Picture credits: Standortagentur Tirol


It's the people who make a region what it is.

From the Romans to Hofer

Tirol is an exciting region with palaces, mines, breathtaking nature and a highly developed industry. Its history has turned the state into a diverse habitat. But what would history be without its actors?

The history of the "Land in the Mountains" is also the history of the Romans, the Habsburgs, of Sigmund of Austria, Emperor Maximilian I and the freedom fighter Hofer.

Drusus and Tiberius – these were the names of the two Roman generals who in 15/14 BC pressed forward from the south to the Alpine countries and conquered them. Their goal: to build roads, military camps and towns. They built one of the most important trade routes, even today: from upper Adria via Trento, Bolzano, Merano, the Reschen Pass, Landeck, Imst, and the Fern Pass all the way to the Alpine foothills to Augsburg.

Archduke Sigmund of Austria, nicknamed "Rich in Coins" – he lived extremely lavishly, as his name suggests. He had the mint transferred from Merano in present-day South Tirol to Hall, which is located near the Schwaz silver mine. The Alte Münze mint in Hall is his legacy. He built castles as well as the Imperial Palace in Innsbruck and had a large number of illegitimate children. This once rich region became poor under his reign, nevertheless, the Estates forced him to resign in 1490.

Emperor Maximilian I – he assumed the reigns from then on – a golden age for the region. After all, Tirol was his favourite state. He was able to go hunting, fishing and climbing here. The Habsburgs lived in the transitional period between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. His persona reflected both periods: on the one hand, he is regarded as the last knight, and on the other hand as the first ruler. He made Innsbruck his administrative centre. To make sure he was remembered after his death, he had the Golden Roof built, which has become one of Innsbruck's landmarks.

Andreas Hofer – he is considered to be the folk hero of Tirol. After all, he fought for the freedom of the state to his death. During the Napoleonic Wars, Tirol was occupied by the Kingdom of Bavaria, which was in league with the French emperor. This resulted in a number of restrictions for the people in Tirol: taxes were raised, men were conscripted and their customs prohibited. The innkeeper and leader of a militia unit in the Passeier Valley led the uprisings in 1809 in different parts of the state. They peaked in the four battles in Bergisel, to the south of Innsbruck. During the fourth battle, Andreas Hofer fled to the Passeier Valley and hid on the Pfandleralm pasture in South Tirol. Unfortunately, he was betrayed and his enemies executed him by firing squad in Mantua on 20 February 1810. Then at the Vienna Congress in 1814/1815 Tirol was returned to Austria. Even today the anthem of the state of Tirol tells the story of Andreas Hofer and is reminiscent of the former freedom fighter.



Did you know...

... who wrote the anthem of the state of Tirol?

It tells the story of the Tirolean freedom fighter Andreas Hofer, but the lyrics of six verses were written by the poet Julius Mosen from Leipzig.


Castles and palaces steeped in history will take you back to Tirol's past: