Tirol, Austria

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State of Austria
Flag of Tirol
Coat of arms of Tirol
Coat of arms
Location of Tirol
Country  Austria
Capital Innsbruck
 • Landeshauptmann Günther Platter (ÖVP)
 • Total 12,647.71 km2 (4,883.31 sq mi)
Population (2015)
 • Total 728,537 [1]
 • Density 58/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code AT-7
NUTS Region AT3
Votes in Bundesrat 5 (of 62)

Tirol (/tɪˈrl, t-, ˈtrl/; German: Tirol, pronounced [tiˈʁoːl]; Italian: Tirolo, pronounced [tiˈrɔːlo]) is a federation state (Bundesland) in western Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historic Princely County of Tyrol, as well as the present-day Euroregion Tyrol–South Tyrol–Trentino. The capital of Tirol is Innsbruck.[2]


The state of Tirol is separated into two parts, divided by a 20-kilometre wide (12 mi) strip, that is known as the Alpine divide. The larger area of the state is called North Tyrol (Nordtirol) and the smaller area South-East Tyrol (Osttirol). The neighboring Austrian state of Salzburg borders the Italian province of South Tyrol. With a land area of 12,683.85 km2 (4,897.26 sq mi), it is the third largest state in Austria.

North Tyrol shares its borders with the federal state of Salzburg in the east and Vorarlberg in the west. In the north, it adjoins to the German state of Bavaria; in the south, Italian South Tyrol (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region) as well as the Swiss canton of Graubünden. East Tyrol also shares its borders with the federal state of Carinthia in the east and the Italian Province of Belluno (Veneto) in the south.

The state's territory is located entirely in the Eastern Alps at the Brenner Pass. The highest mountain in the state is the Großglockner within the Hohe Tauern range at the border with Carinthia. It has a height of 3,797 m (12,457.35 ft), making it the highest mountain in Austria.


Main article: History of Tyrol
Golden Roof, Innsbruck

In ancient times, the region was split between the Roman provinces of Raetia (left of the Inn River) and Noricum. From the mid-6th century, it was resettled by Germanic Bavarii tribes. In the Early Middle Ages it formed the southern part of the German stem duchy of Bavaria, until the Counts of Tyrol, former Vogt officials of the Trent and Brixen prince-bishops at Tirol Castle, achieved imperial immediacy after the deposition of the Bavarian duke Henry the Proud in 1138, and their possessions formed a state of the Holy Roman Empire in its own right.

Tyrolean pilgrims, 19th century

When the Counts of Tyrol became extinct in 1253, their estates were inherited by the Meinhardiner Counts of Görz. In 1271, the Tyrolean possessions were divided between Count Meinhard II of Görz and his younger brother Albert I, who took the lands of East Tyrol around Lienz and attached it (as "outer county") to his committal possessions around Gorizia ("inner county"). The last Tyrolean countess of the Meinhardiner Dynasty, Margaret, bequeathed her assets to the Habsburg duke Rudolph IV of Austria in 1363. In 1420, the committal residence was relocated from Merano to Innsbruck. The Tyrolean lands were reunited when the Habsburgs inherited the estates of the extinct Counts of Görz in 1500.

In the course of the German mediatization in 1803, the prince-bishoprics of Trent and Brixen were secularized and merged into the County of Tyrol (which in the next year became a constituent land of the Austrian Empire), but Tyrol was ceded to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1805. Later, South Tyrol was ceded to the Kingdom of Italy, a client state of the First French Empire, by Bavaria in 1810. After Napoleon's defeat, the whole of Tyrol was returned to Austria in 1814. It was a Cisleithanian Kronland (royal territory) of Austria-Hungary from 1867. The County of Tyrol, then extended beyond the boundaries of today's state, including the addition of North Tyrol and East Tyrol, the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino (Welschtirol) as well as three municipalities, which today is part of the adjacent Province of Belluno. After World War I, these lands became part of the Kingdom of Italy according to the 1915 London Pact and the provisions of the Treaty of Saint Germain.

After World War II, Tyrol was governed by France until Austria regained independence in 1955.


Innsbruck, view from Mt. Bergisel
View from the tower of the old townhall to the Cathedral of Innsbruck

The capital, Innsbruck, is known for its university, and especially for its medicine. Tirol is popular for its famous ski resorts, which include Kitzbühel, Ischgl and St. Anton. The 14 largest towns in Tirol are:

Town Inhabitants
January 2011
1. Innsbruck 120,147
2. Kufstein 17,388
3. Telfs 14,626
4. Schwaz 12,995
5. Hall in Tirol 12,695
6. Wörgl 12,645
7. Lienz 11,955
8. Imst 9,494
9. Rum 8,850
10. St. Johann in Tirol 8,766
11. Kitzbühel 8,207
12. Landeck 7,713
13. Zirl 7,641
14. Wattens 7,625

Getting there[edit]

Via air travel[edit]

Tirol is fairly popular with tourists from around the world. Visiting Tirol is very easy when travelling via Innsbruck airport, which is just 30–40 minutes away by car. Flights to Innsbruck are available from a variety international destinations. Innsbruck-Kranebitten Airport is widely known as the opening to the centre of the Alps. Winter or summer, you'll surely enjoy some stunning picturesque landscapes.

Innsbruck is the host of various daily and weekly flights operated by Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Easyjet and other providers.[3]

Via train[edit]

One can travel to Tirol by catching a train of the Austrian, Swiss or German Railways[4] for affordable, convenient and hassle-free travel to the Heart of the Alps. What else do you need with picturesque views and reasonably comfortable trains along the way. You can even consider catching the train from Linz or Villach to Innsbruck at a discount rate of just €19.00![5] Other trains are also available from Germany and the UK.

Via car[edit]

Getting to Tirol by car is super easy, no matter where you are coming from. Check a route planner for directions and to find the fastest and easiest way to get to all the places you want to go to.

Do remember that your car will probably need to equip your car with winter tires and carry a set of snow chains in your car in case you encounter any difficulties.[6]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Districts of Tyrol

The state is divided into 10 districts (Bezirke); one of them, Innsbruck, is a statutory city. The districts and their administrative centers, from west to east and north to south, are:

Statutory city:

North Tyrol:

East Tyrol:


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Tyrol, Austria". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  3. ^ "Live flight tracker!". Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  4. ^ Česky. "Getting there by Train | Tirol in Austria". Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  5. ^ "ÖBB travel portal: SparSchiene". 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  6. ^ Česky. "Getting there by Car | Tirol in Austria". Retrieved 2015-09-25. 

Coordinates: 47°16′6.92″N 11°23′35.72″E / 47.2685889°N 11.3932556°E / 47.2685889; 11.3932556