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(Italian: Brunico , Lad .: Bornech or Burnech )
coat of arms
Brunico coat of arms
Bruneck in South Tyrol - Positionskarte.svg
State : Italy
Region : Trentino-South Tyrol
Province : Bolzano - South Tyrol
District community : Val Pusteria
Inhabitants :
(VZ 2011 / 31.12.2019)
15.417 / 16.774
Language groups :
(according to 2011 census )
82.47% German
15.24% Italian
2.29% Ladin
Coordinates 46 ° 48 '  N , 11 ° 56'  E Coordinates: 46 ° 48 '  N , 11 ° 56'  E
Altitude : 800– 1500  m slm (center: 836  m slm )
Surface: 45.07 km²
Permanent settlement area: 17.0 km²
Parliamentary groups : Aufhofen , Dietenheim , Luns , Reischach , Stegen , St. Georgen
Neighboring municipalities: Gais , Kiens , Olang , Percha , St. Lorenzen , Pfalzen and Rasen-Antholz
Partnership with : Brignoles ( F ), Groß-Gerau ( D ), Tielt ( B ), Szamotuły ( PL )
Postal code : 39031
Area code : 0474
ISTAT number: 021013
Tax number: 00435110218
Mayor  (2014): Roland Griessmair ( SVP )

Bruneck ([ ˈbrʊnɛk ]; Italian Brunico , Ladin Bornech or Burnech ) is a town and a municipality in the South Tyrolean Pustertal in northern Italy, at the confluence of the Ahr into the Rienz .

First mentioned in a document in 1256 AD, Bruneck is today the capital of the Puster Valley and with 16,774 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) the fifth largest city in South Tyrol. It is the seat of the Pustertal district community as well as the location of several secondary schools and a hospital.


View of Brunico from the east
Bruneck, aerial view (2018)
Bruneck seen from Plan de Corones, view of the Tauferer Valley

The city of Bruneck occupies large parts of the so-called Bruneck expansion . This is where the Tauferer Tal coming from the north and - slightly offset to the southwest - the Gadertal coming from the south flow into the Pustertal valley , which runs in an east-west direction . Together with its fractions and shares in the surrounding heights, the municipality covers an area of ​​45.07 km².

Approximately in the center of the municipality is located at the foot of the castle hill, the old town of Brunico (830- 840  m slm ) by the Rienz is circled in a Nordschleife. North and east - on the other side of the river - there are younger neighborhoods just west closes the mouth region between the Rienz and coming from the north Ahr the fraction webs (810- 830  m ) to. Further downstream to the southwest, the neighboring community of St. Lorenzen quickly follows .

To the north of the city center is the entrance area of ​​the Tauferer Valley. Here are the two factions St. Georgen (820- 840  m ) and Aufhofen (840- 860  m ). To the northwest via St. Georgen, the Bruneck municipality reaches heights of over 2000  m with a wedge between the neighboring municipalities of Gais (in the north) and Pfalzen (in the west) . These are the most southeastern foothills of the Zillertal Alps . The community area extends significantly less up to the north-east via Aufhofen in the wooded slopes of the southwestern foothills of the Rieserferner group .

In the northeast of Brunecker widening the fraction is Teodone (850 920  m ), to the east near the neighboring community percha Luns (950- 990  m ).

South of the city center, the terrain rises to a mountain terrace to which the fraction Reischach (940- 990  m transmits). Behind it rises the Kronplatz ( 2275  m ), the northernmost peak of the Braies Dolomites (a sub-group of the Dolomites ) and the highest point in the municipality of Bruneck.



The name Bruneck can be traced back to the founder of the city, the Brixen prince-bishop Bruno von Kirchberg . Although there is no official certificate of incorporation, there is also no name in the area or any other reference that could lead to Bruneck . The spelling of the name varied considerably in the first centuries of the town's history, well-known spellings are Bruneke (1256), Braunek (1295), Praunnekk (1305), Praunegk (1400) and Brauneggen (15th – 18th centuries); the current spelling Bruneck only became established in the 19th century. However, all spellings have in common that they refer to the personal name Bruno . Bruneck is the only city in South Tyrol that is named after its founder.

Another hypothesis assumes the name originated in a word from the Bronze Age . The Ladin (Bornéch) and the German forms correspond to each other in terms of sound and could therefore be derived from Eastern Alps-Indo-European * brunnèkku- (base * brunn, suffix -èkku-), which in turn goes back to Indo-European * bhrn-nó- and could mean something like elevation . Designation design the current would Castle Hill , which hard on the Rienz urges or Kühbergl between Brunico and Reischach .

First settlement

The oldest permanently settled district of Bruneck is the district of Ragen. The name suggests that it was founded in the younger Iron Age . It could have started with * Ragi-na, which is a Raetian word for possession of a man named Ragi . The settlement (then Ragowa ) was first mentioned in a document in the 10th century AD, when a noblewoman handed it over to Bishop Albuin von Brixen . At that time Ragen consisted of several farms with a mill and a small church. One of these courtyards was converted by the bishop into a kitchen manger , it is now known as the Ragenhaus . The mill is the Hannesmühle in Mühlgasse 4 , which is also still standing today . In Ragen, Bruneck's aristocratic mansions were also built in the High Middle Ages ( Sternbach mansion, Teißegg mansion, Vintler mansion, Ansiedel mansion). The first houses outside of Ragen were built in the 12th century in Stadtgasse (Stadtgasse No. 13) and at Graben (Graben No. 6).

Otherwise the urban area was still relatively uninhabited before Bruneck Castle was built. In the surrounding area, on the other hand, settlements had already been founded, such as by the Celts (tribe of the Saevaten ) in the area of ​​today's municipality of St. Lorenzen or by the Bavarians , who from 6/7 The Puster Valley settled in the 3rd century AD ( Dietenheim , Uttenheim , Issing , Fassing, Aufhofen , Percha , and many more).

The bishop's administrative center was before the establishment of the castle in Aufhofen.

middle Ages

Bruneck Castle, first mentioned in a document in 1276, towers over the city, which was founded in 1256

Bruneck was founded by the Bishop of Brixen, Bruno von Kirchberg, from which the name of the settlement can probably be traced back, and was first mentioned in a document on February 23, 1256 ( actum in castro Bruneke ), when the bishop issued a document for the Wilten monastery near Innsbruck . It was also he who had the city's landmark, Bruneck Castle , built. In 1305, Bishop Johannes (Sax) von Brixen offered the citizens of Bruneck tax relief in the event that they agreed to complete the construction of the curtain wall around the city that Bishop Bruno had begun.

At that time the city consisted of two rows of houses that formed a narrow alley as a street market and were closed off to the east of the pre-urban old settlement of Ragen - a Dominican monastery is also attested there in 1293 ( apud Brunekum in loco de Ragen in domo fratrum predicatorum ). The city walls and moat were not completed until 1336 under Bishop Albert von Enn . Soon afterwards, further rows of houses were built outside the eastern gate, which led to the small Frauenkirche (today's "Parish Church of the Assumption"). The first church within the city walls (initially only a small chapel) was built by the Bruneck citizen Niklas Stuck below the castle "am Rain", today's Rain Church . Heinrich von Stuck, Niklas' brother, founded the Heilig-Geist-Spital in 1358 , which was built in the following years. The episcopal administrative seat was moved from Aufhofen to Bruneck. A so-called castle captain acted as the representative of the bishop at the castle. The city soon got the freedom of the weekly market (1370) and the high jurisdiction of Emperor Charles IV (1371).

Modern times

Depiction of Bruneck around 1700
Brunecker Stadtgasse in 2007
The Rienz flows through Bruneck .

In the 14th and 15th centuries there was brisk trade from Augsburg to Venice . Some of the traded goods were led through the Puster Valley and often stored for long periods on the ball court in Bruneck. As a result, the city soon achieved prosperity and fame. During this time, the Pustertal painting school was founded, and the painter Hans von Bruneck was one of the founders. Michael Pacher and Friedrich Pacher studied at this school . Michael Pacher's workshop in Bruneck became one of the most famous facilities in the entire Alpine region. This is why Bruneck is also known as the Michael Pacher city. In 1500 the Pustertal was reunited with the State of Tyrol on the basis of an inheritance contract between the House of Habsburg and the Counts of Görz-Tirol ; the city of Bruneck remained the property of the bishop.

In 1610 the city of Bruneck, which was previously under the parish of St. Lorenzen , became its own parish. Johann Herlin appears as the first pastor in 1613. In 1626 the Capuchin order came to Bruneck. The priests built a monastery with a church on the “Spitalangerle” , which still exist today.

On April 11, 1723, the worst fire in the city's history occurred. In the upper tower , not far from the parish church, a fire broke out, which due to the strong east wind soon spread over a large part of the city and largely destroyed it. Another monastery was built in 1741 - this time by the Order of the Ursulines . During the long-lasting Napoleonic Wars , the city suffered no material damage, but as a march station and because of the billeting and supply of soldiers and riflemen it was in heavy debts for decades, which it had to bear for decades.

The parish church of Bruneck in OberAGEN was built in 1850 according to the plans of the kk building management in Vienna under the direction of Hermann von Bergmann (1816–1886) in historical-neo-Romanesque styles in place of a previous building that went back to the late Middle Ages and was badly damaged in the city fire.

20th century

District of OberAGEN with Rainkirche in the background, 2000

During the First World War (on August 1, 1914, the headquarters / 1st and 3rd Battalion of the Bohemian Infantry Regiment No. 36 were housed in Bruneck), the city was spared from war damage despite its proximity to the front . 1938 introduced the fascist Italian government on Kapuzinerplatz a monument in honor of the Ethiopian war used Divisione Pusteria the Alpini on. This memorial, which is still controversial today - also because of Italian war crimes in Ethiopia - was the target of explosives and paint attacks on several occasions. From the statue called Kapuziner-Wastl in the South Tyrolean vernacular, only a torso on a large stone plinth has survived after repeated reconstruction. The Second World War caused some damage to people and homes through bombs.

Population development

year population Language groups
German Italian Ladin
1900 02,565 97.41% 2.59% -
1931 05,579 - - -
1951 06,871 - - -
1961 08,631 - - -
1971 10.133 76.84% 21.60% 1.56%
1981 11,556 81.61% 16.23% 2.16%
1991 12,624 81.59% 16.07% 2.35%
2001 13,608 83.14% 14.91% 1.95%
2011 15,397 82.47% 15.24% 2.29%


Brunico town hall

Community representation

The Bruneck municipal council consists of 27 councils including the mayor and the deputy mayor. In the local elections in 2014, the South Tyrolean People's Party was able to defend its mandate majority with 16 seats , which had existed since 1952. Together with the Italian coalition partner Polo di Brunico (3 mandates), it provides the city government. The strongest of the 4 opposition factions in the Council is the citizens' list with 3 mandates. Verdi Green Vërc and the Freedom Party each have two representatives on the council , the Partito Democratico one.

Municipal Council (2015)
A total of 27 seats


Mayor since 1952:

  • Hans Ghedina: 1952–1969
  • Adolf Unterpertinger: 1969–1974
  • Josef Gasteiger: 1974–1974
  • Haymo von Grebmer: 1974–1990
  • Günther Adang: 1990-2000
  • Christian Tschurtschenthaler : 2000–2013
  • Roland Griessmair: since 2014

Municipal coat of arms

The coat of arms of the city of Bruneck is based on the city seal, which can be proven since 1536. The coat of arms shows a red tinned gate tower with a silver-white portcullis in front of a black interior and a narrower, also tinned, red upper floor in a silver-white shield on a green three-mountain. The first colored representation can be found in a coat of arms manuscript from approx. 1504 to 1528 in the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum . By means of a royal Italian government declaration of September 11, 1931, the Bruneck city arms were entered in the register of Consulta Araldica .

Town twinning



As the central capital of the Puster Valley, Bruneck is also the location of a hospital of the South Tyrolean medical company .


Bruneck is accessible by the SS 49 and the Pustertalbahn ( Bruneck train station and Bruneck Nord stop). Due to its location in the Puster Valley at the confluence of the Gadertal and Tauferer Tals , the city is an important local transport hub with bus connections in all directions. In addition, this was the starting point of the Tauferer Bahn until 1957 . Bruneck is the first municipality in South Tyrol to have a closed bypass; the last section was opened in summer 2008.


The municipality of Bruneck operates the largest district heating plant in South Tyrol. Since 2001, 110 kilometers of pipeline have been laid and 95% of all possible customers have been reached. An average of 150,000 cubic meters of biomass are burned each year , which corresponds to around 73% of the total heat of 109 million kWh. 13% is generated by methane combustion, mainly to cover consumption peaks. 11% are obtained through combined heat and power , 2% through biogas combustion (landfill) and 1% through industrial heat recovery (waste heat from GKN's sintering ovens ). In autumn 2008, the largest district heating storage facility in the Alps, with a capacity of 1.78 million liters, was installed in order to better cover peak demand.


The Kronplatz , ski center and local mountain of Bruneck

On October 22, 2001, the day of the Italian population and workplaces census, the Brunico conurbation had 10,692 employees in 1,678 workplaces, making it the second largest employer in South Tyrol based on the number of inhabitants. Five companies employ more than 250 people each, and another 5 employ more than 100 people each. About half of the jobs are occupied by commuters. With the establishment of industrial zones, handicraft businesses and department stores, the city experienced a considerable boom and further expansion in the post-war period. Last but not least, tourism gave the whole thing a new boost in the 1960s and led to the creation of numerous new restaurants and leisure facilities of all kinds. Today Brunico is mainly characterized by industry and the service sector . There are important tourist centers around Brunico. The Kronplatz is particularly worth mentioning as a ski center. Since 2005 there has been another brewery in Bruneck, the Rienzbräu .




The only professional theater is the Bruneck City Theater , which produces around eight to ten plays a year, but also shows guest performances by friendly stages as well as children's theater and cabaret. Around 200 performances are offered annually. Several amateur theater groups such as the "Kleine Theater", the Kolping stage and the theater group of the UFO youth center play a play once or twice a year. Jazz concerts are also regularly held in the city theater, with artists such as Wolfgang Muthspiel , Dave Douglas , Marc Copland , David Liebman , Christian Muthspiel , Benjamin Schmid .


City and University Library of Bruneck

In the municipality of Bruneck there are numerous educational institutions, which - as is usual in South Tyrol - are broken down into the public primary and secondary levels according to language groups and school districts .

German-speaking kindergartens and schools : There are seven German-speaking kindergartens in Bruneck and the surrounding groups. The primary school district in Bruneck comprises the five primary schoolsJosef Bachlechner ” in the city center, in Dietenheim, Reischach, St. Georgen and Stegen. The offer at public secondary schools differentiates between facilities for students from Bruneck and the surrounding communities: The secondary school “Dr. Josef Röd ”(together with the primary schools in Gais and Percha as the school district Bruneck I ) serves the students from the city itself, the middle school“ Karl Meusburger ”(together with the primary schools in Kiens, Pfalzen and St. Lorenzen as the school district Bruneck II ) ) on the other hand, the commuting pupils from the area. There is also the private Ursuline middle school.

The range of German-language secondary schools is extensive: the language and secondary school "Nikolaus Cusanus", the social science grammar school and art grammar school, a technical college, a business college, a state vocational school with an attached hotel school , as well as the technical school for rural and technical college are located in Bruneck Housekeeping "Mair am Hof" in Dietenheim.

Italian- speaking kindergartens and schools : Bruneck is home to an Italian-speaking kindergarten, the “Galileo Galilei” elementary school, the “Don Milani” middle school and the “A. Cantore ”, which are united in a single school district. The high school center, which is equipped with three subject areas, offers the only secondary schools for the Italian language group in Val Pusteria.

University : The trilingual Free University of Bozen has a location in Bruneck. The two laureates courses in Tourism Management and Sport and Event Management are offered there, both of which are part of the Faculty of Economics. This means that Bruneck can also be viewed as a university city.

Library : On October 24, 2013, the new Bruneck LibriKa city library was opened, which also functions as the central library for the Puster Valley and which also houses a branch of the Bolzano University Library .


The fortnightly magazine Pustertaler Zeitung is an alternative source of information for Pustertal-related topics, while Radio Holiday can be received as the oldest still active regional radio in all of South Tyrol. Both media are owned by Pustertaler Medien GmbH. There is also another radio station, Radio 2000 .


Final game of the Italian ice hockey championship 2010/11 in the ice rink in Bruneck

There are numerous sports clubs in Bruneck, several of which are dedicated to winter sports . Traditional and successful clubs are, for example, the HC Pustertal in ice hockey and the ALV Kronspur in cross-country skiing .

sons and daughters of the town

from politics, business and society:

from art, culture and science:

Norbert C. Kaser (1947–1978)


Literature (chronological)

