Last updated
Kitzbühel in mid-August 2008
AUT Kitzbuehel COA.svg
Coat of arms
Austria adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°26′47″N12°23′31″E / 47.44639°N 12.39194°E / 47.44639; 12.39194 Coordinates: 47°26′47″N12°23′31″E / 47.44639°N 12.39194°E / 47.44639; 12.39194
Country Austria
State Tyrol
District Kitzbühel
   Mayor Klaus Winkler (ÖVP)
  Total58.01 km2 (22.40 sq mi)
762 m (2,500 ft)
 (2018-01-01) [2]
  Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code 05356
Vehicle registration KB
Website Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪtsbyːl] ) is a medieval town situated in the Kitzbühel Alps along the river Kitzbüheler Ache in Tyrol, Austria, about 100 kilometers (62 mi) east of the state capital Innsbruck and is the administrative centre of the Kitzbühel district ( Bezirk ). Kitzbühel is a ski resort of international renown and its ski season lasts from mid October to early May. During winter and early spring it is frequented primarily by upper-class clientele from Austria and from abroad.

Kitzbühel Alps mountain range in Austria

The Kitzbühel Alps are a mountain range of the Central Eastern Alps surrounding the town of Kitzbühel in Tyrol, Austria. Geologically they are part of the western slate zone.

Tyrol (state) State in Austria

Tyrol is a federal state (Bundesland) in western Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historical Princely County of Tyrol. It is a constituent part of the present-day Euroregion Tyrol–South Tyrol–Trentino. The capital of Tyrol is Innsbruck.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a land-locked country in Central Europe composed of nine federated states (Bundesländer), one of which is Vienna, Austria's capital and its largest city. Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people. It is bordered by Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. While German is the country's official language, many Austrians communicate informally in a variety of Bavarian dialects.



Kitzbühel, situated on the Kitzbüheler Ache river, is a valley town with most of its centre car-free, and with a large selection of up-market shops and cafes. [3]

Pedestrian zone Area of a city or town reserved for pedestrian-only use

Pedestrian zones are areas of a city or town reserved for pedestrian-only use and in which most or all automobile traffic may be prohibited. Converting a street or an area to pedestrian-only use is called pedestrianisation. Pedestrianisation usually aims to provide better accessibility and mobility for pedestrians, to enhance the amount of shopping and other business activities in the area and/or to improve the attractiveness of the local environment in terms of aesthetics, air pollution, noise and crashes involving motor vehicle with pedestrians. However, pedestrianisation can sometimes lead to reductions in business activity, property devaluation, and displacement of economic activity to other areas. In some cases traffic in surrounding areas may increase, due to displacement, rather than substitution of car traffic. Nonetheless, pedestrianisation schemes are often associated with significant drops in local air and noise pollution, accidents, and frequently with increased retail turnover and increased property values locally. A car-free development generally implies a large scale pedestrianised area that relies on modes of transport other than the car, while pedestrian zones may vary in size from a single square to entire districts, but with highly variable degrees of dependence on cars for their broader transport links.

The town borough is subdivided into the municipalities of: Am Horn, Aschbachbichl, Badhaussiedlung, Bichlach, Ecking, Felseneck, Griesenau, Griesenauweg, Gundhabing, Hagstein, Hausstatt, Henntal, Jodlfeld, Kaps, Mühlau, Obernau, Schattberg, Seereith, Siedlung Frieden, Am Sonnberg, Sonnenhoffeld, Staudach, Stockerdörfl and Zephirau.

Kitzbühel's neighbouring municipalities are:

Aurach bei Kitzbühel, Jochberg, Kirchberg in Tirol, Oberndorf in Tirol, Reith bei Kitzbühel, St. Johann in Tirol and Fieberbrunn.

Aurach bei Kitzbühel Place in Tyrol, Austria

Aurach bei Kitzbühel is a municipality in Kitzbühel District in the Kitzbühel Alps in the Austrian state of Tyrol.

Kirchberg in Tirol Place in Tyrol, Austria

Kirchberg in Tirol is a municipality in the Austrian state of Tyrol in the Kitzbühel district. It is located 6 km (4 mi.) west of Kitzbühel.

