The name Wels is of Celtic origin (Wilabis). Later under the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the former Celtic settlement became the city of Ovilava.
A range of beautiful buildings bear witness to the town's 2000 years of rich cultural history – e.g. the historic market place with its colourful town houses and romantic arcade courtyards, the ancient castle or the medieval towers.
Located in the very heart of Upper Austria, Wels today is a busy centre for trade and industry, right between Munich and Vienna, Prague and Salzburg. With a population of 55,000 and located 25 kilometres west of Linz (the capital of Upper Austria, population c. 180,000 ), Wels is a dynamic business location based on high-tech industries (mainly SMEs), many of which operate worldwide. The annual Wels Trade Fair in September is more than just a European event: it is attended by companies from all over the world.
In addition to its strong industrial infrastructure, Wels also offers a wide range of leisure facilities, like the municipal zoo, the medieval market, the open-air film festival or the nearby thermal baths. Above all, Wels is just a stone´s throw away from the Alps with its beautiful lakes and mountains – the nearest skiing resort is less than one hour away!
The university campus which is situated in the centre of Wels spreads its vibrant, lively atmosphere about the city which offers to its residents, students and guests a high quality of life, a rich cultural programme and an attractive gastronomy.
Distances to well-known and worth visiting cities: