Prägraten am Großvenediger

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Prägraten am Großvenediger
coat of arms Austria map
Coat of arms of Prägraten am Großvenediger
Prägraten am Großvenediger (Austria)
Prägraten am Großvenediger
Basic data
Country: Austria
State : Tyrol
Political District : Lienz
License plate : LZ
Surface: 180.25 km²
Coordinates : 47 ° 1 '  N , 12 ° 22'  E Coordinates: 47 ° 1 '0 "  N , 12 ° 22' 0"  E
Height : 1312  m above sea level A.
Residents : 1,139 (January 1, 2020)
Postal code : 9974
Area code : 04877
Community code : 7 07 23
Address of the
municipal administration:
Sankt Andrä 35
9974 Prägraten am Großvenediger
Mayor : Anton Steiner
Municipal Council : (2016)
(13 members)
  • 5 Independent list “Our Prägraten” - Mayor Anton Steiner - Our Prägraten
  • 3 Hans Kratzer’s list for cooperation, village community and progress
  • 1 Pregraten list
  • 2 Team Prägraten a. G.
  • 2 “For the village” farmers' union - rural youth
Location of Prägraten am Großvenediger in the Lienz district
Abfaltersbach Ainet Amlach Anras Assling Außervillgraten Dölsach Gaimberg Heinfels Hopfgarten in Defereggen Innervillgraten Iselsberg-Stronach Kals am Großglockner Kartitsch Lavant Leisach Lienz Matrei in Osttirol Nikolsdorf Nußdorf-Debant Oberlienz Obertilliach Prägraten am Großvenediger St. Jakob in Defereggen St. Johann im Walde St. Veit in Defereggen Schlaiten Sillian Strassen Thurn Tristach Untertilliach Virgen Tirol (Bundesland)Location of the community of Prägraten am Großvenediger in the district of Lienz (clickable map)
About this picture
Template: Infobox municipality in Austria / maintenance / site plan image map
Sankt Andrä, the capital of the community of Prägraten
Sankt Andrä, the capital of the community of Prägraten
Source: Municipal data from Statistics Austria

Prägraten am Großvenediger is a municipality with 1139 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in the Austrian state of Tyrol in the district of Lienz (East Tyrol). The municipal area includes the rear Virgental and its side valleys. Large parts of the municipality belong to the Hohe Tauern National Park .

With around 180 km², Prägraten is the fourth largest municipality in the district, but with 1139 inhabitants and around seven inhabitants per square kilometer, it has the second lowest population density in the district.

The first traces of settlement from the 5th century BC are associated with copper mining. Later the area was almost entirely dominated by agriculture. After the Second World War, tourism gained more and more influence on the economy. Today Prägraten is one of the communities with the highest number of overnight stays in East Tyrol. Furthermore, agriculture is an important source of income for the population.



Prägraten is located in the north-west of East Tyrol and, with an area of ​​180.25  km², is the fourth largest municipality in the Lienz district. The municipality comprises the western Virgental, through which the Isel flows , from the Isel Gorge to the end of the valley, as well as the adjacent side valleys. With a share of 105.84 km² in the Hohe Tauern National Park, 59% of the community area is under nature protection.

For administrative purposes, Prägraten is divided into five hamlets and fractions, with the majority of the populated area on the left side of the Isel. The center of the community with the parish church is formed by the village of Sankt Andrä ( 1312  m above sea level ). The highest point of the municipality is the summit of the Großvenediger with a height of 3657  m above sea level. A.

Community structure

View into the rear Virgental. In the foreground Wallhorn, behind it Sankt Andrä and on the hill the Bichl fraction

Prägraten comprises the five districts of Bobojach , Wallhorn , Sankt Andrä , Bichl and Hinterbichl (from east to west), which line up in the east of the municipality along the Isel. The western municipality area is unpopulated due to the altitude. At the eastern entrance to the municipality, on the state road to the left of the Isel, is the hamlet of Bobojach with the Josefskapelle ( 1239  m ). Bobojach consists of a compact village center and several individual farms (Haufendorf). West of Bobojach is the scattered settlement Wallhorn, followed by the main town of Sankt Andrä. St. Andrä, located on an alluvial cone of the Timmelbach, has the form of a clustered village in the area of ​​the old village center. The buildings are grouped almost exclusively on the left side of the Isel along the Timmelbach and west of the Timmelbach. Only the Losach district with the leisure center is on the right of the Isel.

The Bichl fraction lies west of Sankt Andrä on a hill above the Isel ( 1439  m ). The buildings are grouped around the Holy Spirit Chapel, with the Oberbichl farm to the north. To the east, the state road ends at the confluence of the Dorfer Bach in the Isel. Here lies the district of Hinterbichl ( 1329  m ), to which, in addition to the central group of houses and courtyards west of the chapel, there are several individual courtyards. The last inhabited hamlet in the west of the municipality is the hamlet of Ströden ( 1403  m ) belonging to Hinterbichl . The highest permanent settlement is the Groderhof on a hill above Hinterbichl ( 1512  m ).

Land use

Due to the high alpine character of the municipality, there are only a few settlement areas available in Prägraten. Due to the inefficiency, agriculture, which was once used for self-sufficiency, has practically disappeared. 46.2% of the municipality is in unproductive land (wasteland). Another 45.9% is taken up by agricultural land. These include above all the large alpine pastures, but also pastures and the last remnants of arable land. Forest takes up 7.6% of the municipal area, 0.2% is accounted for by bodies of water and wetlands.

