- CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRIA -

Kitzbühel Part 2

LINKS to other pages in the 'Christmas in Austria' site and to the Travelling Days series:

1 : Welcome to Austria
2 : Schloss Hotel Rosenegg
3 : Fieberbrunn
4 : Salzburg
5 : Innsbruck
6 : Kitzbühel
7 : Rattenburg
8 : Austrian Countryside etc.

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The first known settlers, who arrived between 1100 BCE and 800 BCE, were Illyrians mining copper in the hills near Kitzbühel. Around 15 BCE the Roman Emperor Augustus occupied the Alps and proclaimed the province Noricum. After the fall of the western Roman Empire, Bavarii settled in the Kitzbühel region around 800 and started clearing forests.

In the twelfth century the name Chizbuhel is mentioned for the first time in a document of the Chiemsee monastery. Chizzo relates to a Bavarii clan and Bühel to the location of 'a settlement upon a hill'.

Kitzbühel became part of Upper Bavaria in 1255. Louis II, Duke of Bavaria granted Kitzbühel the rights of a city on June 6, 1271, and it was fortified with large city walls. During the next few centuries the city became a centre of trade unaffected by wars. The city walls were razed to a suitable level and incorporated into the construction of new houses.

When Margarete Maultasch married Duke Louis V the Brandenburger in 1342, Kitzbühel became part of Tirol but following the Peace of Schärding (1369) it was given back to Bavaria. On June 30, 1504 Kitzbühel became part of Tirol again when Austrian Emperor Maximilian conquered Kitzbühel and Kufstein.

Kitzbühel, at the end of sixteenth century, came under the rule of the Counts of Lamberg. On May 1, 1840 Kitzbühel was given to the state of Austria. Some inhabitants participated in the Tirolean rebellion against Napoleon. Kitzbühel once more became part of Bavaria after the Treaty of Pressburg, but was reunited by the Congress of Vienna with Tirol after the fall of Napoleon .

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There are some beautiful churches in Kitzbühel. At the northern end of the old town stands the parish church (Pfarrkirche St Andreas), built during the years 1435 to 1506.

The lower part of the Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauenkirche) dates from the 13th century, the upper part from 1570.

Between these two churches stands the Ölberg Chapel (Ölbergkapelle) with a 1450 "lantern of the dead" and frescoes from the latter part of the 16th century.

The Pfarrkirche (parish church) was renovated in the baroque style during the 18th century. It is a large building with a low tower and Baroque dome. The interior has some beautiful stucco work and ceiling paintings, and 15th frescos in the choir. Adjoining the choir is the Rosakapelle, with tracery windows and a ceiling painting of St Rosa (c. 1750). Also of note is the high altar, a work by the 17th century Kitzbühel sculptor S. B. Faistenberger. ...

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The parish church (right and below)

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