Genusswandern in der Urlaubsregion Kitzbuehel, Tirol

Tradition

History of the region

Already 3000 years ago, people were active in mining in the region, the Kelchalm ruins bear witness to this time. From the Middle Ages onwards, the ancient miracle of mining brought the town of Kitzbühel and its surroundings to prosperity.

Kitzbühel’s location, on a hill above the Kitzbühel Achental valley, which runs from south to north, makes one think of times long past. Times, when the flatter surrounding countryside was uninhabitable floodplain and defensive capability was the most important requirement profile. In the Middle Ages Kitzbühel and its surrounding area formed the south-easternmost part of the Duchy of Bavaria, surrounded by foreign territories to the east, south and west.

In 2021, the city celebrates its 750th anniversary. Kitzbühel had become a firm base of Bavarian interests on the north-south trade route. Thus, on 6 June 1271, Duke Ludwig II the Strict of Bavaria granted Kitzbühel city rights. After Kitzbühel had been elevated to the status of a town, its exposed location was probably also the reason why the town was provided with a town wall. Kitzbühel did not become part of Tyrol and Austria until 1506, when the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian was able to exploit Bavarian inheritance disputes in his favour.

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the visionary & ski pioneer Franz Reisch –  the one who founded the skiing tradition in Kitzbühel in 1893, with the first ascent of the Kitzbühler Horn. Only 2 years later, the first ski races were held in Kitzbühel. This led to the construction of the first passenger gondola of the Hahnenkamm lift in 1928 and resulted in the foundation of the Kitzbühel Ski Club, or KSC for short, the organiser of the annual Hahnenkamm races, in 1931.

Already 3000 years ago, people were active in mining in the region, the Kelchalm ruins bear witness to this time. From the Middle Ages onwards, the ancient miracle of mining brought the town of Kitzbühel and its surroundings to prosperity.

Kitzbühel’s location, on a hill above the Kitzbühel Achental valley, which runs from south to north, makes one think of times long past. Times, when the flatter surrounding countryside was uninhabitable floodplain and defensive capability was the most important requirement profile. In the Middle Ages Kitzbühel and its surrounding area formed the south-easternmost part of the Duchy of Bavaria, surrounded by foreign territories to the east, south and west.

In 2021, the city celebrates its 750th anniversary. Kitzbühel had become a firm base of Bavarian interests on the north-south trade route. Thus, on 6 June 1271, Duke Ludwig II the Strict of Bavaria granted Kitzbühel city rights. After Kitzbühel had been elevated to the status of a town, its exposed location was probably also the reason why the town was provided with a town wall. Kitzbühel did not become part of Tyrol and Austria until 1506, when the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian was able to exploit Bavarian inheritance disputes in his favour.

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the visionary & ski pioneer Franz Reisch –  the one who founded the skiing tradition in Kitzbühel in 1893, with the first ascent of the Kitzbühler Horn. Only 2 years later, the first ski races were held in Kitzbühel. This led to the construction of the first passenger gondola of the Hahnenkamm lift in 1928 and resulted in the foundation of the Kitzbühel Ski Club, or KSC for short, the organiser of the annual Hahnenkamm races, in 1931.

As unique as the name is, as different are the places in the Kitzbühel Tourism Region. Whether Aurach, Jochberg, Reith or Kitzbühel – all 4 places tell their individual stories. Discover unique stories and places in Kitzbühel.

  • Kitzbühel: Take a historic walk through the 750 year old town of Kitzbühel.
  • Jochberg: Follow the 8-Brunnen path to discover the all the secret spots in Jochberg.
  • Aurach: Explore the richt history of the idylic village with its farmsteads
  • Reith: The perfect place for a family trip, enjoying the countryside and farm life.
Das Museum Kitzbühel beheimatet eine umfassende Sammlung von Künstler Alfons Walde und gibt interessante Einblicke in die Stadtgeschichte.

Museum Kitzbühel

Experiencing history

The Kitzbühel Museum, which impressively presents the history of the region from the Bronze Age to modern times, is located in the southwest tower, the oldest original wall of the city fortifications still in existence.

www.museum-kitzbuehel.at

Pioneer & Visionary
Reisch was born on 17 October 1863 and was later to go down in the history books ofthe “Gamsstadt” as a skiing pioneer, visionary, tourism promoter, mayor, businessman, hotelier and family man. He died on 6 January 1920 during a ski tour on the Kitzbühel Schattberg, where, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, a material of the ski pioneer was unveiled by his great-granddaughter Mrs. Signe Reisch, President of Kitzbühel Tourism.

When Franz Reisch, a businessman originally from Kufstein, discovered skiing in 1893, nobody thought that Reisch would change the face of the town forever. However, with ambition, daring and incredible drive, he was not only to write his own name in the history books, but also the name of the charming town of Kitzbühel. The fact that he even imported skis from Norway to Tyrol to organise his first ski race is only a side note.

The visionary succeeded with his ideas of winter tourism. Around 1900, Franz Reisch extended the Hornweg to the Kitzbüheler Horn. Thanks to him, curling and ice hockey began to be played in Kitzbühel. A few years later he also initiated the sport of tobogganing and bobsleighing, by building his own track. At the turn of the century, more skiers come to Kitzbühel in winter. Franz Reisch obtained and promoted the construction of the Grand Hotel in 1902, as well as a swimming pool at Schwarzsee. Two years later the first race of the Schijugend took place on the Schattberg. The first larger ski jump was built under the supervision of Franz Reisch, based on the model of the, then already famous, Holmenkollen in Norway.

Through the mediation and initiative of Franz Reisch, the first national and international ski championships soon took place in Kitzbühel. These races can, justifiably, be called the forerunners of the world-famous Hahnenkamm Race, which took place for the first time in 1931. A ski event of the special class, which since then has impressed millions of spectators year after year and celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2020.

The creation of an inimitable image
The famous Austrian painter and architect Alfons Walde became internationally known for his posters of idyllic winter landscapes and winter sports motifs. His pictures influenced Kitzbühel, as well as Tyrol as a whole. Walde was born on 8 February 1891 in Oberndorf. The family moved to neighbouring Kitzbühel in 1892, where Walde was headmaster, and where he died on 11 December 1958.

Alfons Walde impressively shaped the appearance of Kitzbühel with his art and his visions. Between 1920 and 1938 he staged Tyrol and Kitzbühel as a winter sports destination far beyond all borders, with his famous winter sports posters. In 1933, he created the red chamois and the Kitzbühel lettering – which to this day form the tourist emblem of the chamois town and are managed as a word-image brand by Kitzbühel Tourism. In 1950, he created the legendary ski school poster of the ski school “Rote Teufel” (Red Devils). The poster was decorated by a ski instructor in a red sweater in a wintry landscape.

Today’s cityscape of the historic Kitzbühel city centre was also shaped by Walde, who transformed the white-grey facades into their present colourful splendour, making them the landmark of Kitzbühel. The Kitzbühel Museum contains a large selection of his work with over 60 paintings and more than 100 graphics and drawings.

The Black Lightning from Kitz – figurehead of the Kitzbühel Wunderteam with Ernst Hinterseer, Hias Leitner, Christian Pravda (1927-1994), Fritz Huber (1931-2017), and Anderl Molterer.
Toni Sailer had the high point of his sporting career at the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina D’Ampezzo, where Sailer won the “Gold” in the downhill, slalom and giant slalom disciplines. After the end of his active sports career and after attending a Berlin acting school, Sailer took part in numerous film and television productions such as “King of the Silver Mountains” or “The Black Lightning”. In addition, he was a pop singer and made 18 recordings.

From 1986 to 2006 Sailer was the race director at the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel, but also the technical director of the FIS at various international alpine ski races and was also an honorary member of various sports organisations. For over 30 years, Sailer managed the children’s ski school of the “Red Devils” in Kitzbühel. In 1999, Sailer was awarded the title of Austria’s Sportsman of the Century, and in April 2009, he received the Snow Crystal of Winter Sports. 2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the death of the Kitzbühel ski hero Toni Sailer. 

Pioneer & Visionary
Reisch was born on 17 October 1863 and was later to go down in the history books ofthe “Gamsstadt” as a skiing pioneer, visionary, tourism promoter, mayor, businessman, hotelier and family man. He died on 6 January 1920 during a ski tour on the Kitzbühel Schattberg, where, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, a material of the ski pioneer was unveiled by his great-granddaughter Mrs. Signe Reisch, President of Kitzbühel Tourism.

When Franz Reisch, a businessman originally from Kufstein, discovered skiing in 1893, nobody thought that Reisch would change the face of the town forever. However, with ambition, daring and incredible drive, he was not only to write his own name in the history books, but also the name of the charming town of Kitzbühel. The fact that he even imported skis from Norway to Tyrol to organise his first ski race is only a side note.

The visionary succeeded with his ideas of winter tourism. Around 1900, Franz Reisch extended the Hornweg to the Kitzbüheler Horn. Thanks to him, curling and ice hockey began to be played in Kitzbühel. A few years later he also initiated the sport of tobogganing and bobsleighing, by building his own track. At the turn of the century, more skiers come to Kitzbühel in winter. Franz Reisch obtained and promoted the construction of the Grand Hotel in 1902, as well as a swimming pool at Schwarzsee. Two years later the first race of the Schijugend took place on the Schattberg. The first larger ski jump was built under the supervision of Franz Reisch, based on the model of the, then already famous, Holmenkollen in Norway.

Through the mediation and initiative of Franz Reisch, the first national and international ski championships soon took place in Kitzbühel. These races can, justifiably, be called the forerunners of the world-famous Hahnenkamm Race, which took place for the first time in 1931. A ski event of the special class, which since then has impressed millions of spectators year after year and celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2020.

The creation of an inimitable image
The famous Austrian painter and architect Alfons Walde became internationally known for his posters of idyllic winter landscapes and winter sports motifs. His pictures influenced Kitzbühel, as well as Tyrol as a whole. Walde was born on 8 February 1891 in Oberndorf. The family moved to neighbouring Kitzbühel in 1892, where Walde was headmaster, and where he died on 11 December 1958.

Alfons Walde impressively shaped the appearance of Kitzbühel with his art and his visions. Between 1920 and 1938 he staged Tyrol and Kitzbühel as a winter sports destination far beyond all borders, with his famous winter sports posters. In 1933, he created the red chamois and the Kitzbühel lettering – which to this day form the tourist emblem of the chamois town and are managed as a word-image brand by Kitzbühel Tourism. In 1950, he created the legendary ski school poster of the ski school “Rote Teufel” (Red Devils). The poster was decorated by a ski instructor in a red sweater in a wintry landscape.

Today’s cityscape of the historic Kitzbühel city centre was also shaped by Walde, who transformed the white-grey facades into their present colourful splendour, making them the landmark of Kitzbühel. The Kitzbühel Museum contains a large selection of his work with over 60 paintings and more than 100 graphics and drawings.

The Black Lightning from Kitz – figurehead of the Kitzbühel Wunderteam with Ernst Hinterseer, Hias Leitner, Christian Pravda (1927-1994), Fritz Huber (1931-2017), and Anderl Molterer.
Toni Sailer had the high point of his sporting career at the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina D’Ampezzo, where Sailer won the “Gold” in the downhill, slalom and giant slalom disciplines. After the end of his active sports career and after attending a Berlin acting school, Sailer took part in numerous film and television productions such as “King of the Silver Mountains” or “The Black Lightning”. In addition, he was a pop singer and made 18 recordings.

From 1986 to 2006 Sailer was the race director at the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel, but also the technical director of the FIS at various international alpine ski races and was also an honorary member of various sports organisations. For over 30 years, Sailer managed the children’s ski school of the “Red Devils” in Kitzbühel. In 1999, Sailer was awarded the title of Austria’s Sportsman of the Century, and in April 2009, he received the Snow Crystal of Winter Sports. 2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the death of the Kitzbühel ski hero Toni Sailer. 

Share this page

Eventful times

Kitzbühel – a 750-year-old city

Kitzbühel is the town that gave its name to the town in the middle of the beautiful mountain world of the Kitzbühel Alps in the north-east of Tyrol. In summer, it is an ideal starting point for walks, hikes and mountain tours. In winter, it lies in the middle of a huge ski area, which is accessible by numerous comfortable lifts.

The town is internationally known as the venue of the Hahnenkamm Races, the annual highlight of the Alpine Ski World Cup season. Kitzbühel can look back with some pride on its foundation in 1271 and a history that is as long as it is varied.
The medieval old town with its late-Gothic facades, Gothic churches and Baroque works of art impressively demonstrate the economic and cultural flowering of early modern and Baroque times associated with the mining of silver and copper. They stand for a long urban tradition and an urban awareness that can hardly be found anywhere else in the Alps and which contribute greatly to the unmistakable charm of the 750-year-old Kitzbühel.

Crisis and new beginnings in the 19th century

With the decline of mining and the slackening of baroque building activity, an epoch of economic decline began at the end of the 18th century. After the closure of the “Rerobichl” in 1772, the mines on the Schattberg and Sinwell in the immediate vicinity of the town remained in operation until the beginning of the 20th century.

Their comparatively modest dimensions and their increasing unprofitability, combined with the problems of traditional agriculture and the decline of traditional craftsmanship, led to a veritable crisis during the 19th century. Kitzbühel became a modest rural community where, according to reports from contemporaries, poverty was no exception. A certain boom only began in the last two decades of this century, when travellers discovered the beauty of the landscape around Kitzbühel.
The connection to the Austrian railway network, achieved in 1875 through the efforts of Kitzbühel’s mayor Josef Pirchl, laid the foundation stone for the development of tourism in the town. Two years later the local Alpine Club section was founded, making the Kitzbühel mountains accessible to a wider public.

Tourism success story

The pioneering work of Franz Reisch, who can be regarded as the founder of skiing in Kitzbühel, was to prove of the greatest importance for tourism and thus for the economic (re)rise of the town.

