Vorarlberg
Vorarlbearg
Flag of Vorarlberg
Coat of arms of Vorarlberg
Anthem: 's Ländle, meine Heimat
Location of Vorarlberg
Coordinates: 47°14′37″N 9°53′38″E / 47.24361°N 9.89389°E / 47.24361; 9.89389Coordinates: 47°14′37″N 9°53′38″E / 47.24361°N 9.89389°E / 47.24361; 9.89389
Country Austria
CapitalBregenz
Government
 • GovernorMarkus Wallner (ÖVP)
Area
 • Total2,601.48 km2 (1,004.44 sq mi)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total397,094
 • Density150/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeAT-8
HDI (2019)0.909[1]
very high · 6th of 9
NUTS RegionAT3
Votes in Bundesrat3 (of 62)
Websitevorarlberg.at

Vorarlberg (/ˈfɔːrɑːrlbɜːrɡ/ FOR-arl-burg,[2][3] Austrian German: [foːɐ̯ˈarlbɛrk] (listen); Vorarlbergisch: Vorarlbearg, Voralbärg, or Voraadelbearg) is the westernmost state (Land) of Austria. It has the second-smallest geographical area after Vienna and, although it also has the second-smallest population, it is the state with the second-highest population density (also after Vienna). It borders three countries: Germany (Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg via Lake Constance), Switzerland (Grisons and St. Gallen), and Liechtenstein. The only Austrian state that shares a border with Vorarlberg is Tyrol, to the east.

The capital of Vorarlberg is Bregenz (29,698 inhabitants), although Dornbirn (49,845 inhabitants) and Feldkirch (34,192 inhabitants) have larger populations.[4] Vorarlberg is also the only state in Austria in which the local dialect is not Austro-Bavarian, but rather an Alemannic dialect; it therefore has much more in common culturally with (historically) Alemannic-speaking German-speaking Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Baden-Württemberg, Bavarian Swabia, and Alsace than with the rest of Austria, southeastern Bavaria, and South Tyrol.

Vorarlberg is to a large extent mountainous. About 37% (97,000 hectares) of its surface is forest.[5]

Etymology

Vorarlberg literally means 'before the Arlberg'. The name Arl or Arlberg can be traced back to 1218 in various spellings (Arle, Arlen, Mons Arula, Arlenperge) and is derived from the numerous Arlen bushes there, the so-called mountain pines.[6]

Its nickname is Ländle ('small land'). The frame of reference for this was the much larger and more populous County of Tyrol, from which the small district west of the Arlberg tried to detach itself. In 1861, Vorarlberg was finally raised to a crown land with his own state parliament. On the way to the detachment from Tyrol, the identification with the 'Ländle' remained of great importance.[7]

Geography

Districts of Vorarlberg. Clockwise from north: Bregenz, Bludenz, Feldkirch, and Dornbirn
Districts of Vorarlberg. Clockwise from north: Bregenz, Bludenz, Feldkirch, and Dornbirn

The main rivers in Vorarlberg are the Ill (running through the Montafon and Walgau valleys into the Rhine), the Rhine (forming the border with Switzerland), the Bregenzer Ache and the Dornbirner Ach. One of the shortest rivers is the Galina. Important lakes, apart from Lake Constance are Lüner Lake, Silvretta Reservoir, Vermunt Lake, Spuller Lake, the Kops Basin and Formarin Lake; the first four were created for the production of hydroelectric energy. However, even before the dam for the power plant was built, Lüner Lake was the largest mountain lake in the Alps. Most of this hydroelectric energy is exported to Germany at peak times. At night, energy from power plants in Germany is used to pump water back into some of the lakes.

As there are several notable mountain ranges in Vorarlberg, such as the Silvretta, the Rätikon, the Verwall and the Arlberg with many well-known skiing regions and ski resorts.

The highest mountain is the Piz Buin, whose rocky peak of 3,312 m (10,866 ft) is surrounded by glaciers. The distance from Lake Constance and the plains of the Alpine Rhine valley across the medium altitude and high Alpine zones to the glaciers of the Silvretta range is a mere 90 km (56 mi).

Administrative divisions

Vorarlberg is divided into four large districts, from north to south: Bregenz, Dornbirn, Feldkirch and Bludenz. These districts appear on the automobile license plates in form of abbreviations: B, DO, FK and BZ.

Biosphere reserve Großes Walsertal

View upon the Biosphere Park Großes Walsertal from the Alpe Steris
View upon the Biosphere Park Großes Walsertal from the Alpe Steris

The Biosphere Reserve Großes Walsertal covers about 19,200 ha and hosts 3,420 inhabitants and around 180 farms (42% of which are organic as of 2022[8]). The reserve strives for a sustainable economy and tourism in the region and provides a platform for discussion about society, politics and science. The Biosphere Reserve Großes Walsertal has been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 2000. Biosphere reserves are the ecological counterpart of the cultural world heritage sites. The biosphere reserve's aim is sustainable development, education and research as well as the protection of natural diversity.[9][10]

The Nagelfluhkette Nature Park is a cross-border nature park between the German Allgäu and the Austrian Bregenzerwald. The nature park is 24,700 hectares in size. It comprises a high level of biodiversity which is the result of Alpine transhumance (the cultivation of the land by humans) and the geological diversity. The Nagelfluhkette Nature Park offers guided hiking tours.[11][12]

History

"Confederates, help your brothers in peril!" Swiss poster of the Pro Vorarlberg (de) movement advocating for an accession of Vorarlberg, 1919
"Confederates, help your brothers in peril!" Swiss poster of the Pro Vorarlberg (de) movement advocating for an accession of Vorarlberg, 1919

Before the Romans conquered Vorarlberg, there were two Celtic tribes settled in this area: the Raeti in the highlands, and the Vindelici in the lowlands, i.e. the Lake Constance region and the Rhine Valley. One of the important settlements of the Vindelici was Brigantion (modern Bregenz), founded around 500 BC. The first settlements in and around Bregenz date from 1500 BC. A Celtic tribe named "Brigantii" is mentioned by Strabo as a sub-tribe in these region of the Alps.[13] The area of Vorarlberg was conquered by the Romans in 15 BC and it became part of the Roman province of Raetia. It was later conquered by Allemanic tribes in c. 450 AD.

