History of Feldkirch

Ecclesia St. Petri ad campos (a church by the fields) is first mentioned in a deed of ownership. The village of Altenstadt grew around this church by the fields, now known as the Petronilla Chapel, and its inhabitants therefore rightly boast that they live in the very heart of the original settlement. However, the centre shifted over time and Altenstadt became a part of Feldkirch in 1925.

 

  • Around 1200 | Count Hugo I of Montfort forms the town with 50 farmsteads in a convenient transport location.
  • 1218 | Count Hugo I establishes the Johanniter monastery with the Johanniter church and the first hospital.
  • 1265 | The first part of the Schattenburg (Shadow Castle) is completed.
  • 1375 | The childless Count Rudolf V of Montfort sells the town and castle for 30,000 guilders to the Habsburgs. He remained in office as territorial lord until his death in 1390.
  • 1510 | Emperor Maximilian visits Feldkirch, pays homage to the wine and the Countess of Helfenstein. Since then, the "Bläsi" beats on the hour in the Johanniter church.
  • 1515 | The heyday of humanism begins in Feldkirch with scientists such as Georg Joachim Rheticus, Achilles Pirmin Gasser, Ulrich Ellenbog, Hieronymus Münzer and the Hummelberger brothers.
  • 1605 | Capuchin monastery and church are consecrated.
  • 1649 | In the last witch trial, Martha Lochbüchlerin is tortured and sentenced. She dies in prison before the public execution.
  • 1647 | Feldkirch is occupied by the Swedes and has to pay high taxes to prevent the town and castle from being demolished.
  • 1697 | 150 houses fall victim to the largest city fire in history.
  • 1768 | Under Empress Maria Theresa Feldkirch loses its privileges previously granted by Count Rudolf V in his 'great letter of freedom'.
  • 1799 | Baron Franz of Jellachich defeats the French troops under General Massena in their attack on Feldkirch.
  • 1856 | The Jesuits establish the later internationally known elite school 'Stella Matutina'. Its most famous student is Arthur Conan Doyle, who learned German there in 1875.
  • 1864 | Josef Gasser is the last delinquent to be hanged in the Göfis forest.
  • 1919 | After his abdication, Emperor Karl I leaves Austria via Feldkirch. Stefan Zweig describes the depressing scene in his autobiography.
  • 1938 | The Feldkirch train station, which is well guarded by the Nazis, is used by many as an escape route to neutral Switzerland.
  • 1943 | 200 people lose their lives in a bombing. The Antoniushaus is used as a hospital, the teacher training college and some private houses are destroyed.
  • 1977 | The Vorarlberg State Conservatory is founded.
  • 2008 | James Bond dashes through the Marktgasse in "Quantum of Solace".
  • 2012 | The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Montforthaus takes place. Citizens watch the developments of the futuristic event centre with excitement.
  • 2015 | The Montforthaus, Feldkirch's new culture and congress centre, opens its doors.
  • 2018 | Feldkirch celebrates 800 years