town, southeast-central Austria, on the Mur River, northwest of Graz. An ancient settlement, it was reestablished as a town by Ottokar II of Bohemia about 1263. Medieval buildings include the Maria am Waasen Church (12th century, rebuilt 15th century) with magnificent Gothic stained-glass windows, the parish church (1660-65), and the bell tower that has become a symbol of the city. Leoben is the home of the University of Mining and Metallurgy (established 1840), as well as other technical schools. The industrial suburbs of Donawitz and Goss were incorporated into Leoben in 1939. Once a centre of lignite mining, the town also has manufactured iron and steel (e.g., rails and wires), magnesite, plastic products, wood, and beer. It is a tourist centre as well. The population of Leoben declined in the late 20th century because of layoffs in mining and other industries. Pop. (2006) 25,439.
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