Oberndorf in Tirol Place in Tyrol, Austria

Oberndorf is a municipality in Kitzbühel district in the Austrian state of Tyrol. It is located in the Leukental valley, on the Kitzbühler Ache stream, halfway between St. Johann in Tirol and Kitzbühel.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: ZAMG
Climate data for Kitzbühel (1971–2000)
Record high °C (°F)12.1
Average high °C (°F)1.3
Daily mean °C (°F)−4.1
Average low °C (°F)−7.7
Record low °C (°F)−25.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)70.7
Average snowfall cm (inches)43.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00)70.458.950.546.745.052.250.850.152.856.568.276.956.6
Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics [4]


Earliest People

The first known settlers were Illyrians mining copper in the hills around Kitzbühel between 1100 and 800 BC.

Illyria Historical region in Western Balkan, Southeast Europe

In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by numerous tribes of people collectively known as the Illyrians. Besides them, this region was also settled, in various times, by some tribes of Celts, Goths and Thracians. Illyrians spoke Illyrian languages, a group of Indo-European languages, which in ancient times perhaps had speakers in some parts in Southern Italy. The geographical term Illyris was used to define approximately the area of northern and central Albania down to the Aoös valley, including in most periods much of the lakeland area.

Around 15 BC, the Romans under Emperor Augustus extended their empire to include the Alps and established the province of Noricum. After the fall of the western Roman Empire, Bavarii settled in the Kitzbühel region around 800 and started clearing forests.

Roman Empire Period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–476 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome, consisting of large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, it was a principate with Italy as metropole of the provinces and its city of Rome as sole capital. Although fragmented briefly during the military crisis, the empire was forcibly reassembled, then ruled by multiple emperors who shared rule over the Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and the Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when it sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople following the capture of Ravenna by the barbarians of Odoacer and the subsequent deposition of Romulus Augustus. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Noricum celtic kingdom, then a province of the Roman Empire

Noricum is the Latin name for the Celtic kingdom or federation of tribes that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia. In the first century AD, it became a province of the Roman Empire. Its borders were the Danube to the north, Raetia and Vindelicia to the west, Pannonia to the east and southeast, and Italia to the south. The kingdom was founded around 400 BC, and had its capital at the royal residence at Virunum on the Magdalensberg.

Middle Ages

In the 12th century, the name Chizbuhel is mentioned for the first time in a document belonging to the Chiemsee monastery (where it refers to a "Marquard von Chizbuhel"), whereby Chizzo relates to a Bavarian clan and Bühel refers to the location of a settlement upon a hill. One hundred years later a source refers to the Vogtei of the Bamberg monastery in Kicemgespuchel and, in the 1271 document elevating the settlement to the status of a town, the place is called Chizzingenspuehel.

Chiemsee freshwater lake in Bavaria, Germany

Chiemsee is a freshwater lake in Bavaria, Germany, near Rosenheim. It is often called "the Bavarian Sea". The rivers Großache and Prien flow into the lake from the south, and the river Alz flows out towards the north. The Alz flows into the Inn which then merges with the Danube. The Chiemsee is divided into the bigger, north section, in the northeast, called Weitsee, and the Inselsee, in the southwest.

Bichl Place in Bavaria, Germany

Bichl is a municipality in the district of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen in Bavaria, Germany. It is located at 47°43′N11°25′E, and has about 2000 residents. The village first appears in documents from 1048.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Vogt</i> title of overlordship or nobility in the Holy Roman Empire

A Vogt in the Holy Roman Empire was a title of a reeve or advocate, an overlord exerting guardianship or military protection as well as secular justice over a certain territory. The territory or area of responsibility of a Vogt is called a Vogtei. The term also denotes a mayor of a village.

Kitzbühel became part of Upper Bavaria in 1255 when Bavaria was first partitioned. Duke Ludwig II of Bavaria granted Kitzbühel town rights on 6 June 1271, and it was fortified with defensive town walls. During the next centuries the town established itself as a market town, growing steadily and remaining unaffected by war and conflict. The town walls were eventually reduced to the level of a single storey building, and the stone used to build residential housing.

