The City of Krems is located at the confluence of the Krems and Danube Rivers at the eastern end of Wachau valley, a UNESCO cultural heritage. First mentioned in 995 as an imperial fortress, it is one of the oldest cities of Austria. It has a remarkable amount of medieval architecture, including the old Stadtburg (fortress) and the remaining fortifications Steiner Gate, Powder Tower, and Gozzoburg. Unlike in many other Austrian towns, the baroque architecture hasn't really taken root in Krems.
Krems is famed for the cobbled streets, numerous small squares, and narrow alleys of its Altstadt (Old Town), which is virtually unchanged since the 18th century. The lower Old Town is an attractive pedestrian zone filled with cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops, in the upper Old Town the renaissance Rathaus (city hall) and the St. Veit parish church, one of Austria's oldest baroque churches, are located. Nevertheless, Krems is not dominated by the past. Contemporary art and culture play an important role. Its new Arts Mile includes, besides galleries and eateries, the Karikaturmuseum; the Kunsthalle Krems; the Frohner Museum, and the Lower Austria literature center.
Krems' wealth has always been its viticulture. The cultivation of grapes and winemaking has been closely linked to the settlement of the Krems region since time immemorial. Lovers of good wine enjoy ready access to the cellars of Krems winemakers, the Heurige (wine taverns) and the wine tasting shops. Of particular note are the classic Krems varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.