Bregenz City Travel Guide
The town of Bregenz is located on the Austrian Bodensee close to the four-border corner of Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The roots of this capital of Vorarlberg can be found in Roman times. Bregenz was the military fort and base of trade known as Brigantinum. Around 610 AD it was conquered and destroyed by the Allmanni. From the 10th century onwards Bregenz became the seat of Count Uldarichinger and started flourishing and extending in the 13th and 14th centuries. Bregenz was acquired by the Habsburgs in two halves one in 1451 and one in 1523. During the 18th to the 19th centuries the transport network was expanded enormously through rail and steamship connections. In 1923 Bregenz became the capital of Vorarlberg and in 1945 it was severely damaged by French troops, around 72 homes were destroyed.
Today, Bregenz is home to around 27,000 people. With its location on the Bodensee and in the Alps it has bi-seasonal tourism with around 230,000 people from all around the world staying in the town. The economy is dominated by small businesses, especially in the textile industry.
The Upper town district is the oldest, with buildings from the 13th through to the 16th century. In this part of town you can still find parts of the original fortifying town walls. The Martin's Tower is the landmark of Bregenz, a building with a late Roman core and mainly baroque style architecture. The fresco in the chapel dates back to 1362. A further very impressive building is the gothic parish church of St. Gall, with a Roman-Romanesque foundation dating from before 1380 and a Baroque altar.
The biggest cultural event is the Bregenz Festival in the summer, with operas and plays, held on a stage build on the Bodensee itself.