Neighboring communities

The community of Prägraten is separated from its neighboring communities by the Lasörling group in the south and the Venediger group in the west and north. The municipal boundaries largely coincide with the catchment area from the Isel to the Iselschlucht. There is only a navigable connection to the municipality of Virgen , also located in the Virgen Valley , east of Prägraten. In the northeast, Prägraten borders on Matrei in East Tyrol between the Hohen Eichham and the Großvenediger . From the Großvenediger in the north to the southwest to the Dreiherrnspitze, the state border to Salzburg with the communities of Krimml and Neukirchen am Großvenediger connects . In the west, between Dreiherrnspitze and Rötspitze, the state border with Italy and the South Tyrolean municipality of Prettau runs . In the south, Prägraten borders on the municipality of Sankt Jakob in Defereggen .

Geology and morphology

The Iseltal is asymmetrical in the area of ​​Prägraten. The settlement areas are almost exclusively on the left-hand, south-facing relatively flat slope. The right-hand slope, on the other hand, drops steeply and is covered with forest down to the valley floor. The northern tributaries of the Isel have created strongly structured side valleys in the central gneiss and the slate shell above. In contrast, the southern tributaries were only able to form short notch valleys with little water flow in the gneiss phyllite there.

Typical rocks in the Iseltal are limestone mica slate and green slate. Both types of rock belong to the tectonic unit of the Tauern window .


Prägraten am Großvenediger is located in the eponymous area of ​​the Venediger group , which belongs to the Hohe Tauern ( Austrian Central Alps ). The highest elevations are in the northeastern municipality on the border with Matrei and Salzburg. The highest peaks are the Großvenediger ( 3657  m ), followed by the eastern mountain range with the Rainerhorn ( 3559  m ), the Black Wall ( 3503  m ), the Hohen Zaun ( 3451  m ) and the Kristallwand ( 3310  m ). To the south are the Weißspitze ( 3300  m ) and the Hohe Eichham ( 3371  m ). From the Großvenediger to the west, the main ridge of the mountain group continues over the Großer Geiger ( 3360  m ) to the Simonyspitzen ( 3473  m ), the Dreiherrnspitze ( 3499  m ) and the Rötspitze ( 3496  m ). The Venediger group is still heavily glaciated in these areas and includes the headwaters of the Isel with the Umbalkees . In the south, Prägraten is bounded by the southern foothills of the Venediger group, the Lasörling group . Since the border to the neighboring Defereggental runs along the watershed, the peaks of the Lasörling ( 3,098  m ), the Stampfleskopf and the Finsterkarspitze are in the municipality of Prägraten.

Panorama Lasoerling.jpg
Panorama from Lasörling to the Venediger group

Rivers and bodies of water

The Isel in front of the main town Sankt Andrä

The determining river in the municipality is the Isel , which rises in the Umbaltal on the Umbalkees and forms the Umbal Falls there. The tributaries with the most water flow into the Isel on the left, whereby the Maurerbach , the Dorfer Bach ( Hinterbichler Dorfertal ) and the Timmelbach ( Timmeltal ) have formed wide valleys. They have numerous small tributaries themselves. The left-hand tributaries of the Isel are much shorter and less branched than the northern tributaries. In the Umbaltal area, the relatively short tributaries Reggenbach and Zopalbach flow into the Isel on the right, larger tributaries in the south of the Virgental are Daberbach , Großbach, Kleinbach, Lasnitzbach and Zopanitzenbach. In the municipality of Prägraten there are also several mountain lakes, of which the ice lake is the largest.


Prägraten is in the area of ​​the Central European climate. The climate of Prägratens, however, also has Mediterranean influences, which in winter result in a low snow depth and a shortened duration of the snow cover. Furthermore, the winter temperatures are much higher than in comparable regions. The January mean of Prägraten is in a similar area as Kitzbühel, 540 meters lower, on the north side of the Tauern.

The greatest amounts of precipitation fall in Prägraten in the summer months. The winter months from December to February have the lowest rainfall. The average annual rainfall between 1980 and 2003 was 911 millimeters.


Population development

Emboss with the parish church
Population distribution
year 2001 2019
Bichl 89 74 69 66
Bobojach 113 103 90 81
Hinterbichl 133 143 126 124
Saint Andrew 401 696 642 607
Wallhorn 177 258 246 248
total 913 1274 1173 1126

Population structure

In 2019, exactly 1126 people lived in the community of Prägraten. According to the 2001 census, 99.5% of the population were Austrian citizens (Tyrol: 90.6%). 98.5% of the population (Tyrol: 83.4%) professed their support for the Roman Catholic Church , there were only three members of the Evangelical Church and two people without religious beliefs. The average age of the community population in 2001 was well below the national average. 23.2% of the residents of Prägratens were younger than 15 years (Tyrol: 18.4%), 58.7% between 15 and 59 years old (Tyrol: 63.0%). The proportion of residents over 59 years of age was 18.1%, roughly the national average of 18.6%. According to their marital status, 55.3% of the inhabitants of Prägraten were single, 39.0% married, 4.3% widowed and 1.4% divorced, with the low divorce rate in particular deviating from the national average (4.8%).

From the end of the 18th to the middle of the 19th century, the population development of Prägraten increased slightly or stagnated. In the middle of the 19th century, around 750 people lived in the community. Due to the increased trade in agricultural products, the cultivation of grain became increasingly unprofitable and agriculture therefore switched to cattle breeding. The lower demand for labor in cattle breeding led to increasing emigration, especially to Lienz, up to the turn of the century. The exodus continued into the 1920s, but slowed down from the turn of the century. Due to the boom in tourism, the population rose sharply by 28% by 1934, although it is unclear whether the increase was due to the excess birth rate or immigration. After that, the increase in the population was slower and accelerated again after the Second World War. By the beginning of the 1980s, the population increased to over 1200 people, which corresponds to a doubling of the population compared to the 1920s. Since then, the population has stagnated at this level.

St. Andrä, Wallhorn
Bichl, Hinterbichl


First settlement

A stone box from the 5th century BC discovered in Hinterbichl BC is the oldest evidence of the presence of people in today's parish area. Since a stone box burial ground in neighboring Virgen ( Welzelach ) is associated with copper mining , the stone box grave in Hinterbichl also suggests that ore prospectors and miners were present at that time. Around 100 BC, the East Tyrolean region with the Virgen Valley fell to the Celts , who had ruled as early as 15 BC. Came peacefully to the Roman Empire . After the fall of the Roman Empire and the battle of Aguntum in 610 between Bavaria and Slavs , the victorious Slavs invaded the valleys of East Tyrol. The field names that still exist today, such as Bobojach and those ending in -itz (Zopanitz, Lasnitz, Islitz), are evidence of the Slavic settlement activity also in the area of ​​today's Prägraten. After the loss of Slavic supremacy over the Bavarians, the region was re-Christianized in 769 with the establishment of the San Candido monastery . Baiern gradually settled peacefully in the Virgen Valley. The Slavic language gradually died out as a result.

State sovereignty and rule of Virgen

Rabenstein castle ruins, seat of the Virgen lordship

In the 11th century the Virgental was part of the Duchy of Carinthia. This was divided into four districts, with the Virgental being part of the Lurngau . The Lurngau was subordinate to the Counts of Lurngau ( Meinhardiner ) of the same name , who called themselves Counts of Görz from 1120 onwards. In the High Middle Ages, Prägraten itself was closely connected to the neighboring town of Virgen and the Rabenstein Castle, built there in 1182/83 , which was owned by Albert III in the middle of the 13th century . of Tyrol stood. In the fight against the Archdiocese of Salzburg Albert III lost. Virgen Castle to Salzburg, the loss of which was confirmed with the Peace of Lieserhofen in 1252 . Presumably at that time the rule over the castle was connected with the rule over the surrounding land. The later judicial district of Virgen with the seat of the court in Rabenstein also included the rear Virgen valley (Prägraten) and parts of Sankt Jakob in Defereggen to the south in addition to the Virgen area . In the church, too, Prägraten was associated with Virgen. The pastor of Virgen, first mentioned in 1165, has also looked after Prägraten and parts of Sankt Jakob in Defereggen for centuries.

After the death of Albert III. control of the castle was given to Albert's heirs. In 1271 Albert von Görz used Rabenstein as a pledge for compliance with a contract. The rights of the Gorizia to "castle and the area" were confirmed in 1292 and 1308 by the Archbishop of Salzburg. The sovereignty was formally dependent on the Salzburg fiefdom until the 18th century. However, this fact hardly had any effect in practice.

First mention and manorial conditions

In 1162, Prägraten was first mentioned as "Pregat" in connection with a donation of goods by Count Arnold von Greifenstein to the Augustinian Canon Monastery of Neustift near Brixen. The name is derived from Slavic and means "in front of the castle". This castle could have been on the "Bichl". Remnants of a wall have been preserved there to this day. Alternatively, and detto with reference to the castle, the name could be slav. pregrada : bring back the barrier / wall / enclosure.

However, the majority of the property in Prägratens was subordinate to the sovereigns, in the Middle Ages to the Gorizia. The Gorizia increased by 1,299 for their possessions a Urbar on where all their possessions and the reason interest related was recorded. In the Görzer Urbar numerous farms are named for Prägraten in all fractions that exist today, including several Schwaigh farms . Bobojach is mentioned here for the first time as "Pobeyach". The residents of the Prägratner Höfe were largely subject to the free pen law , which burdened the population with high taxes and granted the landlord extensive rights. So it was possible for the landlord, among other things, to terminate the tenant annually. Since the farms were usually owned by the families for a long time, this right was probably only rarely exercised in Prägraten.

Mints in modern times

After the death of Count Leonhard of Gorizia, the Gorizia possessions fell to Maximilian I in 1500 , who incorporated them into his county of Tyrol in February 1501. Due to lack of money, Maximilian only retained the sovereignty and in 1501 sold the county to Michael von Wolkenstein-Rodenegg . Due to the sale of the area, the planned conversion of the free pen property into the hereditary series failed. For the farmers of Prägratens this meant a continuation of the heavy loads. After the bankruptcy of the Selva counties in 1653, the Haller Damenstift bought the former Gorizia possessions for 142,000 guilders. However, the farmers' hopes of relief from the monastery were disappointed, and high taxes still had to be paid even in the event of poor harvests. Only after the abolition of the women's monastery in 1783 by Emperor Joseph II was there a partial relief for the rural population. Large parts of the debts were forgiven the farmers, and the annual taxes were reduced. The Virgen court was subsequently placed under state administration.

