|• Mayor||Franz Xaver Angerer (ÖVP)|
|• Total||4.08 km2 (1.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||318 m (1,043 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2014)|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Schärding (help·info) is a town in northern Austrian state of Upper Austria, the capital of the district of the same name, and a major port on the Inn River. Historically, it was owned by the Wittelsbach family, which reflects in the town's architecture.
As of 1 January 2014, it had a population of 4,874.
History and features
The Bavarian family Wittlesbach owned the town until 1779. Eyewitness Travel Austria guide describes Schärding's best feature is its central square, the north end of which sits the Silbezeile row of gabled-roof houses. Other features include the large Church of St. George. The castle is gone but in its gateway there is a local museum with religious sculptures and those by Johann Peter Schwanthaler.
The town sits at an altitude of 313 meters in height in Innviertel. It measures 4.1 kilometers from north to south, 1.9 km from west to east. The total area is 4.08 km². 2.4 percent of the area is forested, 31.7 percent are used for agriculture.
The area around the current town has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. In 15 B.C., the Romans were advancing to the Danube and the Innviertel and Schärding a part of the Roman province of Noricum was populated by Celts in the area. Around 488, King Odoacer withdrew its troops to the south. West Germanic Bavarians migrated about 30 years later up the Danube and occupied the area between the Vienna Woods and Lech. Place names ending in -ing, -ham and -heim clearly indicate the change of hands. The name of the district capital Scardinga came from the name given to the settlement by a man named Skardo and his family.
As Passau farmyard scardinga Schärding was first mentioned in records in 806 as a Passau farmyard. It has been the town center of the county of the Counts of Formbach-Neuburg since the 10th century. The castle rock in the immediate vicinity of the Inn River was utilized early as a favorable geographical location to plant an attachment. From 1160 it was ruled by the Counts of Andechs, from 1248 the Wittelsbach dynasty.
Benefiting from its location by the Inn Schärding became a center of trade, particularly for salt, timber, ores, wine, silk, glass, grain, textiles and livestock.the town was granted market rights at the end of the 13th century. After many changes of ownership in the 14th century, for example on 20 January 1316 (to the Wittelsbach), on September 24, 1364 it went to Rudolf IV of the House of Habsburg. 1369 ended the peace of Schärding the dispute between Austria and Bavaria to the Tyrol, which fell to the Habsburgs who pawned the town back to Bavaria.
From 1429 to 1436 the fortifications of the city were built by Duke Ludwig the Gebarteten. Among others, the outer castle gate, the moat, Linz and Passau Gate and the Water Gate were built during this time. During the Thirty Years' War, especially in the years 1628, 1634, 1645, 1647 and 1651, the plague raged in the city.
The municipality comprises the following five localities (in parentheses population status as of October 31, 2011).
- Allerheiligen (870)
- Brunnwies (199)
- Kreuzberg (236)
- Inner city Schärding (567)
- Schärding suburbs (3004)
The residents are predominantly Roman Catholic, at 83.5 percent of the entire town population. The second largest religious community is Muslim with 5.0 percent of the population. Evangelical Christians make up 2.8 percent, whereas; 5.6 percent have no religious affiliation.
In popular culture
- Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahres- und Quartalsanfang, 2014-01-01.
- "Upper Austria: Schärding," Eyewitness Travel Austria (New York, New York: Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 2012), p. 197.
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