Lech (Vorarlberg)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Lech am Arlberg)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lech village 2005.jpg
Location in the district
Location in the district
Lech is located in Austria
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°12′00″N 10°09′00″E / 47.20000°N 10.15000°E / 47.20000; 10.15000Coordinates: 47°12′00″N 10°09′00″E / 47.20000°N 10.15000°E / 47.20000; 10.15000
 • MayorLudwig Muxel
 • Total90.03 km2 (34.76 sq mi)
1,444 m (4,738 ft)
 • Total1,568
 • Density17/km2 (45/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code05583
Vehicle registrationBZ

Lech am Arlberg is a mountain village and an exclusive ski resort in the Bludenz district in the westernmost 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 touristic terms, however, it is part of the Arlberg region. Lech is administered together with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, Zug, Oberlech and Stubenbach. The municipality is an internationally known winter sports resort on the Arlberg mountain range and caters to wealthier clientele, particularly to the international jet set and foreign royalty. The Dutch royal family[3] and Russian oligarchs regularly ski there. Lech am Arlberg is one of the 12 members of the elite group "Best of the Alps".[4]


Lech was settled and founded in the first half of the 14th century by Walser migrants from the canton of Wallis in Switzerland. Until the nineteenth century, it was known as "Tannberg". Subsequently, the full name "Tannberg am Lech" gave rise to the present name "Lech".

The church of St Nicholas, which is thought to have been built around 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 decades, the once small town has developed into a flourishing community, thanks to the influence of winter tourism and, increasingly, by summer tourism.[5]


Historical population


Lech has a subarctic climate, bordering on a humid continental climate with cold winters and cool summers. The heavy snows which fall in winter make Lech a sought-after ski resort.

Climate data for Lech, Vorarlberg (1440 m; average temperatures 1982 – 2012) Dfc, bordering on Dfb.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −0.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.5
Average low °C (°F) −8.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 59
Source: "Lech climate data".

Ski centre[edit]

In recent years Lech has grown to become one of the world's prime 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-networked via mechanical lifts and well-groomed pistes with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, St. Christoph, St. Anton, Stuben, Warth, and Schröcken. All these villages are located in the Arlberg region, the birthplace of the modern Alpine skiing and the seat of the Ski Club Arlberg. It is one of the most extensive connected ski areas in Austria and one of the largest in Europe.

Lech is also the starting and finishing point for The White Ring, a circle of runs and lifts that is a popular tour and the scene of an annual race involving 1,000 participating ski racers. With its 22 km, it is considered the longest ski circuit in the world.[6]

The mountain holiday scenes in the movie Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason were shot in Lech.[7]

FIS World Cup in Alpine Skiing[edit]

The ski area Lech-Zürs has been the venue for numerous FIS Alpine World Ski Championship races in the past, including the following:[8]

After a pause of 26 years, alpine ski races will be held again in Lech in November 2020.[9][10] The races, consisting of parallel ski races for men and women, as well as a mixed team event,[11] will take place on November 14 and 15 in the Flexenarena Zürs.


Cultural sites[edit]

Church St Nicholas of Lech

Although not as well-frequented in the summer as it is in the winter, Lech nevertheless has sporting, cultural, culinary, and other activities. There are many premier hotels in Lech, as well as numerous top class restaurants.

One former well-known visitor was the writer Ludwig Bemelmans (author of the Madeline books), whose 1949 novel The Eye of God was set in a fictionalised Lech.[12]

Lech has a number of points of cultural interest, including:

  • the church of St Nicholas, which was built in the Gothic style around 1390, and extensively renovated in 1987. Particular features are the Rococo interior dating from 1791 (although there are some earlier Romanesque frescoes); the 33-metre-high tower with its distinctive onion-shaped dome; and bronze bells, the oldest of which dates from the beginning of the sixteenth century,[13]
  • the historic Huber House, now a museum, was built in 1590; it displays examples of the earlier way of life and work in the region, with a traditional kitchen and workshop,[14]
  • "Horizon-Fields": life-sized human sculptures by the sculptor Antony Gormley, which were placed in the mountains surrounding Lech. Originally numbering 100, most were removed in April 2012,[15]
  • The Green Ring: a three-day tour around Lech-Zürs in Vorarlberg, in which a person well-versed in local literature serves as a hiking guide. Along the trail there are 35 art installations dealing with local people, culture and stories. This was originally a LEADER-Project, carried out by the two artists Daniela Egger and Daniel Kocher. The art and literature project "The Green Ring" will be continuously and sustainably expanded and extended in the coming years,[16]
  • The Skyspace Lech is an art installation by James Turrell. A skyspace is an enclosed space which is open to the sky through a large hole in the ceiling. Visitors gaze at the changing light colors on the walls, and at the sky during sunrise and sunset. It was opened in 2018.[17]

