Vorarlberg
Overview
 
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state
States of Austria
Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder . Since Land is also the German word for a country, the term Bundesländer is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms...

 (Land) of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area (Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 is the smallest) and population (Burgenland
Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

 is less populated), it borders three countries: Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

 via Lake Constance
Lake Constance
Lake Constance is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee , the Untersee , and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps...

), Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 (Graubünden
Graubünden
Graubünden or Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares borders with the cantons of Ticino, Uri, Glarus and St. Gallen and international borders with Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein...

 and St. Gallen
Canton of St. Gallen
The Canton of St. Gallen is a canton of Switzerland. St. Gallen is located in the north east of Switzerland. It covers an area of 2,026 km², and has a population of . , the population included 97,461 foreigners, or about 20.9% of the total population. The capital is St. Gallen. Spelling...

) and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

. The only Austrian federal state that shares a border with Vorarlberg is Tyrol
Tyrol (state)
Tyrol is a state or Bundesland, located in the west of Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historical region of Tyrol.The state is split into two parts–called North Tyrol and East Tyrol–by a -wide strip of land where the state of Salzburg borders directly on the Italian province of...

 to the east.

The capital of Vorarlberg is Bregenz
Bregenz
-Culture:The annual summer music festival Bregenzer Festspiele is a world-famous festival which takes place on and around a stage on Lake Constance, where a different opera is performed every second year.-Sport:* A1 Bregenz HB is a handball team....

 (28,000 inhabitants), although Dornbirn
Dornbirn
Dornbirn is a city in Vorarlberg, Austria. It is the administrative center of the district Dornbirn, which also includes the city of Hohenems, and the market town Lustenau....

 (45,000 inhabitants) and Feldkirch
Feldkirch, Vorarlberg
- Schools :* Bundesgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium Feldkirch * Bundeshandelsakademie und Bundeshandelsschule Feldkirch* Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium Schillerstrasse...

 (30,000 inhabitants) are larger cities in terms of population.
Encyclopedia
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state
States of Austria
Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder . Since Land is also the German word for a country, the term Bundesländer is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms...

 (Land) of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area (Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 is the smallest) and population (Burgenland
Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

 is less populated), it borders three countries: Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

 via Lake Constance
Lake Constance
Lake Constance is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee , the Untersee , and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps...

), Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 (Graubünden
Graubünden
Graubünden or Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares borders with the cantons of Ticino, Uri, Glarus and St. Gallen and international borders with Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein...

 and St. Gallen
Canton of St. Gallen
The Canton of St. Gallen is a canton of Switzerland. St. Gallen is located in the north east of Switzerland. It covers an area of 2,026 km², and has a population of . , the population included 97,461 foreigners, or about 20.9% of the total population. The capital is St. Gallen. Spelling...

) and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

. The only Austrian federal state that shares a border with Vorarlberg is Tyrol
Tyrol (state)
Tyrol is a state or Bundesland, located in the west of Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historical region of Tyrol.The state is split into two parts–called North Tyrol and East Tyrol–by a -wide strip of land where the state of Salzburg borders directly on the Italian province of...

 to the east.

The capital of Vorarlberg is Bregenz
Bregenz
-Culture:The annual summer music festival Bregenzer Festspiele is a world-famous festival which takes place on and around a stage on Lake Constance, where a different opera is performed every second year.-Sport:* A1 Bregenz HB is a handball team....

 (28,000 inhabitants), although Dornbirn
Dornbirn
Dornbirn is a city in Vorarlberg, Austria. It is the administrative center of the district Dornbirn, which also includes the city of Hohenems, and the market town Lustenau....

 (45,000 inhabitants) and Feldkirch
Feldkirch, Vorarlberg
- Schools :* Bundesgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium Feldkirch * Bundeshandelsakademie und Bundeshandelsschule Feldkirch* Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium Schillerstrasse...

 (30,000 inhabitants) are larger cities in terms of population. Vorarlberg is also distinct in that it is the only province in Austria that does not speak an Austro-Bavarian, but rather an Alemannic dialect; it therefore culturally has much more in common with its Alemannic-speaking neighbors Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Swabia
Swabia
Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany.-Geography:Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined...

 than with Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and the rest of Austria.

Geography

The main river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s in Vorarlberg are the Ill
Ill (Austria)
The Ill is a 72 km long tributary of the Rhine river in the western Austrian province of Vorarlberg.It flows from the northern slopes of the Silvretta mountain range and then runs north-west through Vorarlberg. The Ill passes through the Montafon and Walgau valleys and the town Feldkirch...