  • Hubert Stemberger (Hrsg.): Brunecker Buch - Festschrift for the 700th anniversary of the city elevation (Schlern-Schriften 152). Wagner: Innsbruck 1956 (online)
  • Hubert Stemberger (edit.): JN Tinkhauser's Brunecker Chronik 1834. Historical news from the kk district town Bruneck and the same area. Athesia Publishing House, Bozen 1981, ISBN 978-88-7014-203-7 .
  • Hubert Stemberger: Bruneck and the surrounding area . In: South Tyrolean area guide . tape 7 . Athesia, Bozen 1988, ISBN 88-7014-460-7 .
  • Helmut Flachenecker , Hans Heiss , Hannes Obermair (eds.): City and Hochstift: Brixen, Bruneck and Klausen up to secularization 1803 - Città e Principato: Bressanone, Brunico e Chiusa fino alla secolarizzazione 1803 (= publications of the South Tyrolean Provincial Archives 12). Bolzano: Athesia 2000 publishing house. ISBN 88-8266-084-2 .
  • Lothar von Sternbach: The churches of Bruneck (= Small Art Guide, No. 1237). Schnell and Steiner, Munich 2002, ISBN 978-3-7954-4957-5 .
  • Heinz Wieser: 750 years of the city of Bruneck . In: Osttiroler Bote . March 9, 2006.
  • Stefan Lechner (Ed.): The long way into the modern age. History of the city of Bruneck 1800–2006 . Universitätsverlag Wagner, Innsbruck 2006, ISBN 3-7030-0418-5 .
  • Erika Kustatscher : The cities of the Brixen monastery in the late Middle Ages: Constitutional and social history of Brixen, Bruneck and Klausen as reflected in the history of people (1200–1550) . Studien-Verlag, Innsbruck / Vienna / Bozen 2007, ISBN 978-3-7065-4402-3 .
  • Joachim Gatterer (Ed.): Norbert c. kaser : my hate-loving bruneck. A city portrait in texts and pictures , Haymon, Innsbruck / Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-7099-7283-0 . (with literary city map online )
  • Fabian Fistill: Italiani a Brunico. Alle origini di un percorso , Mimesis 2017, ISBN 978-88-575-4495-3 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Bruneck  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Bruneck  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. see Stemberger 1988, p. 26
  2. a b c Johannes Ortner: Pipe, Pirra, Pustertal. Exploring the naming landscape in the Bruneck basin . Lecture given on February 7, 2017 in Bruneck
  3. ^ A b Carlo Sansone: Bruneck through the ages . ( [accessed March 3, 2019]).
  4. a b see Wieser 2006
  5. Heinrich Gottfried Philipp Gengler : Regesten and documents on the constitutional and legal history of German cities in the Middle Ages. Erlangen 1863, p. 426 .
  6. ^ Hannes Obermair : Bozen Süd - Bolzano Nord. Written form and documentary tradition of the city of Bozen up to 1500 . tape 1 . City of Bozen, Bozen 2005, ISBN 88-901870-0-X , p. 120, No. 102 .
  7. ^ Community encyclopedia VIII, Tyrol and Vorarlberg 1900, p. 32
  8. The official number of citizens and the language groups in South Tyrol by municipality and district - 1981 census, p. 25
  9. South Tyrol in Numbers (Bozen 1994), p. 14
  10. This is what the new Bruneck municipal council looks like. Südtirol Online (, May 5, 2014, archived from the original on May 17, 2014 ; Retrieved May 17, 2014 .
  11. The mayors of the South Tyrolean municipalities since 1952. (PDF; 15 MB) In: Festschrift 50 Years of the South Tyrolean Association of Municipalities 1954–2004. Association of South Tyrolean municipalities, pp. 139–159 , accessed on November 16, 2015 .
  12. ^ Franz-Heinz Hye : South Tyrolean municipal coat of arms . Origin, rationale, history . Athesia, Bozen 2005, ISBN 88-8266-307-8 , p. 234 f .
  13. ^ A b Martin Tinkhauser: A little more independence . In: Dolomites . No. 215/2008 , September 17, 2008, p. 31 .
  14. ( Memento from September 11, 2012 in the web archive )
  15. Bruneck primary school district. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network , accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  16. Bruneck School District I. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  17. ^ School district Bruneck II. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  18. ^ Equal middle school Bruneck 'Ursulinen'. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  19. ^ "Nikolaus Cusanus" language and high school in Bruneck. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  20. ^ Social science grammar school and art grammar school in Bruneck. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  21. Technological college in Bruneck. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  22. Bruneck Business School. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  23. ^ State vocational school in Bruneck. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  24. ^ Technical school for agriculture and housekeeping 'Mair am Hof' Dietenheim. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  25. ↑ School district Bruneck - Pustertal. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  26. Secondary School Center “A. Cantore ”. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  27. Secondary School Center “A. Cantore ”. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network, accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  29. ^ H. Schreiber: Gustav Kuprian, leader of the RESCH. ( Memento from December 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  30. Othmar Winkler: Sculptor on