Dornbirn Tourist Attractions
Dornbirn, the newest and also largest town in Vorarlberg, lies only a few miles south of Bregenz at the edge of the Bregenzerwald on the edge of the wide valley of the Rhine. Since the end of the Second World War in particular it has developed to become the economic center of Vorarlberg; many well-known textile and engineering firms are established here and trade fairs are regularly held. First mentioned in records in 895 under the name of Torrinpuirron, it has existed under its current name only since 1901 and now extends right up to the Rhine.
The most notable building in the Dornbirn Marktplatz (1840), is the handsome Neo-Classical parish church with a columned entrance, painted pediment and separate Gothic belfry (1493).
Dornbirn's modern Rathausplatz lies a little to the east of the Marktplatz, with an Arts Center in the middle of a lawned area. Further east stands the district police headquarters.
Austrian Radio and Television Service
On the left bank of the Dornbirner Ache southwest of the Dornbirn town center are the studios of the ORF (the Austrian Radio and Television Service), and also the popular ice rink (skating and curling).
Dornbirn Sports Park
Downriver in Dornbirn on the left bank will be found the sports stadium, tennis courts and riding hall. These facilities can be used by sports groups which are not members of the local association.
Dornbirn Trade Fair
Near the motorway on the western edge of the town of Dornbirn lie the modern trade fairgrounds. Since 1949 export and trade fairs have been held here every year in late July and early August.
SOS Children's Village
The SOS Children's Village known as Berg der Verpflichtung ("Mountain of Duty"), founded by the well-known social reformer Hermann Gmeiner, lies above Haselstauden in the north of the town of Dornbirn.
To the south of Dornbirn rises the Karren (975m/3,199ft; inn) with fine views; there is a cableway to the top (lower station on the Gütle Road); the journey takes five minutes; on foot 1.5 hours. Ten minutes' walk from the upper station of the cableway stands the Alpe Kühberg mountain inn. There is a pleasant walk down of 1.5 hours by way of the Staufenalpe to Gütle (519m/1703ft; inn).
From Gütle it is 10 minutes' walk to the Rappenlochschlucht, a magnificent gorge through which the turbulent Ache flows. A track leads from here to the Staufensee reservoir and power station (30 minutes), and from there it is a few minutes' walk to the picturesque Alplochschlucht, with a waterfall 120m/395ft high.
From Gütle a steep and narrow mountain path leads up high above the Rappenlochschlucht to Ebnit (1,075m/3,527ft; several inns and a shelter), very popular both as a summer resort and for winter sports (ski lift). It is a further three hours' climb to the summit of the Hohe Kugel (1,645m/5,397ft).
10km/6mi east of Dornbirn lies the Bödele. From the Bödele it is an hours' walk southward to the Hochälpele (1,467m/4,813ft; alpine hut with inn open all the year round), which - like the Bödele - commands fine views. From Bödele it is some 6km/4mi down to Schwarzenberg (700-1,467m/2,300-4,813ft; pop. 1,500), a charmingly situated village with a parish church (1756), containing stations of the Cross by Johann Joseph Kauffmann and paintings of the Twelve Apostles done by his daughter Angelika when she was only 16. In 1802 Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1807) donated the altarpiece to her local church. There are objects in memory of her in the local museum, as well as exhibits reflecting the domestic culture of the Bregenzer Wald.
Opening hours: 10am-6pm
Always closed on: Epiphany (3 Kings' Day ) - Christian (Jan 6), New Year's Day (Jan 1), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Easter Monday - Christian, Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €9.00, Students €6.00, Child 15 & under €4.50
Map of Dornbirn Attractions