It then fell under the rule of the Bavarians and was subsequently settled by the Bavarians and the Lombards. It later fell under the rule of the Counts of Bregenz until 1160 and then to the Counts of Montfort until 1525, when the Habsburgs took control.[14]

The historically-Germanic province, which was a gathering-together of former bishoprics, was still ruled in part by a few semi-autonomous counts and surviving prince-bishops until the start of World War I. Vorarlberg was a part of Further Austria, and parts of the area were ruled by the Counts Montfort of Vorarlberg.

Following World War I there was a desire by many in Vorarlberg to join Switzerland.[15] In a referendum held in Vorarlberg on 11 May 1919, 80.75% of those voting supported a proposal for the state to join the Swiss Confederation. However, the proposed union never took place. Within Switzerland, the Swiss French and Swiss Italians were reluctant to take in another German-speaking area, and Swiss Protestants were somewhat cool to incorporating such a heavily Catholic area. Opposition came from outside Switzerland as well; for example, Italy wanted Switzerland to give up Ticino if there were any changes on Switzerland's eastern frontier. Vienna and the Allies also objected, out of concern for the balance of power in central Europe. The government of Vorarlberg opposed union with Switzerland, but began half-hearted negotiations with Bern after the overwhelming result of the referendum. When it became apparent that the Swiss were lukewarm at best to absorbing Vorarlberg as well, Vorarlberg remained with Austria.[16][17] If Vorarlberg had joined Switzerland, then Liechtenstein would have been enclaved by Switzerland, as the situation of Lesotho, San Marino and Vatican.

Following the Second World War Vorarlberg found itself occupied by French troops from 1945 to 1955, along with most of the state of Tyrol.

Demographics

The population of Vorarlberg is 397,094 (as of 1 January 2020).[18] The majority (86%) of residents are of Austrian-Germanic stock with a cultural connection with Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west and Germany to the north. A sizable proportion of the population's ancestors came from the Swiss canton of Valais in migrations of "Walsers", including the Swiss French in the 19th century by invitation during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[citation needed] There has been a sizable minority of Turkish descent since the 1960s.

With around 150 inhabitants per square kilometer, Vorarlberg is the second most densely populated province in Austria after Vienna. With the conurbation between Feldkirch and Hörbranz, it has one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. Due to the early industrialization in comparison to other Austrian states, Vorarlberg developed into a classic immigration state as early as the 19th century. The state, which is small in terms of area, has the highest proportion of immigrants next to Vienna. In 2015, this was around 16% of the total population. Residents of German origin make up the largest migrant group, closely followed by immigrants from Turkey. People from countries of the former Yugoslavia are by far the third-largest immigrant group in Vorarlberg.

According to 2021 figures of Statistics Austria, 60.7% of the population are Roman Catholic, and 7.6% are followers of other Christian denominations (3.8% Orthodox Christians, 2.5% Protestants, 1.3% other Christians). The second-largest religion, with a share of 12.2% is Islam. 0.6% of Vorarlberg's inhabitants profess another religion, while 18.9% profess no affiliation with any religion or denomination.[19]

Population development

The historical population is given in the following chart:

Economy and infrastructure

Location

Mohren brewery in Dornbirn

For several years, the Vorarlberg economy has been performing well above the Austrian average. While the overall Austrian GDP in 2004 rose by 2.0% in real terms, Vorarlberg recorded an increase of 2.9%. This came as a surprise, particularly as the major trading partners in Germany and Italy did not fare well. Owing to this robust economic performance, Vorarlberg was able to boost its gross regional product in 2014 to 15.2 billion euros according to the Economic Policy Department of the Vorarlberg Chamber of Trade. This translates into a nominal increase of 3.4% (cf Austria as a whole +5.2%).[20] The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the state was 19.1 billion € in 2018, accounting for 4.9% of the Austria's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 43,000 € or 143% of the EU27 average in the same year. Vorarlberg is the state with the third highest GDP per capita in Austria.[21] Vorarlberg and especially the Rhine Valley is one of the wealthiest areas in the world, with a very high standard of living. By far the biggest company in Vorarlberg is Alpla (plastic packaging), followed by Blum, Grass, Gebrüder Weiss (transport and logistics), Zumtobel Group (lighting systems), Doppelmayr (cablecars), Rauch (beverages) and Wolford (textiles).

Currently, five breweries are located in Vorarlberg: Mohrenbrauerei August Huber (in Dornbirn, since 1834),[22] Brauerei Fohrenburg (in Bludenz, since 1881),[23] Brauerei Egg (in Egg, since 1894), Vorarlberger Brauereigenosschenschaft – Brauerei Frastanz (in Frastanz, since 1902), Grabhers Sudwerk (in Bregenz, since 2016).

