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Austria 014.jpg
Coat of arms of Rattenberg
Coat of arms
Rattenberg is located in Austria
Location within Austria
Location within Kufstein district


Coordinates: 47°26′20″N 11°53′36″E / 47.43889°N 11.89333°E / 47.43889; 11.89333Coordinates: 47°26′20″N 11°53′36″E / 47.43889°N 11.89333°E / 47.43889; 11.89333
Country Austria
State Tyrol
District Kufstein
 • Mayor Franz Wurzenrainer
 • Total 0.11 km2 (0.04 sq mi)
Elevation 521 m (1,709 ft)
Population (1 January 2016)[1]
 • Total 414
 • Density 3,800/km2 (9,700/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 6240
Area codes +43 5337
Vehicle registration KU
Website www.rattenberg.at

Rattenberg is a town on the Inn River in the Austrian state of Tyrol near Rattenberg mountain and Innsbruck. It is the smallest town in the country.


The proximity of a mountain to the south of the town means that Rattenberg, like many villages nested in steep sided valleys throughout the Tyrol region of the Alps, receives no direct sunlight for much of the winter. It is one of the few places at a significant southerly latitude that experiences a prolonged period without direct sunlight (another is Viganella, Italy), although the sky remains bright while the town is in the mountain's shadow so there is no permanent darkness or 'polar night' as experienced north of the Arctic Circle.


Founded in the 14th century, it was built in the literal shadow of Rat Mountain to protect itself from marauders. Maximilian I had the original town citadel expanded to a formidable fortress.[2]

The modern era[edit]

In November 2005, the town announced they were building 30 specialized rotating mirrors called heliostats to reflect sunlight into parts of the town during the winter months. The $2.4 million operation was suggested by Bartenbach Lichtlabor GmbH, a lighting design company. The EU planned to foot half the bill as of November 2005. However, the project was never implemented.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1869 679 —    
1880 727 +7.1%
1890 737 +1.4%
1900 752 +2.0%
1910 711 −5.5%
1923 701 −1.4%
1934 742 +5.8%
1939 676 −8.9%
1951 879 +30.0%
1961 745 −15.2%
1971 652 −12.5%
1981 590 −9.5%
1991 526 −10.8%
2001 436 −17.1%
2011 405 −7.1%


Rattenberg has been known for its glass making. Its abundance of crystal glass shops continue the tradition of craftsmanship.[3]

See also[edit]

  • Rjukan, Norway and Viganella, Italy - other valley settlements that endure a prolonged lack of direct winter sunlight.


  1. ^ Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahresbeginn 2002-2016 nach Gemeinden (Gebietsstand 1.1.2016) for Rattenberg.
  2. ^ Chizzali. Tyrol: Impressions of Tyrol. (Innsbruck: Alpina Printers and Publishers), p. 2
  3. ^ Chizzali, p. 42

External links[edit]