The Royal Free City of Rust


Unique in the region of Lake Neusiedl

The “royal free city” of Rust is the smallest city in Austria with its own city statute. It has around 2,000 inhabitants. The first documentary mention was in 1317. In 1470, Rust acquired the right to hold markets and in 1524 the citizens gained the privilege to burn the letter “R” into their wine barrels.

In 1681, the citizens of Rust managed to buy themselves off by paying 60,000 golden guldens and 30,000l of the best wine (approximately 30,000l of the Ruster Ausbruch from the variety Furmint).

The town Rust is embedded between the hillside Ruster Hügelland and Lake Neusiedl and is famous for its town houses built between 16th until 19th century. In 1975, the “free royal city” of Rust – protected by the Hague Convention and repeatedly elected as the most beautiful city of Burgenland – was elected as model city of monument preservation. There are numerous valuable and worth protecting buildings, like the three churches, city hall, Seehof, Powder Tower or the old watchman´s house. All this and of course the numerous stork´s nests on the roofs give Rust its unique flair.

The storks stay in Rust from March until August and have become a very important characteristic of the town. Wine growing is also part of the tradition of Rust for hundreds of years. Climate and soil conditions here are the best basis for this diversity of wine. One of the most famous types of wine from Rust is the Ruster Ausbruch (high-quality wine made from selected fully ripe grapes). In Rust it is also possible to have an academic education in wine growing – at Österreichische Weinakademie.

In our town we have 40 restaurants – from down-to-earth wine restaurants until exclusive gourmet restaurants. The restaurant owners of Rust use regional products from the cross-border world heritage area Neusiedler See-Fertö.

On Lake Neusiedl you can do numerous types of sports. There are paths for running, hiking, cycling and walking. Rust is in the middle of the festival settings St. Margarethen and Mörbisch, where opera and operetta programs take place every summer.