Overall, the economic expansion of Vorarlberg is "very positive and for the future rated more dynamic than for the other states".[24]

Agriculture

In addition to the flourishing textile, clothing, electronics, machinery and packing materials industries of the Alpine Rhine Valley, there is also a broad agricultural base, especially in the Bregenzerwald (Bregenzerwald), which is known for its dairy products and tourism.

Alpine transhumance and cheese production

Almabtrieb, the movement of cattle from the high pastures to the villages. This tradition is popular with tourists.
Almabtrieb, the movement of cattle from the high pastures to the villages. This tradition is popular with tourists.

The three-level movement farming ("Dreistufenwirtschaft") is essential to the economy of the mountainous regions in Vorarlberg. It is also known as Alpine transhumance and describes a seasonal droving of grazing livestock between the valleys in winter and the high mountain pastures in summer.[25]

Vorderhopfreben/Üntschenspitze in Au-Schoppernau as an example for the agricultural use of the mountainous region
Vorderhopfreben/Üntschenspitze in Au-Schoppernau as an example for the agricultural use of the mountainous region

Alpine transhumance has a strong impact on the production of cheese in the Alps. It ensures that the cattle produces high-quality aromatic milk, the so-called Heumilch ("hay milk"), based on its special diet of natural meadow grass in comparison to silage. The use of hay milk in cheese production contributes to the distinctive flavour that determines more than 30 Alpine cheeses, including Vorarlberger Alpkäse, Vorarlberger Bergkäse, Großwalsertaler Bergkäse, and Sura Kees.[26]

With the aim to support and preserve the local dairy production and the traditional agricultural heritage, the Bregenzerwald Cheese Route was founded in 1998. It is an organisation which connects farmers, traders and craftsmen. Along the cheese route, visitors are invited to watch the cheese production process and participate in culinary tastings.[26]

Many cultural habits like Yodel, Alphorn or Schwingen were developed during this time. This seasonal nomadism led to the rich culture, architecture and love for nature found in Vorarlberg. A significant cultural icon unique to this area is the festive movement of cattle from the pastures to the villages in autumn. This tradition is especially popular with tourists.[27]

Energy sector

The energy sector is one of the founders of Vorarlberg's economy, in which hydropower is the most important source of energy. This is mainly used for the production of peak current. Vorarlberg was the first region in Europe where more sustainable energy was produced than consumed. Green electricity from Vorarlberg is therefore also sold to the German Westallgäu, to Switzerland and to other Austrian provinces. The largest electricity producer in Vorarlberg is Illwerke AG. They produce 75% of the electricity in Vorarlberg, mainly by hydropower.[28]

University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn
University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn

Education

Currently, the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (German: Fachhochschule Vorarlberg) in Dornbirn is the only higher education institution in Vorarlberg. Originally founded as technical school in 1989, it achieved status of an officially recognized university in 1999. It offers Bachelor's and master's degrees in business, engineering and technology, design and social work. About 1350 students have enrolled for the term 2018/19.[29] The Fachhochschule Vorarlberg is considered one of Austria's best applied universities in the field of technology.[30]

Tourism

The tourist industry employs a considerable number of Vorarlbergers. There are around 12,000 employees working in this industry which represent approximately 11% of the total workforce (107,575 in 2015). Arrivals are slightly higher in winter (1.23 million in 2015) than in summer (1.14 million in 2015). The real difference lies in overnight-stays indicating that Vorarlberg is a strong winter destination. Overnight-stays in winter reach as high as 5.11 million which is quite large when compared to the summer season with 3.7 million overnight stays.[31]

The largest (and best-known) touristic regions are:

Winter

The greatest tourist attractions are the mountains and the numerous ski resorts. In the cold season, winter sports enthusiasts will find ideal conditions for their favourite sport: skiing, cross country skiing, freeriding, snowboarding, ice skating, sled dog rides, carriage rides, tobogganing, snow and fun parks.[32]

Panorama view of Stuben am Arlberg
Panorama view of Stuben am Arlberg

Vorarlberg's largest ski resorts include:[33][34]

The ski resorts Silvretta Montafon and Ski Arlberg (which is partly located in Tyrol) are the two largest ski areas in Vorarlberg. Ski Arlberg is the largest connected ski area in Austria since the season of 2016/17. It offers 305 km of slopes and 111 lifts. It includes Lech, Zürs, Oberlech, Warth, Schröcken, Stuben and the Tyrolean municipalities of St. Anton and St. Christoph.[35]

The ski circuit Der Weiße Ring in Lech am Arlberg
The ski circuit Der Weiße Ring in Lech am Arlberg

The places Lech and Zürs are known for their exclusivity and luxury, for which reason many prominent people go to these ski resorts.[36] An example of this is the Dutch royal family which goes there on skiing holidays every year and has been staying in the prestigious Gasthof Post for four generations.[37] A famous ski race is Der Weiße Ring ('The White Ring') where skiers race from Lech to Zürs. The 22 km long route is named after its ring-shaped track and the snowy conditions in this region. It is considered to be particularly difficult.[38]

The Ski Ride Vorarlberg is a combination of skiing, touring and freeriding while crossing Vorarlberg. The route starts in the Kleinwalsertal in the north, continues through the Bregenz Forest, over the Arlberg and the Klostertal to the Montafon valley in the south. The guided tour usually takes up to 7 days and is intended for experienced skiers.[39][40]

Damüls-Mellau is a notable ski area in terms of reliable snow conditions. In 2007, Damüls was named 'snowiest village in the world'.[41] During the measuring period, the average snow height per winter season was approximately 9.30 m.[42]

Skiers from these regions include Anita Wachter, Egon Zimmermann, Gerhard Nenning, Mario Reiter, Hubert Strolz, and Hannes Schneider, as well as the ski-jumper Toni Innauer.[14]

Summer

Hiking in the Montafon valley
Hiking in the Montafon valley

In the summer, mountain sports like hiking, mountain biking, climbing and trail-running play a big role in Vorarlberg's tourism. In total, Vorarlberg has more than 5,500 kilometers of hiking trails in different heights for both experienced and inexperienced walkers. Many ski areas operate cable cars throughout summer which makes them ideal for mountaineers.[43]

All over Vorarlberg, theme hikes are being offered, e.g., culinary hikes, herbal walks, educational hikes for children, and night walks. The theme route "Gauertaler AlpkulTour", which extends through the cultural landscape of the Montafon in the Rätikon mountains, is a popular walking route among tourists. Lake Constance is a pivot for hikers, pilgrims, fishers and bird watchers. For a long time, it has served as a reference point for important pilgrims' paths, including the Lake Constance walking path, parts of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and the European hiking routes E1, E4 and E5.[44][45]

Offering some 1,500 kilometers of marked mountain bike trails, Vorarlberg attracts cyclists of all skill levels. Guided mountain bike tours are held in the Brandnertal and Klostertal. The Bregenzerwald bike school offers various bike-related activities including bike camps, technique courses and racing bike tours.[46]

Culture

Alemannic German language map
Alemannic German language map

Language

Owing to their location isolated from the rest of Austria, most Vorarlbergers speak a very distinct German dialect that other Austrians might have difficulty understanding, since the dialects in the rest of Austria form part of the Bavarian-Austrian language group, whereas the Vorarlberg dialect is part of the Alemannic dialect continuum. Alemannic dialects are also spoken in Liechtenstein, Switzerland (as Swiss German), Baden-Württemberg, the south west of Bavaria and the Alsace region of France. The Vorarlberg dialect is further divided into a number of regional sub-dialects (e.g. that of the Montafon, the Bregenzerwald and Lustenau are some of the most distinct) which tend to differ considerably from each other. In fact even within these regions the dialects may vary from one town or village to the next.

Traditional garb

Traditional costumes ("tracht") have a long history in Vorarlberg. Many valleys and villages have their own kind of garb, each with special characteristics from certain style periods. The Bregenzerwälder garb is the oldest, it originated in the 15/16th century and is also called "d'Juppô" (Bavarian: "Juppe"). The Montafon garb is inspired by the baroque era. A whole set of Tracht consists of several elements: the "Juppe" (the apron), a headgear (caps, hats), a blouse, a "Tschopa" (jacket), and stockings. The hairstyle (for example braided hair) can also be part of the Tracht.

In the 1970s, very few Vorarlbergers wore tracht. The reason for this was strict regulations with regard to the people wearing Tracht. For example, Bregenzerwälder ladies with short hair ought not to wear tracht, because their hair was too short for the suitable hair style ("Wälderzöpfe").[47] It was only when the regulations were loosened and the clothes were individualised in the 1990s that wearing tracht became more popular. Today, traditional garb is mainly worn on festive occasions. In the Juppenwerkstatt Riefensberg, tracht is still traditionally manufactured.[48][49] There is a "national association for people wearing traditional costume" (Landestrachtenverband) that supports Vorarlberg's Tracht wearing inhabitants and music chapels.[50]

Cuisine

Traditional Käsespätzle served in a pan
Traditional Käsespätzle served in a pan

The influence of the Alemannic cuisine of neighbouring countries works more on Vorarlberg cuisine than Austrian cuisine. Cheese and other dairy products play a major role in traditional Vorarlberg meals. Typical dishes from the Vorarlberg region are: Käsespätzle or Käsknöpfle (noodles of flour and eggs with cheese and onion), Riebel (dish of corn and wheat semolina, served spicy or sweet), Flädlesuppe (broth with savoury pancake strips), Grumpara mit Käs (peel pastry with cheese), Öpfelküachle (apples baked in pancake dough, topped with sugar and cinnamon). Mostbröckle (pickled and smoked sausage), originally from Switzerland, is also a very popular product.[51]

Regional dairy products

Festivals and annual events

Aerial view of the Lake Stage (Bregenzer Festspiele)
Aerial view of the Lake Stage (Bregenzer Festspiele)

Vorarlberg provides cultural attractions of all kinds. The Bregenzer Festspiele is the best known festival of the region and poses one of Austria's cultural highlights since 1946. It annually takes place in the months of July and August. With operas and musicals such as Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), West Side Story and Carmen, the Bregenzer Festspiele draws hundreds of thousands of spectators every year. Noteworthy is the Seebühne, an impressive stage in Lake Constance where scenes are played.[54]

The Bregenzer Frühling is a dance festival in Bregenz that has been held since 1987 during spring time.[55] Dance ensembles from all over the world perform their new productions, along with Austrian premieres.[56] Each year, five different dance ensembles perform at the Bregenzer Frühling.[55]

Montafoner Resonanzen is a music festival in the Montafon region. It is a series of events held annually on weekends in August and September. Each weekend is dedicated to another genre (classical, jazz, Austrian folk musik, organ, cross-over). The locations vary each year. Guests may combine hiking and eating out with the concerts, considering the musical performances are held at extraordinary locations like the Tübinger Hütte at 2,191 m (Gaschurn) or the Panoramagasthof Kristberg.[57][58]

The Poolbar Festival is a modern music and culture festival in Feldkirch. Being held annually between July and August, it attracts around 20,000 visitors featuring music, exhibitions, poetry slams, fashion and an architectural prize.[59]

Open-air screening at the Alpinale short film festival (2020)
Open-air screening at the Alpinale short film festival (2020)

The annual Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg is the most important Franz Schubert festival worldwide. A Schubertiade is usually dominated by Franz Schubert or his compositions. It is an informal meeting where casual music is played or recited by friends clubs or musicians, both on a professional and amateur level. The first Schubertiade took place in Hohenems in Vorarlberg in 1976.[60][61]

Every year in August, about 30 international short films are screened at the Alpinale Short Film Festival in Bludenz.[62]

The Literaturfest Kleinwalsertal is a literary festival consisting of lectures, workshops, poetry slams and exhibitions and takes place in autumn.[63][64]

The light art festival Lichtstadt Feldkirch lets international artists fill the city of Feldkirch with light objects, projections and sculptures. Its first edition was held in 2018 and attracted 30.000 visitors. The festival takes place every other year.[65][66]

An open-air event of FAQ Bregenzerwald in Andelsbuch/Bezau (2020)
An open-air event of FAQ Bregenzerwald in Andelsbuch/Bezau (2020)

The FAQ Bregenzerwald is a social forum in the form of a festival. Hosting lectures, panel discussions, concerts, guided walks as well as culinary tastings, it aims at highlighting social issues in the society in a very broad context.[67]

The Montforter Zwischentöne is an interdisciplinary festival in Feldkirch that takes place three times a year. Each series is based on a specific topic which is artistically and dramaturgically interpreted without genre-orientated boundaries. There are contributions from the fields of music, poetry, architecture, science, dance etc. The festival addresses issues of social and personal development on site and provides impetus for urban and regional development.[68][69]

Tanzcafé Arlberg is a series of concerts taking place at ski huts in Lech/Zürs for two weeks in the springtime. It is intended to entertain skiers aside the ski piste by providing live music to dance to. The concerts range from pop to swing to rock'n'roll and to ska. The series of events includes a workshop on Lindy Hop.[70][71]

Bezau Beatz is a music festival that has been taking place in Bezau in August since 2008.[72][73][74]

The Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik is a festival of contemporary music in Bludenz that was founded in 1988.[75] The aim of the festival is to make contemporary music audible in Bludenz.[76]

Furthermure, Vorarlberg is host to a variety of fairs, conventions and expositions including the public health event Medicinicum Lech, the literary festival Literaricum Lech, the annual interdisciplinary symposium Philosophicum Lech as well as the design fair and festival POTENTIALe in Feldkirch.[77][78]

Museums

The most visited museums in Vorarlberg are the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the vorarlberg museum, inatura (interactive nature adventure show and natural history museum) in Dornbirn and the Jewish Museum of Hohenems. Smaller museums include the Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg, the Hittisau Women's Museum, the Rolls-Royce Museum and Mohren Biererlebniswelt in Dornbirn, the Egg Museum in Egg and the Juppenwerkstatt Riefensberg (manufacturer of traditional women's garb), the Felder museum in Schoppernau, the Schattenburg museum and the Heimatmuseum Bezau.[79][80]

The Wälderbähnle or Bregenzerwald Museumsbahn (Bregenzerwald Railway) is a narrow-gauge heritage railway that today links Schwarzenberg to Bezau amidst picturesque alpine scenery.[81]

For an overview, see List of museums in Vorarlberg.

Architecture

Bregenzerwälderhaus in Stübing
Bregenzerwälderhaus in Stübing

The baroque masters of the Guild of Au in the 17th/18th century

In 1651, Michael Beer founded the Auer Zunft (Guild of Au) which is an important community of Vorarlberg builders, sculptors and carpenters who specialized in baroque building. In Au-Schoppernau from 1670 to 1700, more than 90 percent of all male workers were builders.[82] Master builders and craftsmen from the Bregenz Forest in particular, but also from other parts of today's Vorarlberg, played a leading role in the 600 churches and monasteries that were built in the Baroque style in the 17th and 18th centuries.[83]

The master craftsmen of Au trained over 1,800 apprentices during a long construction boom which followed the Thirty Years' War.[82] These new master builders were active throughout the Lake Constance area, but also in Alsace, Bohemia and the South German region. Well-known works by baroque master builders include the monasteries and churches in Birnau, Weingarten and Einsiedeln.[84][85]

Many important members of the Auer Zunft came from the architect families Beer, Moosbrugger and Thumb.[82]

Traditional architecture

The independent architecture of the Bregenzerwälderhaus, the Montafonerhaus, the Rheintalhaus from the Dornbirn region and the "Walserhaus" are particularly relevant to historical architecture.[86][87] Their designs trace back to the 15th century. The traditional materials used for building these houses are stone and wood. They are important features of the mountainous Alpine landscape.[88]

The Art Nouveau Löwenapotheke in Bregenz
The Art Nouveau Löwenapotheke in Bregenz

Art Nouveau

The style that dominated in Vorarlberg at the turn of the century is characterised by the "Heimatstil", the Southern German variant of Art Nouveau. An example for this style is the Löwenapotheke in the Rathausstraße in Bregenz by Otto Mallaun. Other notable representatives of Art Nouveau architecture in Vorarlberg are: Ernst Dittrich in Feldkirch (e.g., Feldkirch's Regional Court, State Directorate of Finances) and Hanns Kornberger in Dornbirn (e.g., the mansions "Grabenweg Nr. 8" and "Schulgasse Nr. 17)" and in Hohenems (e.g., the former hospital).[89]

Neue Vorarlberger Bauschule and contemporary architecture

The Neue Vorarlberger Bauschule evolved organically the second half of the 20th century, always involving craftsmen and locals in the building process. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important pioneers of the New Alpine architecture. With the typical architecture of Vorarlberg still recognizable, it combines tradition and modernity: clean lines, glass and local wood. Its harmonious mix creates interesting contrasts as in half-timbered houses. Comfort and quality of life are important criteria. Currently, many private houses and public buildings are renovated by architects, favoring local timber and limiting energy expenditure.[88] Well-known award-winning architectural projects include the Kunsthaus Bregenz, vorarlberg museum in Bregenz, Michelehof Hard and Hotel Krone Hittisau.[90]

vorarlberg museum in Bregenz
vorarlberg museum in Bregenz

"Over the last thirty years, […] Vorarlberg has made a name for itself with its contemporary building culture. Widely considered a unique phenomenon throughout Europe, Vorarlberg has not only established its own regional identity, but also serves as a role model far beyond its own borders. […] The employment of innovative materials and construction principles, the integration of the latest technologies, and the development of new building products play a particularly important role. […] The harmonious collaboration between architects, craftsmen, clients, and the local authorities continues to produce new architecture which is progressive, energy-efficient, and sustainable, and has earned Vorarlberg a widely admired reputation in the international design community."

— Ulrich Dangel (2010), Sustainable Architecture in Vorarlberg: Energy Concepts and Construction Systems

Contemporary architecture in Vorarlberg has made a label for a demanding architecture of a fruitful confrontation between traditional construction and modern interpretation. Some examples of more recent architecture are:

The sustainable and modular LCT ONE (LifeCycle One Tower) in Dornbirn
The sustainable and modular LCT ONE (LifeCycle One Tower) in Dornbirn

Architectural initiatives

The Werkraum Bregenzerwald is an association of craftsmen in the Bregenzerwald founded in 1999. It aims at networking and supporting craft, design and technology businesses in the area. The publicly accessible place is used to present the craftsmanship, to promote building culture in cooperation with architects and to increase design competence and quality of craftsmanship with the preferred involvement of young people.[97]

Occupying the Werkraum Bregenzerwald since 2014, the travelling exhibition Getting Things Done demonstrates the quality of Vorarlberg's architecture by means of 230 selected projects. It offers a distinct view of how building culture has evolved from the late 1950s until the present. Organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum network, the exhibition will be show in over 20 locations around the world.[98]

Architecture trails

The Vorarlberg Institute for Architecture (VAI) and the Vorarlberg Tourist Board collaborated for the development of the so-called architecture trails. Each trail has a different theme: "New impressions", "Art and culture", "Timber and loam", "Old and new", "Revitalised villages" and "Architecture and landscape". These tours take visitors to both urban and rural regions in order to illustrate architectural variety in Vorarlberg by select examples. These examples are characterized by a functional mix, spatial versatility, formal radicalism, ecological far-sightedness and social integration.[99][100]

Sporting events

Winter

The White Ring is a ski race in the Ski Arlberg ski area. In 2009, the Guinness World Records confirmed that the White Ring is the longest ski area in the world at 22 km.[101] It consists of 5 runs, 6 lifts and a cross-country trail. The starting point is at an altitude of 5,500 m.[102]

In the season 2012/13, the first SBX World Cup Montafon was held as part of the FIS Snowboard World Cup. The World Cup takes place annually in December in the Montafon valley. The races are held in the Silvretta Montafon ski area, starting a little below the Hochjoch summit and finishing near the cable car's mountain station. The difference in altitude between start and finish is around 200 m.[103][104]

The first Open Faces Freeride Contest took place in 2017.[105] The most previous contest was held from 24–27 February 2022 in the Silvretta Montafon ski area. The contest was the first 4-star qualifier of the season 2022. The length of the freeride slope is 450 m, its vertical drop is 350 m and it has a steepness of up to 60°.[106]

Summer

The Hypo-Meeting is an athlectics competition which is held annually in May/June in the Mösle stadium in Götzis. It is organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and sponsored by the Hypo Vorarlberg Bank, thus its name. The first Hypo-Meetings have been organised as contests for men starting in 1975. The women's contests have been added in 1981.[107]

The Montafon-Arlberg Marathon is a mountain marathon with 1,500 meters in altitude in the middle of the European protected area Verwall.[108]

In 2007, Dornbirn hosted the 13th World Gymnaestrada event, in which about 21,000 gymnasts from 56 federations participated. In 2019, Dornbirn hosted the event again, see 16th World Gymnaestrada.[109]

Notable people

The following notable people are born in Vorarlberg:[110][111]

A fresco of Hugo von Montfort from Pfannberg Castle
A fresco of Hugo von Montfort from Pfannberg Castle