Historical population
1869 2,982    
1880 3,167+6.2%
1890 3,290+3.9%
1900 3,453+5.0%
1910 4,021+16.4%
1923 4,378+8.9%
1934 5,294+20.9%
1939 5,419+2.4%
1951 7,211+33.1%
1961 7,744+7.4%
1971 8,020+3.6%
1981 7,840−2.2%
1991 8,119+3.6%
2001 8,574+5.6%
2008 8,437−1.6%
2011 8,207−2.7%
2017 8,341+1.6%
Source: Statistik Austria

When Countess Margarete of Tyrol married the Bavarian, Duke Louis V the Brandenburger, in 1342, Kitzbühel was temporarily united with the County of Tyrol (that in turn became a Bavarian dominion as a result of the marriage until Louis' death). After the Peace of Schärding (1369) Kitzbühel was returned to Bavaria. Following the division of Bavaria, Kufstein went to the Landshut line of the House of Wittelsbach. During this time, silver and copper mining in Kitzbühel expanded steadily and comprehensive mining rights were issued to her that, later, were to become significant to the Bavarian dukedom. On 30 June 1504 Kitzbühel became a part of Tyrol permanently: the Emperor Maximilian reserved to himself the hitherto Landshut offices ( Ämter ) of Kitzbühel, Kufstein and Rattenberg as a part of his Cologne Arbitration (Kölner Schiedsspruch), that had ended the Landshut War of Succession.

However the law of Louis of Bavaria continued to apply to the three aforementioned places until the 19th century, so that these towns had a special legal status within Tyrol. Maximilian enfeoffed Kitzbühel, with the result that it came under the rule of the Counts of Lamberg at the end of the 16th century, until 1 May 1840, when Kitzbühel was ceremonially transferred to the state.

An inscription in the Swedish Chapel dating to the Swedish War states "Bis hierher und nicht weiter kamen die schwedischen Reiter" ("The Swedish knights came as far as here but no further.") [5]

Eighteenth century to today

The wars of the 18th and 19th century bypassed the town, even though its inhabitants participated in the Tyrolean Rebellion against Napoleon. Following the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805, Kitzbühel once more became part of Bavaria; it was reunited with Tyrol after the fall of Napoleon at the Congress of Vienna. Until 1918, the town (named KITZBICHL before 1895) was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of the same name, one of the 21 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Tyrol province. [6]

When Emperor Franz Joseph finally resolved the confusing constitutional situation, and following completion of the Salzburg-Tyrol Railway in 1875, the town's trade and industry flourished. In 1894, Kitzbühel hosted its first ski race, ushering in a new era of tourism and sport. [7]

Kitzbühel also had the good fortune to remain undamaged from the ravages of the First and Second World Wars. [8] Since the year 2000 the town has been a member of the Climate Alliance of Tyrol.

In October 2019, a 25-year-old man in Kitzbühel shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, her family, and her new boyfriend after a dispute at a restaurant. [9]

The town's demographic evolution between 1869 and 2017 is shown in the list to the right.

Places of interest


In the 1950s, local legends like Ernst Hinterseer, Hias Leitner, Anderl Molterer, Christian Pravda, Fritz Huber Jr. and Toni Sailer wrote skiing history. They put Kitzbühel on the map and their names still resonate today. Now there is a new generation earning the title of Kitzbühel legends: Rosi Schipflinger, Axel Naglich, Kaspar Frauenschuh and David Kreiner. With sporting achievements, fashion and food, they are part of Kitzbühel's unique culture

Famous inhabitants of Kitzbühel


Kitzbühel is one of Europe’s best-known winter sports resorts, situated between the mountains Hahnenkamm (elev. 1,712 m (5,617 ft)) adjacent to the southwest and Kitzbühler Horn (1,996 m (6,549 ft)) to the northeast. The Hahnenkamm hosts the annual World Cup ski races, including the circuit's most notable single event, the downhill race on the notable Streif slope. Introduced 82 years ago in 1937, the northeast-facing Streif is among the world's toughest downhill courses, if not the most, and is infamous for an abundance of spectacular crashes.