 (running through the Montafon
Montafon
Montafon is a valley in Austria that extends from the city of Bludenz to the Silvretta mountain range. It is also known in the local dialect as Muntafu....

 and Walgau valleys into the Rhine), the Rhine (forming the border to Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

), the Bregenzer Ach
Bregenzer Ach
The Bregenzer Ache is the main river of the Bregenzerwald, in the Vorarlberg state of Austria. It is a tributary to the Lake Constance....

 and the Dornbirner Ach
Dornbirner Ach
Dornbirner Ach is a river in Vorarlberg, Austria, with its source up in the valley near the alpine village Ebnit. It flows through the famous "Rappenlochschlucht" gorge straight to Dornbirn, cuts through the town and the meanders off over a broad meadow landscape, the Lauterach Ried, finally...

. Important lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s, apart from Lake Constance are Lüner Lake, Silvretta Lake, Vermunt Lake, Spuller Lake, the Kops Basin and Formarin Lake; the first four were created for the production of hydroelectric energy. However even before the dam for the power plant was built, Lüner Lake was the largest mountain lake in the Alps. Most of this hydroelectric energy is exported to Germany at peak times. At night energy from power plants in Germany is used to pump water back into some of the lakes.

As there are several notable mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

s in Vorarlberg, such as the Silvretta
Silvretta
The Silvretta Alps are a mountain range of the Central Eastern Alps shared by Tirol, Vorarlberg and Graubünden . The Austrian states of Tirol and Vorarlberg are connected by a pass road . The majority of the peaks are elevated above three thousand metres and are surrounded by glaciers...

, the Rätikon
Rätikon
The Rätikon is a mountain range of the Central Eastern Alps located at the border between Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein and Graubünden. It is the geological border between the Eastern and Western Alps and stretches from the Montafon as far as the Rhine. In the south, the Prättigau is its limit, in the...

, the Verwall
Verwall Alps
The Verwall Alps or Verwall Group are a mountain range of the Central Eastern Alps at the border of the Austrian states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg.It includes the following peaks:*Patteriol 3,059 metres...

 and the Arlberg
Arlberg
Arlberg is a mountain range or massif between Vorarlberg and Tyrol in Austria.The highest peak is the "Valluga" at . The name Arlberg derives from the tradition of the "Arlenburg," who are said to have once established themselves on the Tyrolean side of the Arlberg passes . Another story derives...

, there are many famous skiing regions (Arlberg, Montafon, Bregenzer Wald) and ski resorts (Lech, Zürs, Schruns, Warth, Damüls, Brand and many more). Damüls is also famous as the municipality with the most annual snowfall worldwide (on average 9.30 meters). The highest mountain is Piz Buin
Piz Buin
Piz Buin is a mountain in the Silvretta range of the Alps on the border between Austria and Switzerland. It forms the border between the Swiss canton of Graubünden and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and is the highest peak in Vorarlberg....

, whose rocky peak of 3,312 meters is surrounded by glaciers. Vorarlberg is supposed to enjoy the greatest scenic diversity within limited confines in the entire Eastern Alps; it adjoins the Western Alps. The distance from Lake Constance and the plains of the Rhine valley across the medium altitude and high alpine zones to the glaciers of the Silvretta range is a mere 90 km.

Administrative divisions

Vorarlberg is divided into four large districts, from north to south: Bregenz
Bregenz (district)
The Bezirk Bregenz is an administrative district in Vorarlberg, Austria. It comprises the Bregenzerwald region, the Leiblach valley, and the Austrian part of Lake Constance....

, Dornbirn
Dornbirn (district)
The Bezirk Dornbirn is an administrative district in Vorarlberg, Austria. It is a rather young district, which was split from the Feldkirch district only in 1969....

, Feldkirch
Feldkirch (district)
The Bezirk Feldkirch is an administrative district in Vorarlberg, Austria.Area of the district is 278.26 km², population is 98,717 , and population density 350 persons per km²...

 and Bludenz
Bludenz (district)
The Bezirk Bludenz is an administrative district in Vorarlberg, Austria.Area of the district is 1,287.52 km², population is 60,471 , and population density 47 persons per km²...

