||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (April 2010)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
|• Mayor||Ludwig Muxel|
|• Total||90 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,444 m (4,738 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||18/km2 (47/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Lech am Arlberg is a mountain village and an exclusive ski resort in the Bludenz district in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg on the banks of the river Lech. In terms of both geography and history, Lech belongs to the Tannberg district. In tourist terms, however, it is part of the Arlberg region. Lech is administered together with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, Zug, Oberlech and Stubenbach.
Until the nineteenth century it was known as Tannberg, but subsequently the full name "Tannberg am Lech" gave rise to the present name Lech.
The church of St Nicholas in Lech, which is thought to have been built in approximately 1390, was the parish church of the Tannberg administrative district, and there was also a Tannberg district court in Lech until the dissolution of the Tannberg district in 1806.
In recent years Lech has grown to become one of the world's premier ski destinations and the home of a number of world and Olympic ski champions.
Lech is best known for its skiing (both on-piste and off-piste). It is well connected via mechanical lifts and groomed pistes with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, St Christof, St. Anton, Stuben and, with effect from the 2013/2014 winter, Warth and Schröcken - together they form the Arlberg region, the birth place of the modern Alpine skiing technique and the seat of the Ski Club Arlberg. Lech is also the starting and finishing point for "Der Weisse Ring" ("The White Ring"), a circle of runs and lifts that is a popular tour and the scene of an annual race involving both experts and others.
Lech is a popular holiday destination for Royal families and celebrities, for example Tom Cruise, Diana, Princess of Wales, and the former Queen Beatrix and the Dutch Royal family. In February 2012, Beatrix's son Prince Johan Friso was seriously injured in an avalanche while skiing in Lech.
The mountain holiday in the movie Bridget Jones' Diary 2 was shot in Lech.
Although not as well frequented in the summer as it is in the winter, Lech nevertheless has much to offer the summer visitor, in terms of sporting, cultural, culinary and other activities. There are many premier hotels in Lech, as well as numerous top class restaurants.
Lech has a number of points of cultural interest, including:
- the church of St Nicholas, which was built in the gothic style in approximately 1390 and was extensively renovated in 1987. Particular features are the rococo interior dating from 1791 (although some earlier romanesque frescoes can also be seen); the 33 metre high tower with its distinctive onion-shaped dome; and bronze bells of which the oldest dates from the beginning of the sixteenth century
- the historic Huber House, now a museum, which was built in 1590 and shows examples of the earlier way of life and work, including the original kitchen and workshop
- one hundred life sized human sculptures by the sculptor Antony Gormley, which have recently been placed in the mountains surrounding Lech, at an altitude of 2039 metres. They will be displayed on the mountain until April 2012.
- Trudi Beiser, 1940s and 1950s Olympic skiing champion and World skiing champion
- Othmar Schneider, 1950s Olympic skiing champion
- Egon Zimmermann, 1960s Olympic skiing champion and World skiing champion
- Patrick Ortlieb, 1990s Olympic skiing champion and World skiing champion
- Herbert Jochum, Trainer of American Womens Olympic Ski Team (Zürs)
- Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado, United States of America
- Kampen, Sylt, Germany
- Hakuba, Happo, Japan
- Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahres- und Quartalsanfang, 2013-01-01.
- "Dutch Prince Johan Friso buried alive by avalanche in Austria". Daily Telegraph. 17 Feb 2012.
Media related to Lech (Vorarlberg) at Wikimedia Commons
- Postcards from Lech
- Official web site of Lech am Arlberg
- Official Page of Lech am Arlberg
- Official Panoramic virtual tours of Lech