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Tirolo (Italian)
Tirolis (Ladin)
Flag of Tirol and Upper Austria.svg
anthem Andreas Hofer song
North and East Tyrol in Austria South Tyrol and Trentino in Italy
  • North and East Tyrol in Austria
  • South Tyrol and Trentino in Italy
  • Basic data
    State (s) Italy , Austria
    Official language (s) German , Italian , Ladin , Heelsental , Cimbrian
    surface 26,674 km²
    Residents 1,813,400 (2017)
    density 68 inhabitants per km²
    currency Euro
    Areas that today form the European Region Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino . The historical Tyrol also included:

    Tyrol is a region in the Alps in western Austria and northern Italy . Since 2011 the historical area with the European region Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino has had its own legal personality in the form of a European association for territorial cooperation .

    The area was once under common rule as the County of Tyrol for a long time. After the First World War and the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy Austria-Hungary , Tyrol was also affected and was divided in 1919 by the Treaty of St. Germain :

    1. North Tyrol and East Tyrol (today's state of Tyrol ) remained or belonged to the new Republic of Austria .
    2. South Tyrol and Welschtirol , which, with the exception of a few separate municipalities, form what is today the Autonomous Region of Trentino-South Tyrol , occupied in 1918, also formally became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1919/1920 .


    According to Egon Kühebacher , the name Tyrol is based on a site name that was subsequently transferred to Dorf Tirol and Schloss Tirol and finally the entire territory of the Counts of Tyrol . As the root, er * tir starts with the meaning "area, ground, soil", which is also found in Latin ( terra ) and Old Irish ( tir ). As the first evidence , he refers to the form de Tirale from the year 1182. Accordingly, he interprets the writing Tyrol, which has been documented since 1191, as the legal evaporation of the older form to -al .

    Occasionally, a direct connection with the Roman fort name Teriolis , from which Zirl developed, is suspected , but it is probably less a derivation than a common etymon of two place names that are to be regarded as independent of each other. Karl Finsterwalder already referred to the fact that the oldest spellings that can be related to the village and castle Tyrol are Tiral (e) from the end of the 12th century , which speaks against equating the name Tyrol in the Burgrave Office with the North Tyrolean Teriolis .


    Wildspitze in the Ötztal , the highest mountain in North Tyrol ( 3768  m above sea level )
    Wildspitze in winter

    The landscape of Tyrol is shaped by the Alps .

    Tyrol's highest mountains are:

    Drainage takes place in North and East Tyrol via the Inn , Drau and Lech , all of which flow into the Danube . South Tyrol and Trentino are mainly drained by the Etsch and its tributaries. The country was divided almost exactly at the watershed .

    The Tyrol region borders Bavaria in the north, Vorarlberg and the canton of Graubünden in the west, Lombardy in the south-west, Veneto in the south and south-east, and Salzburg and Carinthia in the east .

    Municipalities of Tyrol with over 10,000 inhabitants

    N = North Tyrol, E = East Tyrol, S = South Tyrol,
    T = Trentino
    rank local community in Pop.
    01 innsbruck N 131,961
    02 Trent T 118.902
    03 Bolzano S. 107,407
    04th Meran S. 041,170
    05 Rovereto T 040,285
    06th Brixen S. 022,572
    07th Pergine Valsugana T 021,548
    08th Kufstein N 019,527
    09 Laives S. 018,029
    10 Arco T 017,927
    11 Riva del Garda T 017.602
    12th Brunico S. 016,774
    13 Telfs N 016,046
    14th Eppan S. 014,932
    15th Hall in Tirol N 014,153
    16 Worgl N 014,059
    17th black N 013,791
    18th Lana S. 012,467
    19th Lienz O 011,905
    As of Austria: January 1, 2020
    Status Italy: December 31, 2019

    coat of arms

    The heraldic animal of Tyrol is the Tyrolean eagle : In the silver shield the golden crowned and armored red eagle with golden wing clips .


    Early history

    The Tyrol area has been populated for thousands of years. The oldest finds go back to the Paleolithic and Mesolithic . The first settlers lived as hunters and gatherers until around 4000 BC. BC agriculture prevailed. The discovery of the glacier mummy Ötzi and several excavations in all parts of Tyrol bear witness to this time .

    Tyrol already had a mining culture early on. The oldest smelting was found near Brixlegg and dates from the early 4th millennium BC. In the following millennia, more mining sites, especially for copper, were built. The copper mining led to a flourishing trade, which was mainly due to the rich grave goods in the Urnfield period , e.g. B. from the burial ground Volders (approx. 1400–900 BC) prove. The trade network at that time stretched from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.

    The time from approx. 450 BC. BC to the Roman invasion is known as the La Tène period . During this time, people settled in the Tyrolean Alps who were often ousted by the Celts in the surrounding areas . These mostly peoples, who lived between Lake Como (Latin Larius , Italian Lario ) and Carinthia , were referred to by the Romans as Rathers , like the Breonen (in the inscription of the Tropaeum Alpium from 6/7 BC as Breuni mentioned, probably in the Inn Valley), Genaunen (Lower Inn Valley), Isarken (am Eisack ), Venosten (in Vinschgau ). Historians refer to the culture as the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture after the two most important sites . It had wine barrels, which were later adopted by the Romans, and its own alphabet. In addition, there are also Celtic mountain peoples, such as the Taurisker (Salzach, Zillertal, including the Tauern ), and later displaced westward trunks from the former Norikum by the Slavs . In the south, however, are the northernmost settlement areas of the Venetians .

    Roman times

    Germania in Roman times.
    Droysen: Historical hand atlas , 1886

    In the year 15 BC The area was conquered by the Roman generals Drusus and Tiberius and transferred to the Roman provinces of Raetia (Vinschgau, Burggrafenamt, Eisack Valley, Wipptal, Upper Inn Valley and parts of the Lower Inn Valley) and Noricum (Pustertal, Defereggen and parts of the Lower Inn Valley to the right of the Ziller and Inn ) divided up. Bolzano and the extreme south of the country belonged to the province of Venetia et Histria .

    During this time the Rhaetian tribes living in Tyrol adopted Vulgar Latin and combined it with their own language. This then became Ladin, which is still spoken today .

    At that time, Tyrol benefited above all from Roman long-distance trade, which was favored by the construction of paved roads such as the Via Claudia Augusta and Via Raetia . As a settlement area, Tyrol was not attractive to the Romans, as the few cities prove. The most famous Roman city on Tyrolean territory was the city of Aguntum in Noricum , which was located near Lienz .

    In late antiquity (from AD 476) Tyrol belonged to the empire of the East Germanic Ostrogoths . In 534 they left the Vinschgau with Meran up to the Passer to the West Germanic Franks. After the collapse of the Ostrogoth Empire (550/553) the West Germanic Bajuwars (Baiern) immigrated from the north , while from 568 the East Germanic Longobards conquered large parts of Italy and pushed up from the south. In today's Trentino, the former Welschtirol, they established the Lombard Duchy of Trento , which reached as far as Bolzano. Slavic settlement took place from the east , which probably reached the borders of East Tyrol until Carinthia was conquered by the Baiuwaren.

    middle Ages

    Since then, by far the largest part of Tyrol has belonged to the Duchy of Bavaria . The Bavarian-Lombard border lay immediately southwest of Bolzano . Salurn and the area to the right of the Adige, including Eppan , and Kaltern to Falschauer in Lana, became Lombard . The area to the left of the Adige and the Fassatal became Bavarian. Christianization was carried out by the bishops of Brixen and Trento . The borderline remained unchanged during the Carolingian and Ottonian times, although the Bavarian settlement also advanced in the Longobard part to Salurn. For this epoch, essentially the 7th to 9th centuries, the so-called " tribal rights " apply to the respective legal areas - the codifications are the Lex Romana Curiensis , the Lex Alamannorum , the Lex Baiuvariorum and the Leges Langobardorum - documented.

    In 1027, Emperor Konrad II separated the diocese of Trento, bordering to the south, from the Italian part of the empire (the former kingdom of the Lombards) to secure the important Brenner route and incorporated it into the German part of the empire. As a result, the right Adige Valley between Lana and Deutschmetz ( Mezzocorona ) also became part of the Duchy of Bavaria. In the course of the 12th century, the Counts of Tyrol , a Bavarian noble family, succeeded in creating their own territory in the southern part of the duchy starting from Tyrol Castle near Meran and the Vinschgau with the County of Tyrol and recognized them in the 13th century during the imperial period allow.

    The Counts of Tyrol were initially bailiffs of the bishops of Brixen and Trient, but soon expanded their land at the expense of the bishops and competing noble families (such as the Counts of Eppan ) and made themselves independent of them and of the Bavarian duke (deposition of Heinrich the Lion in 1180 ). In 1228 they ceded the Saalforste to the Wittelsbach family ; these areas still belong to Bavaria today (in terms of ownership) . In 1253 they were inherited by the Meinhardins , after the male line died out in 1335, the land came alternately to the Luxembourgers and the Wittelsbachers. In 1363 the daughter of the last Meinhardiner, Margarete Maultasch von Tirol , bequeathed her land to her closest relative, the Habsburg Rudolf, the founder, in agreement with the estates . In the Treaty of Schärding in 1369, the Wittelsbachers also recognized this decision.

    At the time of the transition to the Habsburgs, the County of Tyrol was a closed territory with about the size of today. The Lower Inn Valley below Schwaz, however, still belonged to Bavaria, the Zillertal and Brixental to Salzburg. Brixen and the Pustertal were episcopal territories and part of the county of Gorizia . Instead, the Montafon and the Lower Engadine were Tyrolean.

    Under the Habsburgs, the area was of great strategic importance, as it not only participated in many important Alpine passes , but also represented a land bridge into their Alemannic possessions . In 1406, in the course of the Habsburg divisions, it became a separate rule again, in which the estates , which in Tyrol also included the large farmers, had significant say. Friedrich IV moved his residence to Innsbruck , which from then on outstripped Merano.

    Modern times

    The Atlas Tyrolensis by Peter Anich and Blasius Hueber, 1774

    1500 coincided with the ancestral homeland of Gorizia also Lienz and the Puster Valley to the Habsburgs, and were united Tirol (strategic land bridge from Vienna to Milan). After the abandonment Duke Sigismund the country had fallen back to the main line in 1490, Innsbruck was the residence of the Roman-German king and later Emperor Maximilian I . With the acquisition of the dominions of Kufstein , Kitzbühel and Rattenberg of Bavaria after the Landshut War of Succession , the area was rounded off in 1505. In the three named judicial districts , however, the land law of Ludwig of Bavaria continued to apply until the 19th century , so that they had a special legal position within Tyrol. The Reformation originally found numerous followers in Tyrol. Among them were many radical Reformation Anabaptists such as Jakob Hutter from the Puster Valley, who founded the Hutterite movement in 1528 . Due to severe persecution, they were forced to emigrate first to Moravia and later North America, where their descendants still use a Tyrolean dialect today.

    In 1525, Tyrol got caught up in the German peasant wars . The uprising in Tyrol was led by Michael Gaismair , but crushed after two months.

    Then Emperor Ferdinand I called the Jesuits into the country in order to build a Latin school under the leadership of Petrus Canisius as part of the Counter Reformation . Thus, in 1562 today's Academic Gymnasium was founded, which is the oldest gymnasium in Western Austria and from which the University of Innsbruck emerged in 1669 .

    In the Tyrolean state code of 1532, the free pen law was forbidden and the hereditary series was generally introduced.

    In 1564 Tyrol and Upper Austria were handed over to Ferdinand II , a son of Ferdinand I, who however had no heirs due to his morganatic marriage with Philippine Welser . After his death, several governors from the Habsburg dynasty ruled, one of whom, Leopold V von Habsburg , was once again able to rise to rulership. This branch line died out again with his younger son Sigismund Franz .

    After Tyrol was hit by the “ Black Death ”, which was rampant across Europe, at the beginning of 1349 , there was a brisk immigration from today's Slovenia to compensate for the population loss. The plague raged again in 1512 and claimed 700 victims in the city of Innsbruck alone, and the area around the city was also affected. The last plague epidemic hit Tyrol between 1611 and 1612.

    In the late 16th and first half of the 17th centuries the last changes in the population structure took place until 1919, which were mainly caused by the Counter Reformation. During this time, the Italian influence in Trentino increased , which was caused on the one hand by the occupation of the parishes with Italian priests and on the other hand by the immigration from the Po Valley . This development resulted in the German / Italian language border that still exists today, south of which only the German language islands of the Zimbri remained. In the region around the Reschen Pass , the Rhaeto-Romanic language was finally displaced, which was favored by the hostility towards the mostly Protestant inhabitants of the Lower Engadine .

    In contrast to other areas of the Roman-German Empire, Tyrol was almost completely spared from the Thirty Years' War ; only in the communities of Leutasch and Seefeld were there major looting.

    In 1703, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the Bavarian soldiers advanced to Tyrol to unite with the French allied there. But they suffered a defeat at the Pontlatzer Bridge near Landeck and in the Wipptal and were driven out of the country. The Tyroleans pursued the fleeing enemies as far as Bavaria, robbed, plundered and set monasteries, villages and farms on fire.

    From the gubernators of the Habsburgs, the Wittelsbacher Karl Philipp von der Pfalz , an uncle of the Emperors Joseph I and Karl VI, ruled . 1706–1717 in Innsbruck and implemented reforms.

    In 1796/97 the French attacked Tyrol for the first time and occupied some villages, but were driven out by the Tyrolean riflemen .

    Tyrol at the time of the Bavarian rule

    With the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803, the dioceses of Bressanone and Trento were officially incorporated into the state. After the defeat by Napoléon Bonaparte , Tyrol was ceded to the Electorate of Bavaria in the Peace of Pressburg on December 26, 1805 . The Innkreis (capital Innsbruck), the Eisackkreis (Brixen and Bozen ) and the Etschkreis (Trient) were created.

    Tyrolean popular uprising

    The shooting of Andreas Hofer in Mantua on February 20, 1810

    In 1809 the resistance against Bavarian politics erupted under Count Maximilian von Montgelas in the Tyrolean popular uprising , which was led by Andreas Hofer , Josef Speckbacher and Father Joachim Haspinger . The popular uprising was also supported by the conservative clergy , but was first incited, but then abandoned, by the Austrian court in Vienna .

    The Austrians and Tyroleans suffered the decisive defeat at Wörgl on May 13th. However, there were also smaller successes of the Tyroleans, such as in the “Giggler Tobl”, where the women and children of the Paznaun region kept the Bavarian army out of their valley with stone avalanches and other primitive weapons. As a result of the defeat, the southern parts of the country (Eisackkreis and Etschkreis) came temporarily to Italy and the Illyrian provinces of France . On June 3, 1814, the country was reunited and returned to the Habsburg multi-ethnic state of Austria. The Zillertal and Brixental valleys , which had been Salzburg since ancient times , fell with Salzburg to Austria in 1805 and to Bavaria in 1810 . Only after the Treaty of Munich did the two valleys come to Tyrol in 1816 (within Austria).

    Independence from Vorarlberg

    Until the late days of the Austrian Empire , the territory was called the Fürstete Grafschaft Tirol with the Land of Vorarlberg (prince in 1493 by King Maximilian ) and comprised the territories on the Rhine, some of which had always been administered from Innsbruck, and some of those in front of Austria , which went to left over from the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

    On April 6, 1861, Vorarlberg , like all crown lands , received its own state parliament again on the basis of the February patent of Emperor Franz Joseph I , which passed laws to be approved by the emperor. However, as far as the representation of the emperor and the kk government in Vienna was concerned, the country remained under the jurisdiction of the governor in Innsbruck.

