The population in 2016 was 6224. The town is located in the northern Weinviertel region, near the Thaya river, directly at the border with South Moravia. The municipal area includes the cadastral communities of Hanfthal, Kottingneusiedl, Pernhofen, Ungerndorf, and Wulzeshofen. A settlement at a ford across the Thaya existed already in the 12th century, before the estates were acquired by the Babenberg dukes of Austria about 1190. Duke Leopold VI of Austria about 1230 had the walled town of Laa laid out as a strategic outpost at the border with the Kingdom of Bohemia in the north. His successor Duke Frederick the Warlike used it as a military base for his Bohemian campaigns, until he was finally killed in battle in 1246. The erection of the St Vitus parish church was begun about 1240, it is today one of the largest preserved Romanesque church buildings in Lower Austria.
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