Regular events[edit]

Sign for the White Ring circuit
  • The White Ring (Der Weiße Ring) is the longest ski race in the world, according to Guinness Book of Records. 5,500 metres altitude, 22 kilometres of ski runs. Ski pioneer Sepp Bildstein was the initiator of the White Ring, the ski resort that has connected the villages of Lech, Zürs, Zug and Oberlech for over 50 years.[18] In 1940, the first ski lift was built on the White Ring, thus laying the foundations for a legendary skiing holiday resort. In addition to 22 kilometres of ski runs, the winter sports enthusiast have a unique mountain backdrop, also thanks to viewing platforms and art installations. The first race at the White Ring was held in 2006 for the 50th anniversary of the ski resort. The course record is 44:10:75 minutes and has been held since 2010 by Markus Weiskopf.[19]
  • Philosophicum Lech: The Philosophicum Lech is a philosophical symposium on philosophical, cultural and social science reflection, discussion and encounter. The well-endowed Tractatus prize is awarded to the best scientific essay.[20]
  • Medicinicum Lech: A public health event that deals with topics related to health and nutrition.[21]
  • Arlberg Classic Car Rally: In 2017, for the eighth time, 120 classic cars from 1908 to 1973 went on tour between Arlberg and Zugspitze for three days, as a rolling museum. In memory of the great achievements of the former road builders, the beginning of the really leads from Lech down through the Flexenpassgalerie to Stuben and finally to Wald am Arlberg. The route between Lech and Zürs was opened in 1897 and is regarded as a technical masterpiece.[22]

Notable people[edit]



Sister cities[edit]

In fiction[edit]

Lech is at the location of the fictitious thriller An Exchange of Eagles by Owen Sela, in which a group of German and American conspirators tries to assassinate Adolf Hitler during the dictator's stay at the resort in 1940.

The action in the detective novel Crossed Skis - An Alpine Mystery by Carol Carnac, who also wrote as E. C. R. Lorac, takes place in London and Lech, with a party of English skiers. First published in 1952, it was republished in 2020 as part of the British Library Crime Classics series.

Lech was one of the filming locations of the 2004 movie Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, with Renée Zellweger.[23][24]


  1. ^ "Dauersiedlungsraum der Gemeinden Politischen Bezirke und Bundesländer - Gebietsstand 1.1.2018". Statistics Austria. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Einwohnerzahl 1.1.2018 nach Gemeinden mit Status, Gebietsstand 1.1.2018". Statistics Austria. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  3. ^ Affairs, Ministry of General (29 January 2019). "Photo session in Lech – News item – Royal House of the Netherlands". www.royal-house.nl. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Lech Zürs am Arlberg". Best of the Alps. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Historische Hintergründe: Webseite Gemeinde Lech am Arlberg". gemeinde.lech.eu. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Der Weiße Ring – Die Runde | Lech Zürs am Arlberg". Lech Zürs. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  7. ^ Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), retrieved 22 May 2017
  8. ^ "ZÜRS BEKOMMT WELTCUP ZUSCHLAG". Lech Zürs (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  9. ^ red, vorarlberg ORF at (23 November 2019). "Zürs bekommt Zuschlag für Weltcup-Rennen". vorarlberg.ORF.at (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  10. ^ "FIS SKI World Cup". Lech Zürs. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  11. ^ "ZÜRS TO HOLD WORLD CUP SKI RACES – Ski-Club Arlberg". Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  12. ^ Heinrich, Birgit (August 2019). "Walserheimat in Vorarlberg, Tirol und Liechtenstein" (PDF). Walserheimat. 105: 66–69. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  13. ^ "St. Nikolaus Kirche Lech". Lechweg (in German). Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Lechmuseum – Huber-Hus". Lechmuseum (in German). Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  15. ^ "KUNSTHAUS BREGENZ – HORIZON FIELD". www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  16. ^ Arlberg, Lech Zürs am. "The Green Ring – Der Grüne Ring". www.dergruenering.at (in German). Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Skyspace Lech • Skyspace Lech". Skyspace Lech. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Der Weiße Ring". www.derweissering.at (in German). Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  19. ^ Citation error. See inline comment how to fix.[verification needed]
  20. ^ Vorarlberg/Agenturen, O. R. F. (26 September 2019). "Philosophicum Lech: "Aktuell und brisant"". vorarlberg.ORF.at (in German). Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  21. ^ Arlberg, Lech Zürs am. "Medicinicum Lech". www.lech-zuers.at. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  22. ^ GmbH, Lech Zür Toursimus. "- Der Grüne Ring". www.arlbergclassic-car-rally.at (in German). Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Movie Hiker | Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason Filming Locations and Sets".
  24. ^ https://vbgv1.orf.at/magazin/klickpunkt/stories/4773/index.html

External links[edit]