Even in modern times, the population lived almost exclusively from agriculture, and to a lesser extent mining was also carried out. The goods produced by the farmers were recorded in detail in 1545 in the Pustertal descriptions , a tax register. At that time, the population mainly paid grain ( oats , rye , wheat and barley ) and beans, but also eggs, chickens and lambs to the landlords as land charges. As the tax register from this time shows, there was an increased division of farms in the 16th century due to population growth. As a result, the unproductive land had to provide for more and more families. In addition, the Pustertal descriptions provide information about the existing settlement structure at that time. With the Upper and Lower Rotte at Sankt Andrä, the Rotte auf Walhern (Wallhorn), the Isslitzer Rotte (Hinterbichl) and the Rotte am Pabeyach (Bobojach) there were five Rotten in today's municipal area.

The origins of the Prägratner parish church go back to the 15th century. In 1516 the church, consecrated to St. Andrew the Apostle, was rededicated after an extension with two side altars. However, for centuries the church was under the patronage of the parish of Virgen. In 1719 the Haller Damenstift approved the application of the five Prägratner Rotten to set up their own vicariate . Before that, mass was only said once a month in the Church of St. Andrä. For a regular visit to the mass, the population of Prebaten had to accept a long walk to Virgen, which often took hours. For the establishment of the vicariate, the residents of the Rotten committed themselves to the construction of a vicariate house with a vegetable garden and to the delivery of natural produce to the vicar. On December 22, 1719, the Archbishop of Salzburg also approved the establishment of the vicariate with a permanent curate . In 1721/22, Prägraten also had its own cemetery, as all the dead had to be transported to Virgen beforehand. The vicariate church was expanded in the 18th century.

Mints in the 19th century

After the defeat of the Austrian troops in the Battle of Austerlitz (1805), Austria was obliged to cede Tyrol to Bavaria . The Bavarian government annexed the area to the Virgen district court. After Napoleon's victory over Austria in the autumn of 1809, Salzburg and neighboring Matrei also fell to Bavaria. In the same year the Iseltaler Schützen organized the resistance against the French occupation. After initial successes against the French troops, they occupied the entire Isel valley with its side valleys in December 1809. In 1810, Prägraten was added to the newly created three Illyrian provinces , but was freed from the French occupation in 1813.

In the course of the reorganization, Emperor Franz II united the rule of Matrei with the rest of Tyrol in 1813. The court Virgen mit Prägraten was added to the kk district court Windisch-Matrei (later district court Matrei) in 1817. The five groups of Hinterbichl, Bobojach, Wallhorn and the two groups of St. Andras were subsequently merged to form the municipality of Prägraten, but were initially subject to the municipality of Virgen. In 1822/23 the nave of the Church of St. Andrä was extended by two bays because it had become too small due to the population growth. In 1891 the Church of St. Andrä was elevated to a parish church.

Up until the First World War, the economic basis of the municipality was almost exclusively agriculture. The ore mining was stopped in the 17th century. The high altitude of the municipality led to very low productivity in agriculture and earned the area the reputation of being the "poorest municipality in East Tyrol". Due to the high level of poverty, the community decided to emigrate to North America as a group. However, the project was prevented by the outbreak of the First World War. Nevertheless, the community had suffered severe population losses through emigration, especially to the city of Lienz. At the turn of the century, agriculture was changed from arable farming to cattle breeding, while tourism was of little importance at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1845 the Großvenediger was climbed for the first time from Prägraten, after the construction of the Johannishütte by Archduke Johann in 1857 , Prägraten was the main starting point for tours on the Großvenediger until 1865. The Clarahütte was built in 1872 and the Defreggerhaus was opened in 1887 . Up until the turn of the century, the shelters were uncultivated, primitive mountaineering camps. In 1904 there were seven authorized mountain guides available to mountaineers in Prägraten.

Mints between 1918 and 1945

In the First World War , 24 men did not return from military service. Economically, the collapse of Austria-Hungary hit the rural population less hard than the urban population due to the possibility of self-sufficiency. The community of Prägraten profited greatly from the infrastructure measures in the interwar period. Virgentalstraße, built between 1924 and 1933 with five tunnels, connected Prägraten to Virgen and Matrei and thus for the first time to a national road network. This made Prägraten easier for tourists to reach. From 1925 the Vienna Boys' Choir also spent the summer in the community. In 1930 the Hotel Wiener Sängerknaben with 150 beds was opened in Hinterbichl, with its own slaughterhouse, bakery, power station and water supply. The presence of the Choir Boys and the increasing influx of summer tourists led to a sharp increase in the number of overnight stays between 1926 (1,913 overnight stays) and 1933 (15,356 overnight stays). Despite the increase in sales due to tourism, the global economic crisis had serious effects in East Tyrol. Dwindling purchasing power and consumption led to an agricultural crisis that triggered numerous foreclosures on farms. The NSDAP tried to use the growing dissatisfaction in East Tyrol. According to a survey by the Lienz district administration, there were hardly any members of the National Socialist party in Virgental. The district of East Tyrol was only slightly affected by the thousand-mark ban imposed in 1933 , as the small proportion of Reich German holidaymakers could be offset by visitors from Austria and Czechoslovakia.

