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Rankweil is located in Austria
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°16′00″N 09°39′00″E / 47.2666667, 9.65Coordinates: 47°16′00″N 09°39′00″E / 47.2666667, 9.65
Country Austria
State Vorarlberg
District Feldkirch
 • Mayor Martin Summer (ÖVP)
 • Total 21.87 km2 (8.44 sq mi)
Elevation 468 m (1,535 ft)
Population (1 January 2014)[1]
 • Total Template:Metadata population AT-8
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 6830
Area code 05522
Vehicle registration FK

Rankweil is a town in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg in the district Feldkirch. It is the second largest town in the district Feldkirch and the eighth largest town in Vorarlberg.

Rankweil is as a place of pilgrimage, known for its Basilica.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Rankweil is located in the upper Rhine Valley. It is the third most western town in Austria. The largest river of Rankweil is the Frutz from which the Mühlbach is diverted. The Mühlbach is channeled through Rankweil for utilization by ten hydroelectric plants.

The two quarters of Rankweil are Brederis and Rankweil. The town adjoines (in clockwise direction, starting from north) Koblach, Röthis, Sulz, Zwischenwasser, Laterns, Übersaxen, Satteins, Göfis, Feldkirch and Meiningen.

History[edit | edit source]

At the time of the Roman Empire, today’s Rankweil was known as "Vinomna". Vinomna was a transport hub where paved Roman roads converged, including the main road from Chur to Augsburg. Rankweil itself was first mentioned in 842.

In 1375 the Counts of Montfort sold the dominion Feldkirch, and thus Rankweil, to the Habsburgs. In 1618 Rankweil was granted market right. Since its founding in 1918, Rankweil belongs to the Austrian state of Vorarlberg.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Rankweil's current mayor is Martin Summer of the People's Party Rankweil. He is in office since 2008. The local council of Rankweil consists of 33 members.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1869 2,410
1880 2,686 +11.5%
1890 2,976 +10.8%
1900 3,304 +11.0%
1910 3,923 +18.7%
1923 3,724 −5.1%
1934 4,229 +13.6%
1939 4,447 +5.2%
1951 5,244 +17.9%
1961 6,451 +23.0%
1971 8,654 +34.1%
1981 9,926 +14.7%
1991 10,509 +5.9%
2001 11,171 +6.3%
2011 11,567 +3.5%

As of 2013, 11,741 people were registered in Rankweil. Altogether, there were 4,858 households with an average household size of 2.5 persons.[2] In total, 1,485 families live in Rankweil. Rankweil was awarded a “family plus”-community – an award from the state of Vorarlberg for family-friendly communities.

Sights[edit | edit source]

Pilgrimage church Unsere Liebe Frau Mariä Heimsuchung (Our Dear Lady Mary Visitation): The pilgrimage church, also called Basilica Rankweil, has its beginnings around 700 as a fortress church.[3] It was the center of a large parish since the 9th century. The church was badly damaged by a fire in the Old Zürich War in 1445. From 1470 onwards, the church was renewed and expanded. The center of the pilgrimage, a linden wood sculpture of Mary with her child, was also created in 1470 by sculptor Johannes Rueland. Since 1757, the sculpture is embedded in a gold-plated, Rococo-style altar. The church received the title of a Minor Basilica in 1985 and is located on the Austrian part of the Camino de Santiago. The church can also be seen on Rankweil's Coat of Arms.

St. Peter’s Church: The St. Peter’s Church is located in the old center of Rankweil and was first mentioned in 817. It was converted to Baroque-style in 1627.

Open-Air Museum “Villa Rustica”: The Villa Rustica is an agricultural estate built by Roman settlers in the first century AD and consisted of several buildings.[4] In 1954, the remains of a building equipped with an apse and a floor heating were discovered. Between 2002 and 2007, the former main building of the complex and a Roman bathhouse were uncovered.

Sigmund Nachbauer Memorial: The monument was inaugurated in 1910. It is reminiscent of Josef Sigmund Nachbauer. He commanded the Rankweiler Schützen at the time of the Napoleonic wars and was their leader in the uprising against Bavaria in 1809. He was imprisoned in 1813 and died at Fortress Ingolstadt in the same year.

Town Hall: Today's town hall still features the preserved cellar vaults of the former building from before 1500. It is owned by the community of Rankweil since 1822. It was used as a court house, a town hall, an archive, a school, a poorhouse, a bank and for teachers, community physicians and gendarmerie officers use. Since its renovation in 1998, the building serves as the town hall again.

Wine production at the Liebfrauenberg: The first mention of wine production at the Liebfrauenberg can be found in the Raetian Reichsurbar from 842. There was an especially strong period of wine production in the 14th and 15th century. Decades of failed crops, vine diseases and the construction of the Arlberg railway, which allowed for a cheap supply of wines, stopped the wine production. The production started again in 1983.

Museeum of Printmaking: The Museum of Printmaking opened in 2004.[5] It features a fully functional print shop. The main task of the museum is to document and preserve techniques of printmaking.

Natalie Beer Museum: The museum is dedicated to the poet and writer Natalie Beer, who lived in Rankweil for several decades until her death in 1987. It features personal belongings and all publications from the estate of Natalie Beer.

Culture[edit | edit source]

There are 125 clubs in Rankweil. They are active in the fields of sports, culture, music, religion and family. In the field of music, the club Altes Kino has organized concerts with national and international musicians like Zucchero, Bryan Adams, Gianna Nannini, Amy Macdonald, Dave Brubeck and Hubert von Goisern.

Events that take place in Rankweil are the autumn market, the annual fair and the Rankweil Sommer, a holiday program during the summer months with more than 40 different events. In addition, every other year a carnival parade takes place in Rankweil.

Sports[edit | edit source]

The sports infrastructure in Rankweil consists of soccer, tennis and golf courts, a skate park, a sport shooters court, an ice rink and a fitness trail.

Sport clubs from Rankweil:

  • FC Rot-Weiß Rankweil (soccer)
  • HC Rankweil (ice hockey)
  • Team Vorarlberg (cycling)

Economy[edit | edit source]

Rankweil has a high density of taverns, based on the long history as a place of pilgrimage. The share of agricultural land is about 47 percent of the total area.

Companies from Rankweil:

  • Rauch
  • Hirschmann Automotive
  • Kunert Textile Technology
  • Mahle König

Personalities[edit | edit source]

  • Mario Reiter (*1970), alpine skier and Olympic champion
  • Klaus Bodenmüller (*1962), athlete and European champion
  • Wolfgang Linder (*1961), writer and cabaret artist
  • Günter Dietrich (*1941), member of the state parliament and member of the National Council of Austria
  • Herbert Keßler (*1925), governor of Vorarlberg
  • Egmont Jenny (1924-2010), pysician, politician and publicist
  • Mathias Jenny (1865-1939), member of the local council and member of the National Council of Austria

References[edit | edit source]

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