Each summer Kitzbühel also hosts an ATP tennis tournament on clay, the Austrian Open.

From 2007 to 2011, ITU Triathlon World Cup races took place at the local Schwarzsee lake. [10]

The Kitzbüheler Alpenrallye is an annual festival of historic automobiles, first held 31 years ago in 1988. The first trip of the United Buddy Bears was 2004 to Kitzbühel, following by the first trip into the "big wide world" – when they went to Hong Kong and many other metropolises on all five continents.

Kitzbühel hosts a once a year Snow Polo event in January. Kitzbühel Polo established with the initial Snow Polo Tournament in January 2003. Snow polo is growing around the world. However, it remains that Kitzbühel is now well established as a Snow Polo venue.  


Winter snow in Kitzbuhel Winter snow in Kitzbuhel.jpg
Winter snow in Kitzbühel

Together with the pistes and ski lifts in neighbouring Kirchberg in Tirol, Jochberg and by the Thurn Pass Kitzbühel is one of the largest ski regions in Austria. With around 10,000 hotel and guest house beds, Kitzbühel and its neighbours have an unusually high density of guest accommodation.

Holidaymakers in Kitzbühel have 56 cableway and lift facilities and 168 kilometres of slopes available to them, as well as 40 kilometres of groomed cross-country skiing tracks. Of note is the relatively new 3S Cable Car, the cable car with the highest above-ground span in the world.

In summer there are 120 km (75 mi) of mountain bike paths and 500 km (311 mi) of hiking trails.

Other attractions include six tennis courts and four golf courses, the Kitzbühel swimming pool, Austria's only curling hall and the bathing lake of Schwarzsee.

Kitzbühel primarily caters for the high end of the tourist market, as many celebrities and the jet set come here, especially during the international races on the Hahnenkamm.

Together with eleven other towns Kitzbühel is a member of the community Best of the Alps. [11]


An International Polkafest was held in Kitzbühel in 1978. [12]



The Brixental Road, the B170, from Wörgl intersects in Kitzbühel with the Thurn Pass Road, the B161, from Mittersill to St. Johann in Tirol. Kitzbühel station is a major bus stop for buses to Lienz and Worgl.


Kitzbühel Hauptbahnhof, Kitzbühel Hahnenkamm and Kitzbühel Schwarzsee are stops on the Salzburg-Tyrol Railway. Whilst Hahnenkamm and Schwarzsee stations are served by local trains only, long-distance services from Innsbruck and Graz stop at Kitzbühel station. Kitzbühel station has just been rebuilt (2010) and been equipped with new barrier-less platforms with underpasses and a lift. From 2011 there will be no stationmaster at Kitzbühel and it will no longer be possible to buy tickets at the counter.

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Kitzbühel is twinned with: [13]


Kitzbuehel Panorama.jpg

See also

Notes and references

  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. Chris Gill and Dave Watts (12 November 2012). "Ski Kitzbühel: resort guide". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  4. "Klimadaten von Österreich 1971–2000 – Tirol-Kitzbühel" (in German). Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics. Archived from the original on 12 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. The legend of the unknown knight
  6. Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  7. Chizzali. Tyrol: Impressions of Tyrol. (Innsbruck: Alpina Printers and Publishers), p. 46
  8. History of Tyrol – Kitzbühel
  9. Fedschun, Travis (2019-10-06). "Austria Alpine resort massacre leaves 5 dead after man kills ex-girlfriend, her family and new boyfriend". Fox News. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  10. "Kitzbuhel Triathlon". International Triathlon Union. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  11. Best of the Alps
  12. "Eugene Weisbeck". Bismarck Tribune. May 7, 2014. ... Smithsonian Institute Music Festival [sic] in Washington, D.C. In 1978, he represented the United States at the International Polkafest in Kilzbuhel, Austria.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Partnerstädte". Stadtgemeinde Kitzbühel (in German). Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  14. 山形市の友好姉妹都市 [Yamagata City Twin Cities] (in Japanese). Japan: Yamagata City. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  15. "Partnerstädte" (in German). Bad Soden am Taunus. Retrieved 2013-12-11.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Kitzbühel at Wikimedia Commons

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