After the " connection " of Austria into the German Reich in 1938 Tyrol was added to the Gau Carinthia. The first arrests of former representatives of the corporate state, political enemies and Lienz Jews took place in mid-March. At the local level, the restriction of church life in particular led to conflicts, such as the dissolution of Catholic associations and the circumcision of customs. At the same time, the population was integrated into the National Socialist sub-organizations. The home of the Vienna Boys' Choir in Prägraten was subsequently used by the National Socialist People's Welfare as a rest home for children to be sent away. The job creation program, particularly in the construction and armaments industries, as well as community debt relief should stimulate the economy. Prägraten benefited from this partial debt relief with municipal debts of 33,000 Reichsmarks. The confiscation of the church bells in early 1942 led to resistance in Prägraten. In Bichl three were hidden, in Hinterbichl one bell was hidden from the transport. Those involved were sentenced to several months in prison. Of the Prägratners who were obliged to do military service, 36 died at the front or went missing.

Mint after the Second World War

After the end of the Second World War, numerous infrastructure projects were carried out in Prägraten. Between 1949 and 1951 the community built a new school building, and in 1951 the community water supply was established in the village. Investments in the expansion and renovation of the parish church and the construction of a new parish hall followed in the first half of the 1960s. The flood disaster in 1965/66 hit Prägraten hard with damage of 2.5 million schillings. To prevent further disasters, the Timmelbach was built between 1967 and 1974.

From the 1950s, tourism developed more and more in Prägraten. Supported by the rapid economic growth in Austria and the opening of Felbertauernstrasse in 1967, Prägraten was able to continuously increase the number of overnight stays. In order to also increase the share of winter tourism, the municipality invested in the construction of four surface lifts (1962 to 1971). The number of overnight stays in the community increased steadily until the 1980s. After that, as in the entire district, a downturn in the number of overnight stays began.

Shortly after the Second World War, the community of Prägraten with northern East Tyrol was included in numerous power plant plans. For a long time, the Dorfertal power plant project enjoyed the highest chance of realization, for which streams from all over northern East Tyrol were to be channeled into a large storage facility in Kalser Dorfertal . The growing resistance of the burgeoning environmental movement and plans for a national park in the Hohe Tauern ultimately prevented the project. After the end of the power plant project in 1989, the implementation of the Hohe Tauern National Park was pushed ahead. In a referendum in 1991, however, the people of Prägraten rejected its establishment by over 90%. In addition to the agricultural restrictions, the development of the Großvenediger glacier area, previously rejected by Innsbruck, played a role. Nevertheless, the establishment of the national park was decided in 1991 and Prägraten became a national park community, whereby more than half of the community area was placed under nature protection. After the turn of the millennium, the community of Prägraten invested heavily in the expansion of hydropower and Tiroler Wasserkraft AG (TIWAG) built a high-pressure small hydropower plant on the Dorferbach and put it into operation in 2007. The Sajathütte was rebuilt after being destroyed by a dust avalanche in April 2001 and inaugurated in 2002. The much-criticized renaming of the Mullwitzkogel to Wiesbauerspitze in July 2007 made headlines across the region. The community of Prägraten, a stage destination of the Tour of Austria from 2006 to 2008 , carried out the renaming as part of the cooperation with the tour sponsor and sausage manufacturer Wiesbauer , who is on his products for vacation in Prägraten advertised.


Municipal office of Prägraten

The municipal council as the highest body of the municipality has 13 seats and is elected every six years in the course of Tyrol-wide municipal council elections. Simultaneously the mayor in a direct-dial determines which is the absence of an absolute majority for one candidate in a runoff election is coming. The acting mayor has been Anton Steiner since 2010.

In the municipal council elections in Prägraten traditionally there are different lists. In 2004, the list of mayors and farmers' union emerged victorious from the elections . With 44.5% and six mandates, she was able to increase her share of the vote slightly. As the second strongest force, the tourism and economy list was able to hold its own with 22.4%, which however lost around 12% and one mandate. The Prägratner list also lost around 9% as well as one mandate and reached 15.9%. The list Arbeit und Wirtschaft Prägraten benefited from the losses, and it achieved 19.2% when it first appeared.

In 2010, Johann Kratzer, who had won the direct mayor elections in 2004 without a candidate, failed in the mayor direct elections against his challenger Anton Steiner. Anton Steiner achieved 61.9%, while Kratzer only got 38.1%. Also Katzer's electoral list, The Mayor List Hans Kratzer for Cooperation, Village Community and Progress achieved only 26.9% or 4 seats. The winner of the municipal council election was the independent list “Unser Prägraten” - candidate for mayor Anton Steiner of the new mayor, with Steiner's list reaching 34.5% or five seats. With 16.4%, the Bauernbund - Landjugend list also achieved two mandates, one mandate each went to the Tourism and Economy lists and the Prägratner list .

Due to the rural and Catholic population, the ÖVP is traditionally deeply rooted in Prägraten. In the state elections in 2003 , it received 85.4% of the vote.

After strong gains by the FPÖ, the ÖVP still achieved 63.7% in the 2008 state elections .

coat of arms

Coat of arms of the community of Prägraten

The municipality of Prägraten was awarded the municipal coat of arms on November 24, 1974 by the Tyrolean state government. It shows:

"In silver, a red St. Andrew's cross with a gold tau cross on a black background as a heart sign."

The St. Andrew's cross is reminiscent of the parish patron's coat of arms, the heart shield to the Augustinian canons of Neustift , which had possessions in Prägraten as early as the 12th century.

Economy and Infrastructure

Workplaces and employees

The workplace census carried out as part of the population census in 2001 revealed 61 workplaces with 198 employees (excluding agriculture) in Prägraten, around 66% of which were employed. Compared to 1991, the number of workplaces had increased by four units (plus 6.6%). Employment figures more than doubled between 1991 and 2001 with a plus of 215%. The most important branch of industry in the municipality is the hotel and restaurant sector, which in 2001 comprised around 67% of the businesses and 49% of the employees in the municipality. In terms of the share of employees, this is followed by mining (15% of employees), public administration and trade. The companies in Prägraten are small in size, only Lauster Steinbau GmbH ( serpentine mining) in 2001 had 29 employees and a company size with 20 or more employees. Due to the concentration on tourism and the limited winter tourism, there is a very high commuter rate in Prägraten. 68.5% of the employed population commute to work from the community. 64% of the out-commuters found work in the Lienz district, primarily in the district capital Lienz and in Matrei in East Tyrol . 82 employees commuted to North Tyrol, 33 to other federal states and 11 to other countries. At the same time, 26 in-commuters found work in Prägraten in 2001.

Prägraten no longer has its own post office; it was closed in 2005. The population has to switch to a postal partner in town.


Livestock 1983 1991 1995
Horses 5 0 15th
Bovine 711 712 698
Pigs 158 146 130
Sheep 617 656 599
Goats 17th 6th 50
Chicken 177 231 337

In 1999 there were 101 agricultural and forestry holdings in Prägraten, cultivating a total of 7,087 hectares. In this still 27 companies in the main occupation , 51 companies in the sideline out. 22 companies were owned by legal entities. Compared to 1995 the number of farms had decreased by 22. While part-time businesses and businesses owned by legal entities fell sharply, the number of full-time businesses increased significantly from 20 to 27. The cultivated area had hardly changed between 1995 and 1999.

The main occupation of the Prägratner farmers is cattle breeding, with cattle and sheep breeding dominating. Around 31% of the community area is taken up by alpine pastures. Despite the decline in farms, the number of livestock has remained at a similar level for decades. The formerly important agriculture has almost disappeared today. At the turn of the century, only 4 hectares of the municipality were used as arable land.


Panorama Prägraten on the Großvenediger
Overnight stays in Prägraten
year summer winter total
1965 73,649 5,207 78,824
1971 108,832 12.006 120,838
1981 171.230 25,511 196.741
1991 141,733 19,905 161,638
2001 89,713 26,369 116,100
2006 81.030 24,682 105.712
2008 74,865 19,176 94.041

The beginnings of tourism in the community of Prägraten go back to the alpinism of the 19th century. Prägraten benefited from its location on the Großvenediger , which was first climbed in 1841 from the Pinzgau in Salzburg . The starting shot for the development of tourism in Prägraten was given in 1845, when the place was the first starting point for an ascent of the Großvenediger. As a result, the rural population was able to earn extra income as mountain guides. The lack of infrastructure, however, hindered stronger growth for a long time. In Prägraten, as in the neighboring communities, there was a strong boom in tourism after the Second World War. The number of overnight stays, supported by the economic upswing in Austria and Germany ( economic miracle ), has increased continuously. The opening of Felbertauernstraße in 1967 also made it easier for holidaymakers to travel via Salzburg. In order to benefit from the winter season, investments were made in the construction of several surface lifts in the 1960s and 70s. However, the plans to develop a glacier ski area on the Großvenediger failed. As a result, pronounced winter tourism could never develop in Prägraten.

The number of overnight stays is only around half of the peak values ​​that were achieved in the 1980s. 82% of the summer guests came from abroad in 2006, with 62% of the total overnight stays by guests from Germany and 11.5% by guests from the Netherlands . In 2005, Prägraten had a total of 1315 guest beds and took fifth place in this area in the Lienz district. However, there was no four or five star establishment among the Prägraten accommodation establishments. The community of Prägraten deliberately relies on gentle tourism , just like the entire Virgental .

In 2007, the community of Prägraten was organized together with the East Tyrolean national park communities in the holiday region of the Hohe Tauern National Park East Tyrol. In 2008 the three East Tyrolean tourism associations were merged to form the "Osttirol Tourism Association". The main attraction in summer is the dense network of hiking trails with the Venediger Höhenweg . There are several shelters and managed alpine pastures in the municipality. The central contact points for mountaineers include the Defreggerhaus as a starting point for tours around the Großvenediger, the Eisseehütte in the Weissspitze area and the Essener-Rostocker-Hütte as a base for climbing the Malham and Simony peaks . Other refuges in the municipality are Nilljochhütte , Clarahütte , Stabanthütte , Sajathütte , Bergerseehütte , Lasnitzenhütte and Johannishütte . In winter there are two drag lifts and a 30-kilometer cross-country ski run available to tourists.

