wall still maintains its bastions and two imposing gateways.
The helpful visitor’s office is nearby, and provides maps and information about the town and its surroundings.
The 15th century Katharinenmünster, Church of St Catherine, is off the main square. The cathedral was altered in later years to the baroque style.
The castle was built in 1397, but was largely destroyed by fire in the late nineteenth century. Today, it houses the Schlossmuseum, with an impressive collection of objects from Austrian life in past centuries.
When we were there, there was an interesting exhibition about Austria after WWII, when it was divided into sections by the Americans, English, French and Russians. Photos, letters, historical documents, uniforms and films provided an interesting background to this interesting period.
There, you can see how beer is brewed, and you can stop off for a glass of beer and lunch or dinner in its very pleasant beer cellar. It’s a nice environment, with a beer garden for weather better than what we experienced that wet day.
This is an enjoyable city for a wander when you’re in this corner of Austria or as a short trip when you’re in southern Bohemia.