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Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 6th mill.BC
Date of Inscription: 2001
Location: Europe, Austria, Hungary, State of Burgenland (AT) / County of Györ-Moson-Sopron (HU)
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Description: For eight millennia the Fertö/Neusiedler Lake area has been the meeting site of different cultures. The varied landscape graphically attests to this history, as it was shaped by an evolutionary symbiosis of both human activity and the physical environment. The notable rural architecture of the lake encircling villages and some 18th and 19th century palaces enhances the area’s great cultural interest. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Lake Neusiedl (German: Neusiedlersee'; Hungarian: Fertő tó) is the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe, straddling the Austrian–Hungarian border. The lake covers 315 km², of which 240 km² is on the Austrian side and 75 km² on the Hungarian side. Most of the lake is surrounded by reeds which serve as a habitat for wildlife (making the lake an important resting place for migratory birds) and are harvested in winter as soon as the ice is solid enough. This serves a double purpose, one ecological (removal of the bulk of organic matter that would otherwise decay in the lake) and one economic (the reed is sold for various purposes, mostly related to construction and housing). During the summer months, there are occasional reed fires, as dry reed is easily flammable, and fires spread quickly because of the almost constant wind. Water quality is determined by temperature, wind, and by the amount of salt and mud emanating with the ground water from the sediments. Several plans for dams and other intrusive construction works which would have destroyed the lake and its biotopes were discussed during the first half of the 20th century but, luckily, came to nothing. In 1971 plans for a bridge across the Austrian part of the lake were thwarted by environmentalists. In 2001 the national parks in Austria and Fertő-Hanság in Hungary were together accepted as a World Heritage Site. The more important towns lying on the lake's shore are Illmitz, Podersdorf am See, Weiden, Neusiedl am See, Jois, Winden, Breitenbrunn, Purbach am Neusiedlersee, Donnerskirchen, Oggau, Rust and Mörbisch in Austria, and Fertőrákos, Fertőboz, Fertőd, Balf und Fertőújlak in Hungary, with the communities of Illmitz, Apetlon und Podersdorf am See forming the so-called Seewinkel (lake corner), which is located between the lake and the Hungarian border. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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