Transport and infrastructure

The community of Prägraten is accessed by the Virgentalstraße (L 24), which runs from the community of Matrei via Virgen to Prägraten to Hinterbichl. The Virgentalstraße in Matrei has a connection to the Felbertauernstraße B 108. Prägraten can be reached by public transport using the ÖBB-Postbus GmbH buses . Line 951 connects the municipality up to ten times a day to the district capital of Lienz, around 41 kilometers away (journey time: 1 hour and 5 minutes to Hinterbichl). The line runs from the Lienz train station via Matrei and Virgen. The closest connection to the rail network is also in Lienz.

The community's sewage disposal is carried out by the "Abwasserverband Hohe Tauern Süd", to which several communities in northern East Tyrol have joined forces. The wastewater from the member communities is treated in the sewage treatment plant in Huben, which opened in 1999, and fed into the Isel. The entire local sewer system of Prägraten was completed between 1998 and 2000 and connected to the sewage treatment plant. In 2002 96% of the 260 objects producing wastewater in Prägraten were connected to the sewage treatment plant. The waste that arises in the community is disposed of by the Waste Management Association of East Tyrol (AWVO).

After high investments in new buildings and infrastructure projects, the community of Prägraten used the expansion and new construction of small hydropower plants to renovate the community finances. In particular, the municipality received compensation payments from TIWAG and used green electricity subsidies. The plant of the company "Elektrowerk Prägraten", which was built in 2006 in place of an old power plant on Timmelbach, delivers nine million kWh annually. The Dorferbach (Islitz) and the Zopathbach were derived for the Dorferbach power plant that opened in Hinterbichl on October 5, 2007 and has an annual output of 40 kWh. The power plant struggled with water shortages during its trial operation and was temporarily shut down. In order to generate additional income, the community is also planning to build another power plant on Lasnitzenbach. In March 2007, however, a negative water law decision was issued for the small power plant in the first instance, against which the municipality appealed.


The oldest reference to the school system comes from 1774, when a “new school room” was built at the time of the Theresian reforms . A school building of its own was built in 1832; today's school building dates from 1950 and was renovated in 1997 and equipped with a village hall. It houses a four-class elementary school with around 100 students (2000/01). There is a kindergarten in the neighboring building. To attend a secondary school, the pupils have to commute to the neighboring Virgen, to attend secondary schools to the district capital Lienz.

Security and Healthcare

Today, Prägraten no longer has its own police station, with the municipal area falling under the responsibility of the Matrei police station. The volunteer fire brigade was founded in 1908 and has more than 100 members. In addition to the Prägraten fire station , which was built in 1994/95 , the volunteer fire brigade also has smaller syringe houses in the outer groups so that they can also have equipment here when the road is blocked by avalanches. The mountain rescue service founded in the 1940s is housed in the same building to rescue mountain victims . The general practitioner in neighboring Virgen provides basic medical care. The closest pharmacy is in the neighboring market town of Matrei. To visit a specialist, you have to commute to Matrei or to the district capital Lienz, where the district hospital is also located.

Culture and sights


Parish Church of St. Andrä

The numerous church buildings are among the most important sights of the community of Prägraten. The parish church of Sankt Andrä goes back to a chapel that already existed in the 15th century. At the beginning of the 16th century it was expanded and rededicated in 1516. The population growth made further extensions of the nave necessary in the 19th and 20th centuries. A retracted choir , the steep gable roof and a gothic north tower with pointed arched sound windows and onion dome are characteristic of the parish church in Praebron . In addition to the parish church of Sankt Andrä, there are eleven other chapels in the community. One of the oldest and most noticeable is in the Hinterbichl fraction. The "Chapel of Saints Chrysanth and Sebastian ", made of exposed quarry stone masonry, was probably built in the 16th or 17th century.

In addition to the church buildings, the main attractions of Prägraten are buildings of rural culture. The Islitzer Mühle, a functioning grain mill on the Dorferbach, can also be visited, as can the Oberbichl local history museum with its preserved “ Rauchkuchl ” and numerous farm implements and everyday objects. In the Mitterkratzerhof, a more than 200-year-old farm on the Bichl, an information point for the Austrian Alpine Association and the Hohe Tauern National Park has been set up, where exhibitions and lectures are held.

The natural spectacle of the Umbal Falls on the upper Isel is also an attraction for numerous visitors.

Culture and customs

The oldest cultural association in the community is the band founded in 1849. It consists of around 60 musicians and has had its own youth brass band since 2002. Traditionally, the brass band organizes a spring concert every year on Easter Sunday and a gala concert on High Women's Day (August 15) as well as numerous smaller concerts in summer. The Heimatchor Prägraten, founded in 1962, can also refer to decades of tradition; he performs church, secular and folk songs and regularly organizes " Kranzlsingen ". The municipality's two theater associations, on the other hand, were not founded until the 1990s. While the Prägraten village comedians put on comedies, skits and pantomimes, the Prägraten theater association mainly presents rural plays.

The Prägratener Schützenkompanie, founded in 1908, has a much longer tradition. It takes part in five processions every year and consists of around 45 people. Much younger, however, is the Nikolaus-Klaubaufverein, which was only launched in 2003 and has set itself the goal of preserving this custom. When moving, Nicholas goes from house to house with his angels and asks to be admitted. He is followed by the Krampuses with carved masks, fur and loud bells. The Klaubauftage with home visits take place from December 1st to 6th. The custom ends on December 6th with the ringing of the bell in the village square.