    The law and ordinance gazette for the princes of Tyrol and Vorarlberg , which was published in Innsbruck for both crown lands until 1918 , also contained the legal provisions that only concern Vorarlberg; In contrast to the Tyrolean or the legal texts applicable in both countries, they were not also printed in Italian. The Vorarlberg attempts of 1907 and 1913 to get an administration completely independent of Innsbruck were unsuccessful in the monarchy. Tyrol remained with Austria as the Fürstete Grafschaft Tirol until the end of Austria-Hungary in 1918.

    Division into north and south

    During the First World War , the mountain front ran along the southern border of Tyrol from 1915 to 1918 . In 1919, in the Peace Treaty of St. Germain , the area south of the Brenner Pass came to Italy . Regardless of the German-Italian language border, which ran much further south, Italy had claimed the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea as its northern border, the other allies had agreed to this point, not least in order to bind politically unstable Italy to itself (see the secret London treaties ). Even the division on the watershed was not adhered to, as three communities in the eastern Puster Valley , Toblach , Innichen and Sexten , whose streams partly flow into the Drava , came to Italy.

    With the seizure of power by the fascists in Italy, the National Socialists in Germany and the "annexation" of Austria to the German Empire, the rifts between North and South Tyrol widened further. In the agreement between Hitler and Mussolini , the border at the Brenner Pass was sealed, with the option of resettling the German-speaking South Tyroleans in South Tyrol, which was only partially carried out because of the war.

    Even after the Second World War , the division of Tyrol persisted - the demarcation of the peace treaty of St. Germain still exists today.

    Autonomy and European Integration

    Although further attempts after the Second World War to re-annex at least the part of the area with a German-speaking population to the Austrian Tyrol failed, based on the Gruber-Degasperi Agreement of 1948 and 1972 (1st and 2nd Statute of Autonomy), South Tyrol was able to enjoy autonomy at the same time the Trentino can be reached. The now “autonomous provinces” have received extensive competencies; in South Tyrol bilingual or trilingualism (German, Italian and Ladin) is enshrined in law.

    In the course of European integration, the Austrian state of Tyrol and the Italian autonomous province of South Tyrol regained a certain sense of belonging. With the accession of Austria and Italy to the Schengen area , all border control posts between the countries disappeared, and with the introduction of the common currency, the euro , the region grew closer together economically. In 1998 the European region Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino was founded, in which the governors of the state of Tyrol , the autonomous province of Bolzano - South Tyrol and the autonomous province of Trento preside over a state parliament for the whole of Tyrol. Since then, the work of the European Region has strengthened the common cultural identity of the region and promotes economic and political cooperation within it.

    The Ladin-speaking area around Cortina d'Ampezzo (Ladin Anpezo, German Hayden) originally also belonged to the Kronland Tirol, but was attached to the province of Belluno by the Italian fascists in 1923 . Efforts are currently being made to incorporate the communities of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Livinallongo del Col di Lana (Ladin Fodom , German Buchenstein ) and Colle Santa Lucia (Ladin Col , German Verseil ) into South Tyrol. On October 28, 2007, a referendum on this resulted in a clear majority in favor of reintegration.

    The municipality of Pedemonte was also part of the old Austrian crown land. It was added to the province of Vicenza in 1929. Valvestino and Magasa were separated from the province of Trento in 1934 and Brescia was annexed. In 2008, referendums took place in the three municipalities, which resulted in a clear vote for the restoration of the historical national borders.

    Ultimately, the Italian Parliament will decide on these reorganizations.

    For a detailed history after 1919 see the federal state of Tyrol , History of East Tyrol and History of South Tyrol .


    A well-known city in the tourism sector: Merano

    The tourism is an important industry. But the Austrian part of Tyrol recorded in 2014 more overnight stays (44.3 million) than all of Greece.

    The entire Tyrolean region also has modern industrial settlements, which are mainly characterized by Swarovski , GE Jenbacher , Tyrolit , Adler Lacke , the Plansee Group , the Felder Group and Novartis / Sandoz (in Kundl and Schaftenau ) in North Tyrol, as well as by cable car builders Leitner AG , the mountain sports group Salewa and the South Tyrolean bacon producers have made a name for themselves. South Tyrol and Welschtirol are also known for their sun-drenched valley and mountain landscapes, their wine and their fruit growing.