. These districts appear on the automobile license plates
Austrian car number plates
- Appearance :The license plates are made of metal. On the left there is a blue bar like in other EU countries ; the text is in black letters on a white background. On the top and bottom, there are red-white-red stripes, which are the national colors of Austria...

 in the form of abbreviations: B, DO, FK and BZ.

Economy

For several years, the Vorarlberg economy has been performing well above the Austrian average. While the overall Austrian GDP in 2004 rose by a "mere" 2.0% in real terms, Vorarlberg recorded an increase of 2.9%. This came as a surprise, particularly as the major trading partners in Germany and Italy did not fare well. Owing to this robust economic performance, Vorarlberg was able to boost its gross regional product in 2004 to 11.5 billion EUR according to the Economic Policy Department of the Vorarlberg Chamber of Trade. This translates into a nominal increase of 5.0% (cf Austria as a whole +4.0%). The regional product per inhabitant in Vorarlberg is 31,000 EUR, exceeding the Austrian national average by 8%. Vorarlberg and especially the Rhine Valley is one of the wealthiest areas of the world, with a very high standard of living.
In addition to the flourishing textile, clothing, electronics, machinery and packing materials industries of the Rhine Valley
Rhine Valley
The Rhine Valley is a glacial alpine valley, formed by the Alpine Rhine , i.e. the section of the Rhine River between the confluence of the Anterior Rhine and Posterior Rhine at Reichenau and its mouth at Lake Constance....

, there is also a broad agricultural base, especially in the Bregenzerwald
Bregenzerwald
Bregenzerwald is one of the main regions in the state of Vorarlberg, Austria. Geologically, the Bregenzerwald is a mountain range of the Northern Limestone Alps, specifically the northern flysch zone. It is the drainage basin of the Bregenzer Ach river....

, which is noted for its dairy products ("Bregenzerwälder Cheese Route") and tourism. The tourist industry employs a considerable number of Vorarlbergers. The greatest tourist attractions are the mountains and the numerous ski resorts, the largest (and most famous) of which are:
  • the Bregenzerwald
    Bregenzerwald
    Bregenzerwald is one of the main regions in the state of Vorarlberg, Austria. Geologically, the Bregenzerwald is a mountain range of the Northern Limestone Alps, specifically the northern flysch zone. It is the drainage basin of the Bregenzer Ach river....

    ,
  • the Arlberg
    Arlberg
    Arlberg is a mountain range or massif between Vorarlberg and Tyrol in Austria.The highest peak is the "Valluga" at . The name Arlberg derives from the tradition of the "Arlenburg," who are said to have once established themselves on the Tyrolean side of the Arlberg passes . Another story derives...

     region (including the high-class ski resorts Lech
    Lech am Arlberg
    Lech am Arlberg is a mountain village and an exclusive ski resort in the Bludenz district of Vorarlberg, in western Austria, on the banks of the river Lech. In terms of both geography and history, Lech belongs to the Tannberg district...

     and Zürs
    Zürs
    Zürs at the Flexenpass is a ski resort consisting of only a couple of hotels in Vorarlberg, Austria. Zürs is part of the Arlberg ski region and famous for its skiing, especially its backcountry skiing and its Olympic skiing champions...

    ),
  • the Brandnertal, and
  • the Montafon
    Montafon
    Montafon is a valley in Austria that extends from the city of Bludenz to the Silvretta mountain range. It is also known in the local dialect as Muntafu....

    .

Famous skiers from these regions include Anita Wachter
Anita Wachter
Anita Wachter is a former World Cup alpine ski racer.She won the World Cup overall title in 1993 and the giant slalom title twice...

, Egon Zimmermann
Egon Zimmermann
Egon Zimmermann , often referred to as Egon Zimmermann II, is a former alpine skier from Austria...

, Gerhard Nenning, Mario Reiter
Mario Reiter
Mario Reiter is a former alpine skier from Austria. He won the gold medal in the combined event at the 1998 Olympics of Nagano. He retired from alpine skiing after the 2000/2001 season.-World Cup victories:...

, Hubert Strolz
Hubert Strolz
Hubert Strolz Hubert Strolz Hubert Strolz (born June 26, 1962 in Warth is a former alpine skier from Austria. At the 1988 Olympics in Calgary he won a gold medal in the combined and silver in the Giant Slalom. In the World Cup, he won a combined competition January 17, 1988, in Bad Kleinkirchheim...

