Dornbirn [ˈdɔʁnbɪʁn] is a city in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. It is the administrative centre for the district of Dornbirn, which also includes the town of Hohenems, and the market town Lustenau.


Coat of arms
Location of Dornbirn within Vorarlberg
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°24′50″N 09°44′40″E
  MayorAndrea Kaufmann (ÖVP)
  Total120.93 km2 (46.69 sq mi)
437 m (1,434 ft)
  Density410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code05572
Vehicle registrationDO

Dornbirn is the largest city in Vorarlberg and the tenth largest in Austria. It is an important commercial and shopping centre.



Dornbirn is located in western Vorarlberg at 437 metres above sea level in the Alpine Rhine Valley, at the foot of the Karren mountain, part of the Bregenz Forest Mountain chain at the edge of the Eastern Alps. It is near the borders to Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein. The Dornbirner Ach river flows through the town and later into Lake Constance.

Municipal structure

Dornbirn once consisted only of 4 "quarters": Markt, Hatlerdorf, Oberdorf and Haselstauden. By the 20th century Dornbirn had annexed two formerly independent communities to the west: Rohrbach and Schoren, thus bringing the total number of districts to 6.

Neighbouring municipalities

The Town of Dornbirn constitutes almost 70% of the surface of the district Dornbirn and has numerous borders to other municipalities. As well as bordering on the two other municipalities in the Dornbirn district (Hohenems and Lustenau), the town shares borders with 15 municipalities of the Bregenz District: (Lauterach, Wolfurt, Schwarzach, Bildstein, Alberschwende, Schwarzenberg, Reuthe, Mellau, Damüls) and four with the Feldkirch District: (Laterns, Zwischenwasser, Viktorsberg, Fraxern).


The earliest evidence of human presence in the Dornbirn area can be dated from the Mesolithic era. The name "Dornbirn" derives from 'torrin puirron', meaning the 'Settlement of Torro' (the name of an Alemannic farmer living there) and thus has nothing to do with "pears" (German "Birnen"), although this fruit is prominently portrayed on the town emblem. This name is mentioned for the first time in 895, in a document from St. Gallen (Switzerland).

Dornbirn became part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1380. In 1793 it was elevated to a market community. It was not given municipal status until 1901. In 1932 the mountain village of Ebnit was annexed. In 1969 Dornbirn became the seat of the new Dornbirn district administrative authority.

Historic marginalia

1881: the first phone in the K&K empire was inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria on 8/10/1881


Historical population
Largest groups of foreign residents
 Bosnia & Herzegovina460


Municipal Council

The Dornbirn Municipal Council has 36 seats and the following party mandates:

The current mayor (since 2013) is Andrea Kaufmann (ÖVP).

International relations

Dornbirn has town partnerships with



The City Museum Dornbirn is Dornbirn's local museum about the city's history, early photography, traditional crafts, agriculture and the former flourishing textile industry.[3]

The FLATZ Museum sees itself as a forum for dealing with artistic impulses and contemporary positions. It shows changing exhibitions designed by international guest curators with a focus on photographic art, organises readings, lecture series, discussions and performances.[4]

Inatura is an interactive natural history museum. The museum includes a documentation center about the nature of Vorarlberg as well as an interactive exhibition.[5]

The Mohren Biererlebniswelt is a beer museum of Vorarlberg's oldest brewery Mohrenbrauerei. It shows traditional brewery equipment and gives insight in the history of beer brewing. Additionally, it hosts workshops on beer.[6]

The Rolls-Royce Museum is a privately owned automobile museum. It has been said to have the world's largest collection of Rolls-Royce cars.[7]


The Messestadion is an indoor sporting arena located in Dornbirn, and home to the local ice hockey team.

An example for modern Vorarlberg architecture is the LifeCycle-Tower ONE (LCT ONE), a role model in architecture for environmental and energy efficiency. It is the first modular wooden hybrid complex of eight floors and was built in 2012.[8]


Vorarlberg's regional studio of the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) is located in Dornbirn.