    Tyrol as a whole is generally a very wealthy country. South Tyrol is the richest area; In 2004 it had a per capita income of EUR 31,158 with purchasing power 40 percent above the EU-27 average. It is followed by the federal state of Tyrol with 29,461 euros and Trentino with 28,212 euros, which is still an income that is almost 27 percent above the EU average.


    The state border that runs through Tyrol is neither a language nor a cultural border. There are few differences in the cultures of Tyrol. The Salurner Klause is now considered a language border, even if it cannot be fully described as such, as there have always been German speakers in Trentino and, for a long time, Italians in southern South Tyrol and Ladins in both parts of the country. Variants of the Rhaeto-Romanic language can be found today in the Valleys of the Dolomites ( Ladin language ) as well as in the Non Valley . Until the 17th and 18th centuries, the Graubünden Romanic language was also spoken in the South Tyrolean Vinschgau and in the North Tyrolean upper court .

    The traditional culture of Trentino combines Tyrolean traditions with elements of the Italian neighbors in Veneto and Lombardy . In all parts of the country the Tyrolean music and shooting scene ( Tiroler Schützen ) is maintained. Many commonalities between the different language groups in the South and Welschtiroler (Trentino) area have also been preserved in traditional costumes, meals, festivals, and secular and religious customs.

    Universities and research institutions

    Business faculty of the University of Trento



    Independent research institutions

    Important personalities

    Gerhard Friedle as DJ Ötzi

    Political parties (selection)

    See also

    Portal: Tyrol  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Tyrol


    Web links

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    Individual evidence

    1. ^ Egon Kühebacher : The place names of South Tyrol and their history. The historically grown names of the communities, parliamentary groups and hamlets . Athesia, Bozen 1991, ISBN 88-7014-634-0 , pp. 470-471
    2. ^ Karl Finsterwalder: Review of C. Battisti - G. Giacomelli, I nomi locali del Burgraviato di Merano . In: Tyrolean toponymy. Collected essays and works , Volume 3, Wagner, Innsbruck 1990, ISBN 3-7030-0279-4 , p. 1127
    3. Peter Anreiter: Breonen, Genaunen, and Fokunaten. Pre-Roman namesake in the Tyrolean Alps . Ed .: Institute for Linguistics at the University of Innsbruck. Innsbruck 1997, ISBN 3-85124-181-9 .
    4. ^ A b Manfred Scheuch : Austria - Province, Empire, Republic. A historical atlas . Publishing house Christian Brandstätter; Licensed edition: Verlag Das Beste, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-87070-588-4 , Romanized rest of the population, p.  18/19 .
    5. Hannes Obermair : The right of the Tyrolean-Trientin 'Regio' between late antiquity and the early Middle Ages . In: Concilium Medii Aevi  9 (2006), pp. 141-158, reference pp. 147 ff. Doi: 10.2364 / 1437905809107
    6. ^ The plague: Tyrol 1611–1612. Economic history . Innsbruck City Council, 1982, ISBN 3-901886-10-9 .
    7. tirol-geschichte.tsn.at
    8. ^ Constitutional documents of Austria, Hungary and Liechtenstein 1791–1849 . Saur, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-598-44053-3
    9. ^ Tyrol (history) . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 15, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 724.
    10. Archived electronically on alex.onb.ac.at
    11. Vorarlberg became independent 90 years ago . As well as: Markus Barnay: The invention of the Vorarlberger ethnicity education and national awareness in the 19th and 20th centuries. Vorarlberger Authors Society, Bregenz 1988, ISBN 3-900754-01-2 , p. 389
    12. ^ Vorarlberg state constitutions of the 19th and 20th centuries
    13. Ranking of the federal states of Austria according to selected characteristics. Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
    14. Eurostat News Release 23/2007: Regional GDP per inhabitant in the EU25 ( PDF )