Prägraten has been a stage destination of the Tour of Austria since 2006 and is home to three sports clubs. The largest is the sports union Prägraten am Großvenediger, founded in 1955 . The construction of a small sports field in the area of ​​today's Waldstadion was already started in the founding year . The soccer field was opened in 1956 with an opening game against Union Matrei. Gradually, the club was expanded to include several sections and in 2007 included the football, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, bowling, paragliding and tennis sections as well as the inactive sections of ice stock and tobogganing. Due to the distance to North Tyrol, the football club Prägraten, like all East Tyrolean clubs, takes part in the championships of the Carinthian League and plays its games in the Waldstadion built in 1975 . In the summer of 2019, the Sportunion Prägraten founded a game community, the SG Virgental, together with Virgen. Which means you take part in 1st class A. In addition to the Sportunion, the ice hockey club EC Black Devils Prägraten was founded in 1994. The Black Devils have been playing in the first class west of the Carinthian championships, the second lowest league, since 2002. In addition to the Sportunion and the Black Devils, there is also the Venediger Kicker leisure, sports and friendship association founded in 1996 in Prägraten , which participates in small-field tournaments in the area and organizes an annual tournament in Prägraten. The most successful athlete from Prägraten is the former ski racer and five-time World Cup race winner Anton "Jimmy" Steiner .



  • Catholic Tyrolean Teachers' Association (Ed.): District Studies East Tyrol . Innsbruck 2001, ISBN 3-7066-2267-X .
  • Werner Köfler: Chronicle of Prägraten. Innsbruck 1974 [Tiroler Landesarchiv (Ed.): Ortschroniken]
  • Wilfried Schulze: Prägraten in East Tyrol. Cultural geographic change in a high mountain community under the influence of tourism. State examination thesis TU Hannover 1974
  • Meinrad Pizzinini: East Tyrol. The Lienz district. His works of art, historical forms of life and settlement. Verlag St. Peter, Salzburg 1974 (Austrian Art Monographs, Vol. VII), ISBN 3-900173-17-6

Web links

Commons : Prägraten am Großvenediger  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

Werner Köfler's chronicle of Prägraten and the book Osttirol served as the main literature of the history chapter . From the First World War to the present by Martin Kofler.

  1. Results of the 2016 municipal council elections in Prägraten am Großvenediger. State of Tyrol, February 28, 2016, accessed on January 5, 2019 .
  2. History and dates of the Hohe Tauern National Park, Tyrol. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 ; Retrieved November 5, 2014 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Tirol Atlas, data from 2001 ( Memento of the original from April 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Schulze: Prägraten in Osttirol p. 21
  5. Hohe Tauern National Park: Excursion report Dorfertal / Prägraten Kleines Iseltal. Pp. 9-11
  6. Clemens Wastl: Evaluation of heavy precipitation in North and East Tyrol ( Memento of the original from November 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Diploma thesis University of Innsbruck 2004 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. a b c d Statistics Austria community data from Prägraten, VZ 2001
  8. Schulze: Prägraten in Osttirol p. 76
  9. State Statistics Tyrol (VZ 2001) (PDF; 4.1 MB)
  10. Schulze: Prägraten in Osttirol pp. 17–19
  11. Oberwalder: Virgen pp. 252-256
  12. Schulze: Prägraten in Osttirol pp. 8–11
  13. Schulze: Prägraten in Osttirol p. 15
  14. Martin Kofler: Osttirol pp. 51–53
  15. Vienna Online "The Top of the Wurstberg", April 23, 2007 ( Memento from August 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Result of the 2004 municipal council election in Prägraten am Großvenediger. State of Tyrol, March 7, 2004, accessed on January 5, 2019 .
  17. ^ Election result of the 1998 municipal council election in Prägraten am Großvenediger. State of Tyrol, March 15, 1998, accessed on January 5, 2019 .
  18. ^ Election result of the municipal council election 2010 in Prägraten am Großvenediger. State of Tyrol, March 14, 2010, accessed on January 5, 2019 .
  19. Land Tirol (Wahlservice) Landtag election 2003 ( Memento of the original from May 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 17, 2007. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  20. Land Tirol (Wahlservice) Landtag election 2008 ( Memento of the original from June 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. ^ Köfler: Chronicle of Prägraten p. 5.
  22. a b c District Studies East Tyrol, pp. 316–320
  23. Schulze: Prägraten in Osttirol p. 38; Office of the Tyrolean state government, Tyrolean state statistics
  24. ^ Office of the Tyrolean provincial government, Tyrolean provincial statistics
  26. State of Tyrol, wastewater disposal in the Lienz district ( memento of the original from September 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 7.2 MB). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  27. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Der Venedigerblick , No. 17 Winter 2005/2006.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.prä
  28. ^ Groundbreaking ceremony for the TIWAG green electricity power plant in Dorferbach. (No longer available online.) TIWAG, June 3, 2005, archived from the original on May 9, 2008 ; Retrieved March 15, 2008 .
  29. Kleine Zeitung Osttirol, March 10, 2007 (PDF; 225 kB).
  30. ORF Tirol  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Negative decision: No further small power plant in Prägraten , March 23, 2007.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  31. ↑ Regional Studies East Tyrol p. 317.
  32. ^ Community homepage Prägraten
  33. Chapels in Prägraten
  34. ^ Community of Prägraten am Großvenediger
  35. ^ Community homepage , Black Devils , Sportunion Prägraten
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on April 12, 2008 in this version .