Zumtobel Group is an ATX traded company based in Dornbirn. Many other large companies are situated there. The town was formerly a major centre of the textile industry, which has been in decline since the 1980s.

The Mohrenbrauerei August Huber is Vorarlberg's oldest brewery and market leader with a total market share of 47.2 percent in the gastronomy and retail sectors.[9]


Located in the middle of the Rhine valley, Dornbirn is an important junction of regional and interregional bus lines, connecting Bregenz to the north, Feldkirch to the south, and the Bregenz Forest to the east. The A14 Rheintal freeway/motorway (Autobahn) passes by to the west. The Achrain tunnel, opened in 2009, directly connects Dornbirn/Haselstauden with the Bregenz Forest - Alberschwende region. The town has an excellent network of municipal buses.

Dornbirn's railway station connects is an important stop for all trains from west to east Austria.

A small airport is located at nearby Hohenems.


Educational institutions in Dornbirn include the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, two General Education Secondary Schools, and a Higher Technical Vocational College (Höhere Technische Lehranstalt).

The Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (German: Fachhochschule Vorarlberg) was originally founded as technical school in 1989. It achieved status of an officially recognized university in 1999. To date, it is the only institution of higher education in Vorarlberg. It currently offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in the fields of Business, Engineering & Technology, Design and Social Work. About 1350 students have enrolled for the term 2018/19.[10]


One of the most important sportive institutions in Dornbirn is the RHC Dornbirn, one of the most powerful Austrian Rink Hockey teams. In 2010 it hosted the 2010 Rink Hockey Men's B World Championship.

Baseball & Softball Club Dornbirn was founded in 1990, and has won the Austrian title twice. BSC Dornbirn consists of one youth team, two men's teams, and two women's teams.

Dornbirn hosted the World Gymnaestrada event in 2007 and will again do so in 2019.[11]

Well-known citizens of Dornbirn

  • Aaron Pilsan (born 1995), pianist
  • Tamira Paszek (born 1990), WTA tennis player
  • Yvonne Meusburger (born 1983), WTA tennis player
  • Ingrid Eberle (born 1957), ski racer
  • Elfi Graf (born 1952), singer
  • Wolfgang Flatz (born 1952), performance artist
  • Karl Cordin (born 1948), ski racer
  • Wolfgang Rümmele (1946–2019), Mayor of Dornbirn 1999-2013
  • Margret Dünser (1926–1980), journalist
  • Artur Doppelmayr (1922–2017), ski lift pioneer
  • Gerold Ratz (1919–2006), former Landesstatthalter of Vorarlberg
  • Karl Aubert Salzmann (1876–1934), president of Federal Council (Austria)
  • Johann Georg Waibel (1828–1908), Mayor of Dornbirn 1869-1908, member of Reichsrat and Landtag
  • Francis Martin Drexel (1792–1863), Philadelphia banker and artist
  • Niklas Lerchenmüller (born 1969), scientist


  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. "Stadtmuseum - Dauerausstellung". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  4. "FLATZ Museum Dornbirn". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  5. "inatura - interactive Nature Exhibition in Dornbirn". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  6. KG, Mohrenbrauerei Vertriebs. "Mohrenbrauerei Vertriebs KG>". Mohrenbrauerei Vertriebs KG (in German). Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  7. "FIA Heritage Museums: Historic Vehicles around the World". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  8. "LCT ONE – LifeCycle Tower, Dornbirn". HKArchitekten.
  9. "Marktführer Mohrenbrauerei". Marktführer Mohrenbrauerei (in German). Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  10. "FH Vorarlberg – University of Applied Sciences". Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2015-07-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Preceded by
Lisbon, Portugal (2003)
World Gymnaestrada host city
Succeeded by
Lausanne, Switzerland (2011)
Preceded by
Helsinki, Finland (2015)
World Gymnaestrada host city
Succeeded by
Amsterdam, Netherlands (2023)
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