It was on his initiative that the first winter sports activities took place in the 1990s, which very soon attracted guests from home and abroad. The summer resort was joined by winter sports: the Grand Hotel, built in 1902-1903, was the first address in the city for a long time and opened its doors a few years later in winter as well.

In the 1920s and 1930s Kitzbühel was home to an international, particularly English, clientele, the most famous of which was the English heir to the throne and later short-time king Edward VIII. This first heyday of international tourism came to an abrupt end with the seizure of power by the National Socialists, who were represented in Kitzbühel in above-average numbers, and the Second World War.

The new beginning that became necessary after that time gained enormous momentum with the economic miracle of the 1950s, which is reflected on a sporting level in the successes of the Kitzbühel “Ski Wonder Team” around three-time Olympic champion Toni Sailer. Kitzbühel regains its position as a tourist metropolis, as which it is still known today.

An old Bavarian border town

Kitzbühel’s location on a hill above the Kitzbühel Achental valley, which runs from south to north, makes one think of times long past. Times when the flatter surrounding countryside was uninhabitable floodplain and defensive capability was the most important requirement profile. In the Middle Ages, Kitzbühel and its surrounding area formed the south-easternmost part of the Duchy of Bavaria, surrounded by foreign territories to the east, south and west.

This very exposed location from a Bavarian point of view is probably also the reason why Duke Ludwig II raised the town in 1271. Kitzbühel was provided with a city wall and became a firm base of Bavarian interests. The policy of the dukes of Bavaria brought some success. Kitzbühel did not become part of Tyrol and Austria until 1506, when the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian was able to exploit Bavarian inheritance disputes in his favour.

Mining centre and cultural flowering in modern times and baroque

Even during the Bavarian rule, mining was developed in the late Middle Ages as a means of earning a living, and Kitzbühel owed its first great prosperity to this. At the end of the 15th century, smelting works in which the ores could be further processed are attested.

The really big boom, however, began around 1540, when the silver and copper deposits of the “Rerobichl”, a few kilometres north of the town, were discovered. In a very short time and sometimes without permission, a large number of shafts were driven into the ground, reaching depths of up to 900 metres and long considered the deepest in the world. The enormous financial expenditure involved, however, caused the yields to decline rapidly.

The peak of mining activity was already passed before 1600. For the following period, mining nevertheless remained a guarantee for the economic well-being of the city, which was to be followed somewhat later by an intellectual and cultural boom. In the Baroque era, Kitzbühel became a centre of art, which radiated as far as the Salzburg Pinzgau and Tyrolean Inn Valley.

Grassy mountains typical of the town – agricultural basis and powerhouse

The region around Kitzbühel was already settled 3000 years ago due to its geographical location in the middle of the typical local grass mountains. These grass mountains are not only significant for the appearance of Kitzbühel. The high alpine pastures and alpine pastures that are green all the way to the summit are the basis of the region’s important agriculture and tourism. The Grasberge offer a unique hiking paradise, for a wide range of activities from enjoyable walks, panoramic hikes to trail running. In winter, a thin surface of snow is enough to unpack the boards that mean the world to many.

Alfons Walde – an eye for beauty

Alfons Walde (1891-1958) shaped the image of Tyrol as a snowy mountainous region with paintings such as “Aufstieg” and “Auracher Kirchl”. On 250 m² 60 paintings and 100 graphics in the Kitzbühel Museum pay tribute to his work. The Aurach church becomes a symbolic image of Walde and the tourist term “Tyrol”. In the middle of the farmhouses rises the tower with the onion dome. Two farm women meet at the Kirchweg. The glistening sun spans the entire picture area up to the snowy slopes above the shady part of the forest. The farm is idyllically embedded in the snow field in the background.

Particularly appealing, however, is his early work, influenced by Gustav Klimt and the confrontation with Egon Schiele, represented by a few small-format, almost square pictures such as “Gasslrennen”, “Skierinnen” and “Skilanglauf”. The local landscape with idyllic atmospheric images, striking sacred and profane buildings in Kitzbühel, scenes from religious life and the world of sport are among his impressive early motifs.

Cookie Einstellungen

All cookies used for our marketing purposes are listed here.

LinkedIn (cn_LinkedINActive)

LinkedIn uses cookies to recognize you, remember your preferences, personalize your experience, and to target advertisements, amongst other things.

Google Analytics (cn_AnalyticsActive)

Used to send data to Google Analytics about the visitor's device and behaviour. Tracks the visitor across devices and marketing channels.

Facebook (cn_FacebookActive)

Wird von Facebook genutzt, um eine Reihe von Werbeprodukten anzuzeigen, zum Beispiel Echtzeitgebote dritter Werbetreibender.