Bregenz

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Bregenz im Bezirk B.png

Coordinates: 47°30′18″N 09°44′57″E / 47.505°N 9.74917°E / 47.505; 9.74917

Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost federal state of Austria. The city is located on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, between Switzerland in the west and Germany in the northwest.

The city is situated on a plateau falling in a series of terraces to the lake at the foot of Pfänder mountain. It is a junction of the arterial roads from the Rhine valley to the German Alpine foothills, with cruise ship services on Lake Constance.

Bregenz is twinned with Bangor in Northern Ireland, and various exchange trips take place between the two places. Another twin town is Acre in Israel.

It is especially famous for the annual summer music festival Bregenzer Festspiele.

Contents

History

The first settlements date from 1500 BC. In the 5th century BC, the Celts settled at Brigantion, which was one of their most heavily fortified locations. After battles in 15 BC, the Romans conquered Brigantion and the city became a Roman camp. It was conferred the status of a municipality (Brigantium) around AD 50 and was the seat of the Roman admiralty for Lake Constance. In 259/60 Brigantium was destroyed by the Alemanni, a Germanic people who settled in the area in around 450.

From 610 to 612 St. Columbanus and Saint Gall worked as missionaries in Bregenz. From 917 the castle served as a residence of the Udalrichinger (ruling dynasty of Vorarlberg), who called themselves Counts of Bregenz. The house died out around 1150. The son of the first Ulrich was Saint Gebhard, born in 947. He became Bishop of Konstanz and was later known as the patron of the pregnant women. In around 1170 Hugo of Tübingen (Montfort) founded a town settlement (first documented mention in 1249), enlarged in the 13th and 14th century and from 1650 to 1652.

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