Sport

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI – Area Database – Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Vorarlberg". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 4 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Vorarlberg". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Vorarlberg Bevölkerung, Einwohner, Fläche". bevoelkerung.at. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Daten und Fakten – Waldverein". www.waldverein.at. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Geschichte der Arlberg-Region in Österreich". www.arlberg-panoramacamping.at. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  7. ^ "War Vorarlberg immer schon ein "Ländle"?". thema vorarlberg (in German). 7 May 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Kurz gesagt". Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Biosphere Park Concept". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Kurz gesagt". Biosphärenpark Großes Walsertal (in Austrian German). Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Naturpark Nagelfluhkette". Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg (in German). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Naturpark Nagelfluhkette". www.oberstaufen.info (in German). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  13. ^ Strabo, Geographia Book IV Chap. 6
  14. ^ a b "Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary". TheFreeDictionary.com.
  15. ^ 1982 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, "History of Austria"
  16. ^ Andrej Abplanalp (May 2019). "The 'Kanton Übrig' – Switzerland's 'leftover' Canton". Swiss National Museum.
  17. ^ "C2D – Centre d'études et de documentation sur la démocratie directe". Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
  18. ^ "Bevölkerungsstand Verwaltungszählung". vorarlberg.at (in Austrian German). Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Bevölkerung 2021 nach ausgewählter Religion bzw. Kirche und Religionsgesellschaft und Bundesland" (ODS) (in German). Statistics Austria. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  20. ^ Chamber of Commerce Vorarlberg. "Vorarlberg in Figures 2016 Edition" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  22. ^ "Mohrenbrauerei – Baujahr 2017| Dornbirn/Österreich". LTW Intralogistics. Retrieved 13 September 2019.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "– Brauerei Fohrenburg GmbH & CO KGLehre im Walgau". Lehre im Walgau. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Leitbild 2010+ / Wirtschaft / Vorarlberg" (PDF). 14 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Bregenzerwald (Bregenz Forest)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  26. ^ a b "KäseStrasse Bregenzerwald". Urlaub in Vorarlberg (in German). Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  27. ^ "Montafoner Maisäß – Teil 1". Das Wanderdörfer Hüttenportal (in German). 8 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  28. ^ "Vorarlberger Illwerke AG". Vorarlberger Illwerke AG (in Austrian German). Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  29. ^ "FH Vorarlberg – University of Applied Sciences". www.fhv.at. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Top Universities in Austria | 2019 Austrian University Ranking". www.4icu.org. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  31. ^ WKO Vorarlberg. "Vorarlberg in Figures 2016 Edition" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  32. ^ "Ski Holidays in the Alpenregion Vorarlberg". www.vorarlberg-alpenregion.at. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Berffex: Top ski resorts Vorarlberg: Ski resort test Vorarlberg – Ski resort comparison". www.bergfex.com. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  34. ^ "Ski areas in Vorarlberg – Ski resorts from 1,400 m to 2,400 m elevation – Winter Holidays in Vorarlberg Austria". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Ski Arlberg". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  36. ^ "Lech ist in Vorarlberg der Promi-Hotspot". vol.at. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  37. ^ "Hotel Post Lech – koninklijke familie jaarlijks eregast". Lech.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  38. ^ West, Ski Arlberg, Pool. "The White Ring". Ski Arlberg, Pool West. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Auf Skiern quer durch Vorarlberg". www.lebensart-reisen.at. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  40. ^ "Ski Ride Vorarlberg". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  41. ^ "Skiresort Damuels Mellau Faschina | Snowiest village in the world". damuels.travel. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  42. ^ "The Village of Damüls | The Villages | REGION". damuels.travel. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  43. ^ "Chancenland Vorarlberg. Location Brochure. Information About the State Vorarlberg, Its Economy, Companies, Culture, Sports, and Lifestyle. 2018/2019". Archived from the original on 1 August 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  44. ^ "Vorarlberg – best suggestions for hiking and enjoying nature in Austria". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  45. ^ "9 breathtaking walking trails in Vorarlberg, Austria". Wanderlust. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  46. ^ "Mountainbiking, Bike Tours, Bike Trails and Parks – Holidays in Vorarlberg". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  47. ^ "Erhaben und aufrecht, verspielt und gewagt". Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg (in German). Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  48. ^ "Bregenzerwälder Tracht – Tourismus Schwarzenberg". www.schwarzenberg.at (in German). 19 July 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  49. ^ "Regionalentwicklung Vorarlberg". www.regio-v.at. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  50. ^ Bitschnau, Christian. "Vorarlberger Landestrachtenverband: Welcome". www.trachtenverband.at (in German). Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  51. ^ "Vorarlberg recipes". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  52. ^ "Vorarlberger Alpkäse g.U." Vorarlberger Alpkäse g.U. (in German). Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  53. ^ "Cheese specialities from Vorarlberg – A mini study of cheeses". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  54. ^ "Bregenz Festival | 18 July to 20 August 2018". bregenzerfestspiele.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  55. ^ a b "kultur-online – Bregenzer Frühling 2021". kultur-online (in German). 27 February 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  56. ^ "Tanzfestival Bregenzer Frühling – Festspielhaus Bregenz, Vorarlberg". Urlaub in Vorarlberg (in German). Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  57. ^ "Montafoner Resonanzen 2021". www.montafon.at (in German). Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  58. ^ "kultur-online – Jazz auf der Schutzhütte". kultur-online (in German). 10 August 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  59. ^ GmbH, Poolbar Festival. "poolbar.at". poolbar.at. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  60. ^ "Schubertiade –Announcements". www.schubertiade.at. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  61. ^ "Schubertiade – Über uns > Geschichte > Schubertiade-Chronik > Chronik". www.schubertiade.at. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  62. ^ red, vorarlberg ORF at (30 October 2019). "Alpinale kehrt nach Bludenz zurück". vorarlberg.ORF.at (in German). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  63. ^ netzwerk, literatur:vorarlberg. "Literaturfest Kleinwalsertal". literatur:vorarlberg netzwerk (in German). Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  64. ^ "Medicinicum Lech | arlberg.com". Arlberg (in German). Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  65. ^ "Lichtstadt Feldkirch – das neue Lichtkunstfestival im Oktober". Urlaub in Vorarlberg (in German). Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  66. ^ ""Lichtstadt Feldkirch" auf Oktober 2021 verschoben". Stadt Feldkirch (in German). Archived from the original on 15 August 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  67. ^ "Das FAQ". FAQ Bregenzerwald (in German). Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  68. ^ "Über". www.montforterzwischentoene.at. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  69. ^ Tourismus, Bodensee Vorarlberg. "Montforter Zwischentöne". Bodensee Vorarlberg Tourismus (in German). Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  70. ^ "Tanzcafé Arlberg Music Festival". Urlaub in Vorarlberg (in German). 13 February 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  71. ^ Zürs, Lech. "Tanzcafé Arlberg – Musikfestival". Lech Zürs (in German). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  72. ^ "Bezau Beatz – Bezau im Bregenzerwald". www.bezau.at. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  73. ^ "BEZAU BEATZ". www.bezaubeatz.at. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  74. ^ "Festival "Bezau Beatz"". Bezau im Bregenzerwald (in German). Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  75. ^ "Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik (2014) – Leaflet" (PDF). claraiannotta.com. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  76. ^ Ufer, Julia (12 July 2021). "Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik 2021 / Remise, Bludenz » CREATIVE AUSTRIA – Contemporary Culture". CREATIVE AUSTRIA – Contemporary Culture (in German). Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  77. ^ Messen.de. "POTENTIALe Messe & Festival 2020". www.messen.de (in German). Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  78. ^ "Philosophicum Lech – Modern Philosophical Exchange – Aurora". www.aurora-lech.com. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  79. ^ "Museen | Museen in Vorarlberg". www.vorarlbergmuseen.at. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  80. ^ "Museums and Exhibitions – eine Übersicht der Museen in Vorarlberg". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  81. ^ "Strecke | Bezau – Schwarzenberg und zurück". Waelderbaehnle Museumsbahn (in German). Bregenzerwaldbahn-Museumsbahn Betriebsgesellschaft mbH. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019.
  82. ^ a b c "Zunftverein Au". Au (in Austrian German). Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  83. ^ "Von „Akurat" bis „Dornbirn plus" – alle ehren die Barockbaumeister — Zeitschrift fur Kultur und Gesellschaft". www.kulturzeitschrift.at (in German). Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  84. ^ Hendel, archINFORM – Sascha. "Vorarlberger Bauschule". archINFORM (in German). Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  85. ^ Schwarz, Harald. "Gemeinde AU: Im Überblick". www.gemeinde-au.at. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  86. ^ "Designer Hotels Modern Architecture – Vorarlberg Tourism, Austria". Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  87. ^ "Mein Österreich – Das Bregenzerwaldhaus". www.mein-oesterreich.info. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  88. ^ a b Dangel, Ulrich (2010). Sustainable Architecture in Vorarlberg: Energy Concepts and Construction Systems. Birkhäuser. ISBN 978-3034604918.
  89. ^ "Jugendstilbauten in Vorarlberg". www.austria.info (in German). Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  90. ^ "vai". v-a-i.at (in German). Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  91. ^ "Architektur / vorarlberg museum". vorarlberg museum (in German). Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  92. ^ "Kunsthaus Bregenz". www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  93. ^ "LCT ONE – LifeCycle Tower, Dornbirn | Architekten Hermann Kaufmann ZT GmbH". www.hkarchitekten.at. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  94. ^ Schwiglhofer, Petra. "Der Staatspreis PR 2014 geht an BUS:STOP Krumbach – PRVA Public Relations Verband Austria". prva.at (in German). Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  95. ^ "Skyspace Lech • Skyspace Lech". Skyspace Lech. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  96. ^ "Montforthaus Feldkirch | HASCHER JEHLE Architektur". Archello. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  97. ^ "Werkraum Bregenzerwald – Werkraum" (in German). Archived from the original on 28 July 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  98. ^ "Getting Things Done: Exhibition description". Getting Things Done. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  99. ^ "Vorarlberg, Austria: Art, Architecture and the Culture of Craftsmanship". Borders of Adventure. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  100. ^ "7 recommended individual architecture trails in Vorarlberg". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  101. ^ Müller, Sonja (19 October 2012). "Die Legende: Weißer Ring". vol.at. Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  102. ^ "Der Weiße Ring | skiarlberg.at". www.skiarlberg.at (in German). Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  103. ^ "Weltcup Montafon im Dezember 2019". www.montafon.at (in German). Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  104. ^ "Weltcup in Montafon – The world's top-ranking ski- and snowboard-crossathletes". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  105. ^ Qualifier, Open Faces Freeride. "Archiv". Open Faces Freeride Qualifier Austria (in German). Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  106. ^ Qualifier, Open Faces Freeride. "4* FWQ Silvretta-Montafon". Open Faces Freeride Qualifier Austria (in German). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  107. ^ "Founding History". meeting-goetzis.at. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  108. ^ "Montafon Arlberg Marathon 2021 – Der Berglauf in Vorarlberg und Tirol!". www.montafon.at (in German). Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  109. ^ "16th WORLD GYMNAESTRADA 2019 Dornbirn Vorarlberg Austria". 16th WORLD GYMNAESTRADA 2019 Dornbirn Vorarlberg Austria. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  110. ^ "Vorarlberger Persönlichkeiten". vorarlberg museum (in German). Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  111. ^ "Prominente Vorarlberger: An Eigensinn mangelt es uns nicht". Die Presse (in German). 19 September 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2022.