, Hannes Schneider
Hannes Schneider
Johann "Hannes" Schneider was an Austrian Ski instructor of the first half of the twentieth century.He was born in the town of Stuben am Arlberg in Austria as a son of a cheese maker. In 1907 he became a ski guide at the Hotel Post in St. Anton, Austria where he began work on what became known as...

 and the ski-jumper Toni Innauer
Toni Innauer
Anton Innauer is an Austrian former ski jumper who competed during the late 1970s and early 1980s....

.

Demographics

The population of Vorarlberg is 372,500. The majority (86%) of residents are of Austrian-Germanic stock with a cultural connection with Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

 to the west and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 to the north. A sizable proportion of the population's ancestors came from the Swiss canton of Valais
Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

 in migrations of "Walser
Walser
The Walser are German-speaking people who live in the Alps of Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria. The Walser people are named after the Wallis , the uppermost Rhône River valley...

s", including the Swiss French
Swiss French
Swiss French is the name used for the variety of French spoken in the French-speaking area of Switzerland known as Romandy. Swiss French is not to be confused with Franco-Provençal/Arpitan or Romansh, two other individual Romance languages spoken in areas not far from Romandy.The differences...

 in the 19th century by invitation during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Religion

78% of the population is Roman Catholic, which puts Vorarlberg in line with national Austrian average of (73.6%). The second largest religious denomination is Islam which has a share of 8.4% (mainly Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 immigrants). 7,817
Vorarlberg inhabitants are Protestant (2.2%).

Language

Owing to their location isolated from the rest of Austria, most people in Vorarlberg speak a very distinct German dialect that other Austrians have a hard time understanding. It is one of the Alemannic dialects that include Swiss German
Swiss German
Swiss German is any of the Alemannic dialects spoken in Switzerland and in some Alpine communities in Northern Italy. Occasionally, the Alemannic dialects spoken in other countries are grouped together with Swiss German as well, especially the dialects of Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg...

 but are also spoken in Liechtenstein, Baden-Württemberg and the Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 region of France. The dialects in the rest of Austria form part of the Bavarian-Austrian language group. In fact many towns and even villages in Vorarlberg have their own distinct sub-dialects.

History

Before the Romans conquered Vorarlberg, there were two Celtic tribes settled in this area: the Raeti inhabiting the highlands, and the Vindelici dwelling in the lowlands, i.e. the Lake Constance region and the Rhine Valley. One of the important settlements of the Vindelici was Brigantion (today Bregenz), founded around 500 BC. It was conquered by the Romans in 15 BC.

Vorarlberg was once part of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in the Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 of Raetia
Raetia
Raetia was a province of the Roman Empire, named after the Rhaetian people. It was bounded on the west by the country of the Helvetii, on the east by Noricum, on the north by Vindelicia, on the west by Cisalpine Gaul and on south by Venetia et Histria...

; it then fell under the rule of the Bavarians. Subsequently, the region was settled by the Bavarians and the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 and later fell under the rule of the Counts of Montfort until 1525, when the Habsburgs took control.

The historically Germanic province, which was a gathering together of former bishoprics, was still ruled in part by a few semi-autonomous count
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

s and surviving bishoprics until the start of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Vorarlberg was a part of Further Austria
Further Austria
Further Austria or Anterior Austria was the collective name for the old possessions of the House of Habsburg in the former Swabian stem duchy of south-western Germany, including territories in the Alsace region west of the Rhine and in Vorarlberg, after the focus of the Habsburgs had moved to the...

, and parts of the area were ruled by the Counts Montfort of Vorarlberg
Montfort of Vorarlberg
The Counts of Montfort were a German noble dynasty landed in Swabia. The influential and wealthy counts of Montfort had their name from an ancestral castle, Montfort, which was situated quite close to today's Swiss border near Götzis in the present-day Austrian state of Vorarlberg.They held the...

.

Following World War I there was a desire by many in Vorarlberg to join Switzerland. In a referendum held in Vorarlberg on 11 May 1919, over 80% of those voting supported a proposal for the state to join the Swiss Confederation. However this was prevented by the opposition of the Austrian government, the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

, Swiss liberals
Liberalism and radicalism in Switzerland
This article gives an overview of liberalism and radicalism in Switzerland. It is limited to liberal and radical parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme...

, the Swiss-Italians and the Swiss-French.

After the Second World War, between 1945 and 1955, Vorarlberg found itself occupied by French troops
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

, along with most of the Tirol province.

External links

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