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Absam von Westen.jpg
Coat of arms of Absam
Coat of arms
Absam is located in Austria
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°17′00″N 11°30′00″E / 47.28333°N 11.50000°E / 47.28333; 11.50000Coordinates: 47°17′00″N 11°30′00″E / 47.28333°N 11.50000°E / 47.28333; 11.50000
Country Austria
State Tyrol
District Innsbruck Land
 • Mayor Arno Guggenbichler (SPÖ)
 • Total 52.06 km2 (20.10 sq mi)
Elevation 632 m (2,073 ft)
Population (1 January 2014)[1]
 • Total 6,756
 • Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 6067
Area code 05223
Vehicle registration IL
Website www.absam.at

Absam is a municipality in the Innsbruck-Land District, Tyrol (Austria) situated at an altitude of 632 m, has an area of 52 km² and 6700 inhabitants as January 2011.[2]


Absam is placed 15 km from Innsbruck, in the lower Inn Valley (Unterinntal), at the slopes of the Zunterkopf Haller group, north of Hall in Tirol to which is connected with the regional road (Landesstraße) L 225, while the L 372 is the road connecting with Innsbruck via Mühlau, Arzl, Rum and Thaur.

It is possible to reach the village by using bus lines D and E from Innsbruck.

The highest point in the municipality is the summit of Große Bettelwurf at altitude of 2775 m.

The neighbour municipalities are: Baumkirchen, Fritzens, Gnadenwald, Hall in Tirol, Innsbruck, Mils, Tyrol, Scharnitz, Thaur, Vomp.



The origin of a prehistoric settlement in Absam is not sure, although was found a disk pommel of a sword and a brooch of copper that dates back to 1500 BC. There were not found traces of Roman settlements, but the discovery of a coin dating from the time of Diocletian, though the Romans had conquered the Tyrol in 15 AD. Of the Roman period were the place names, including "Abazanes", hence Absam. Abazanes was mentioned for the first time in 995, in a document kept in the records of the Diocese of Brixen; at that time the Bishop of Augsburg was the owner of most of the land in the region, which was administered by the Maierhof. The village, in 1282, belonged to the parish of Thaur that covered the entire region. In 1288 appeared the name "Abzan" in the register of the lands of Meinhard, Duke of Carinthia, and in the fourteenth century Absam was cited 14 times in the documents including one, on September 21, 1331, concerning the appointment of church to parish, until then affiliated with Thaur.

Absam is located in the area, along with Hall in Tirol and Thaur, salt mine, source of income for the sovereign of the time and that the documents reported the start date of the mining in 1232. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth century was culminated in the production of salt, so that in 1615 were 547 workers employed in the extraction which, benefiting from a good salary, contributed to the development of trade in the village. At the same time there was a decisive step towards the industrialization of Absam, due to the energy produced by the stream Baubach, with the opening of sawmills, forges and mills and the development of coppersmith crafts, so that the firm of Oswald Kofler provided for the production of fifteen thousand sheets of copper for the roof of the church of Schwaz. In 1809 during the Tyrolean Rebellion 73 shooters of Absam joined the Tyrolean troops under the command of Josef Speckbacher.

In 1845, Absam, opened his first factory, spinning and weaving company Faistenberger, followed by others including a foundry, a chocolate, boot, paint factories and a metal carpentry, giving an impulse to the industrial development while mining, because of new extraction techniques and lower world prices, was in decline, and as result the oldest industry in Tyrol finally closed on September 5, 1967. The Swarovski company in 1949, moved to Absam the Optik department in the neighbourhood of Eichat where, during the last war, the Wehrmacht built a barracks. [3]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1869 1,256 —    
1880 1,262 +0.5%
1890 1,242 −1.6%
1900 1,482 +19.3%
1910 1,956 +32.0%
1923 2,114 +8.1%
1934 2,473 +17.0%
1939 3,456 +39.7%
1951 3,885 +12.4%
1961 4,640 +19.4%
1971 5,361 +15.5%
1981 5,402 +0.8%
1991 5,834 +8.0%
2001 6,362 +9.1%
2011 6,700 +5.3%


The emblem of Absam is quartered, the first depicts the face of the Virgin Mary, symbolizing the divine appearance in 1797, the remaining part has been a violin on gold background, in memory of the famous luthier Jakobus Stainer, who lived in Absam. The emblem was adopted July 20, 1965. [4]


St. Michael the Archangel’s Basilica.

Religious architecture[edit]

Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel[edit]

The first documented mention of the church of St. Michael the Archangel, as parish of Absam, dates back to September 21, 1331 by decree of the Bishop of Brixen Heinrich von Taufers. In 1413, with the invasion of the Bavarii, the church was destroyed; in 1420 under the leadership of Hans Sewer from Hall in Tirol, began the reconstruction, in late Gothic style with three naves and massive columns, which was completed in 1440 .

The image impressed on the window’s glass on January 17, 1797.

Two important works of art date from this period: an altarpiece of 1470, discovered during the restoration of 1930, in late Gothic style depicting the Madonna with four women and a crucifix, said Fiegersche, dating to 1492. During the 1670 earthquake that struck the valley, the bell tower was damaged and rebuilt in 1677 replacing the pyramid roof with a dome and in 1871 the church roof was covered with copper plates. In 1776 the church was appointed as curacy and in 1779 was renovated internally in the Rococo style with frescoes by Josef Anton Zoller.

On 24 June 1797 was transferred to the Church the image of the Virgin Mary, who was impressed on the glass window of the peasant Rosina Buecher’s house on January 17, 1797; the church was then called Maria Absam Sanctuary.[5]

On June 24, 2000, the day of St. John the Baptist and the village's second patron saint, the church was proclaimed Basilica, although there had been no petition for such a change by community, becoming the first sanctuary in the Tyrol to get this designation without have been a monastery. [6]


  • Josef Feistmantl (born 1939): luger
  • Franz Fischler (born 1946): politician
  • Wolfgang Kattnig (born 1963): athlete
  • Jacob Stainer: luthier
  • Josef Speckbacher (born 1767): soldier
  • Walburga Schindl (born 1826): author
  • Ernst Vettori (born 1964): ski jumper
  • Max Weiler(born 1910): painter



Absam is home to the Swarovski Optik KG founded in 1935 by Wilhelm Swarovski, having developed an innovative process of smoothing lenses and prisms, he applied it to the production of binoculars. The first serial product "Habicht 7 x 42" is still in production and used mainly in the hunting optics. Swarovski Optik also manufactures telescopes, rifle scopes, optronic instruments, range finders and image intensifier tubes. [7]


  1. ^ Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahres- und Quartalsanfang, 2014-01-01.
  2. ^ (German) Statistik Austria: Absam
  3. ^ (German) Geschichte Tirol: Absam
  4. ^ (English) Heraldry of the World: Absam
  5. ^ (German) Gemeinde Absam: Gnadenbild
  6. ^ (German) Gemeinde Absam: Kirchengeschichte
  7. ^ (English) Swarovski Optik

External links[edit]