Situated an hour from Vienna and at the foot of the Rax Alps, Reichenau is an historic Kur Ort (Health Region).  The place where the Habsburg Monarchy came in the summer to relax and take the air and where still to this day many Viennese come in the summer months for their "Sommerfrische" - summer refreshing.

In Winter the area is a wonderland of snow covered views and bright sunny days where skiing and sledging can be enjoyed, especially on the Semmering.

                                  In Summer it is beautifully green and offers numerous
                                                                                             walking opportunities.

The Rax Alps feed the River Schwarza (which runs through both towns; Payerbach and Reichenau) and from which the Viennese get their drinking water.
"Reichenau castle was first mentioned in a 1256 deed. Duke Otto IV the Merry, who in 1327 had established the abbey of Neuberg, acquired Reichenau in 1333 and granted it to the monastery.

Originally an ore mining and forestry area, Reichenau, due to its picturesque setting, became a summer resort of the Viennese nobility in the 19th century. From 1854 on the development of the area was decisively promoted by the opening of the Semmering railway line with a train station in neighbouring Payerbach, part of the Austrian Southern Railway (Südbahn) from the Vienna Südbahnhof to Trieste.   Reichenau was directly connected to Payerbach by the Hoellentalbahn narrow gauge railway in 1926 at the same time with the opening of the Raxseilbahn, the oldest aerial tramway in Austria.

In 1873 a drinking water pipeline to Vienna was built to supply the Austro-Hungarian capital with mountain water rising from the Rax range.

In 1872 Archduke Charles Louis of Austria had the Villa Wartholz residence erected near his favourite hunting grounds, according to plans by Heinrich von Ferstel.   In 1889 Nathaniel Anselm von Rothschild followed with the building of Hinterleiten Palace.   He however did not spend much time in Reichenau and shortly afterwards donated the palais to a veterans foundation, while the Villa Wartholz remained a seat of the Habsburg family, especially of Emperor Charles I and his wife Zita."
Taken from wikipedia:
The Schwarza River
For skiing enthusiasts Reichenau is just a 20 minute drive from one of the International downhill ski venues, Semmering:
For details of the area click the following link to the Reichenau website (in English)
For details of the area click the following link to the Payerbach website
                                                                                (this is the only page in English):
But don't just take my word for it, this is what Wikipedia has to say about Reichenau:
Snow Capped Mountain View
View Across the Mountain Tops Taken from Semmering

The Schwarza taken from the Payerbach Bridge
Reichenau Town Hall

View Payerbach Reichenau Prein in a larger map
Canopy of trees as seen from below.
Green Tunnel of Trees
River Pebbles as seen through the clear water
Typicall Lower Austrian Pastoral Scenery
The Schwarza River
Up Arrow
Up Arrow
Up Arrow