Last updated
Wattens AT6112.JPG
View over Wattens and the Inn Valley
to the Karwendel mountains
Wappen at wattens.png
Coat of arms
Austria adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°17′N11°35′E / 47.283°N 11.583°E / 47.283; 11.583 Coordinates: 47°17′N11°35′E / 47.283°N 11.583°E / 47.283; 11.583
Country Austria
State Tyrol
District Innsbruck Land
   Mayor Franz Troppmair (ÖVP)
  Total10.8 km2 (4.2 sq mi)
564 m (1,850 ft)
(1 January 2016) [1]
  Density730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code 05224
Vehicle registration IL
Website www.wattens.com

Wattens is a market town of the Innsbruck-Land District in the Austrian state of Tyrol. It is chiefly known as home of the Swarovski crystal glass company.

Market town legal term for European settlement that has the right to host markets

Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the Middle Ages, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city. On the European continent, a town may be correctly described as a "market town" or as having "market rights", even if it no longer holds a market, provided the legal right to do so still exists.

Innsbruck-Land District District in Tyrol, Austria

The Bezirk Innsbruck Land is an administrative district (Bezirk) in Tyrol, Austria. It encloses the Statutarstadt Innsbruck, and borders Bavaria (Germany) in the north, the district Schwaz in the east, South Tyrol in Italy to the south, and the district of Imst in the west.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.



Main square with St Lawrence Church Wattens Laurentius AT6112.jpg
Main square with St Lawrence Church

Wattens is located in the Lower Inn Valley of North Tyrol, about 13 km (8.1 mi) east of Innsbruck. The municipal area stretches from the southern shore of the Inn River into the Wattental side valley, leading to the Wattentaler Lizum head within the Tux Alps range.

The Lower Inn Valley is that part of the Inntal valley through which the Inn river flows from a point a few kilometres west of Innsbruck near its confluence with the Melach downstream to a few kilometres before Rosenheim. A further distinction can be made between the Tyrolean Lower Inn Valley and the Bavarian Lower Inn Valley.

North Tyrol part of Tyrol, Austria

North Tyrol, or North Tirol is the main part of the Austrian state of Tyrol, located in the western part of the country. The other part of the state is East Tyrol, which also belongs to Austria, but does not share a border with North Tyrol.

Inn (river) river in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, a right tributary of the Danube

The Inn is a river in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. It is a right tributary of the Danube and is 518 kilometres (322 mi) long. The highest point of its drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina, at 4,049 metres (13,284 ft). The Engadine, the valley of the En, is the only Swiss valley whose waters end up in the Black Sea.

It has access to the Inn Valley Autobahn (A 12) and is served by ÖBB trains at Fritzens-Wattens station on the Lower Inn Valley Railway line.

Inn Valley Autobahn road in Austria

The Inn Valley Motorway or Inntal Autobahn A12 is an autobahn in the Austrian federal state of Tyrol and part of Euroroutes E45 and E60.

Austrian Federal Railways company

The Austrian Federal Railways is the national railway system of Austria, and the administrator of Liechtenstein's railways. The ÖBB group is owned entirely by the Republic of Austria and is divided into several separate businesses that manage the infrastructure and operate passenger and freight services.

Fritzens Place in Tyrol, Austria

Fritzens is a municipality in the district Innsbruck country in Tyrol (Austria). It lies 16 km east of Innsbruck on the left side of the Inn River. The origin of the village goes back until 6 BC.


Archaeological settlement traces date back to the La Tène era; the name Wattens was first mentioned in a 930 deed, when the area was part of the German stem duchy of Bavaria. The region was held by the Counts of Tyrol from the 12th century onwards and acquired by the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363.

La Tène culture archaeological culture

The La Tène culture was a European Iron Age culture. It developed and flourished during the late Iron Age, succeeding the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture without any definite cultural break, under the impetus of considerable Mediterranean influence from the Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul, the Etruscans, and Golasecca culture.

Stem duchy

A stem duchy was a constituent duchy of the Kingdom of Germany at the time of the extinction of the Carolingian dynasty and through the transitional period leading to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century. The Carolingians had dissolved the original tribal duchies of the Frankish Empire in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Empire declined in the late 9th century, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as subdivisions of the realm. These are the five stem duchies : Bavaria, Franconia, Lotharingia (Lorraine), Saxony and Swabia (Alemannia). The Salian emperors retained the stem duchies as the major divisions of Germany, but they became increasingly obsolete during the early high-medieval period under the Hohenstaufen, and Frederick Barbarossa finally abolished them in 1180 in favour of more numerous territorial duchies.

Duchy of Bavaria Former duchy in Germany

The Duchy of Bavaria was a frontier region in the southeastern part of the Merovingian kingdom from the sixth through the eighth century. It was settled by Bavarian tribes and ruled by dukes (duces) under Frankish overlordship. A new duchy was created from this area during the decline of the Carolingian Empire in the late ninth century. It became one of the stem duchies of the East Frankish realm which evolved as the Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1559 a paper mill was established at Wattens, the first in the Austrian lands. The local economy was further promoted, when in 1895 Daniel Swarovski (1862–1956), a glass cutter from Jiřetín pod Bukovou in Bohemia, settled here to start the production of crystal jewelry. Wattens received market rights in 1895.

Paper mill factory that produces paper

A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags and other ingredients. Prior to the invention and adoption of the Fourdrinier machine and other types of paper machine that use an endless belt, all paper in a paper mill was made by hand, one sheet at a time, by specialized laborers.

Austrian Circle imperial circle of the Holy Roman Empire

The Austrian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It was one of the four Imperial Circles created by decree after the 1512 Diet at Cologne, twelve years after the original six Circles were established in the course of the Imperial Reform. It roughly corresponds to present-day Austria, Slovenia and the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of Northern Italy, but also comprised the Further Austrian territories in the former Swabian stem duchy.

Daniel Swarovski Czech-Austrian glassmaker

Daniel Swarovski was a Czech-born Austrian glass cutter, jeweler, and founder of the Swarovski crystal dynasty.


Historical population


Giant waterspout at the entrance of ''Swarovski Kristallwelten Riese sommer by Edgar Moskopp.jpg
Giant waterspout at the entrance of ''Swarovski Kristallwelten

The Swarovski company is Wattens' main employer. In 1995, it celebrated its one-hundred-years jubilee by the establishment of the Swarovski Kristallwelten museum. André Heller designed several cabinets of curiosities modelled on the historic chambers of Ambras Castle. The museum features the history of crystal manufacturing, the life of Daniel Swarovski and a large collection of crystals including works by notable artists like Brian Eno and Niki de Saint Phalle. It is today one of the major tourist destinations in Austria, attracting visitors from all over the world.

André Heller Austrian artist, author, singer and actor

Franz André Heller is an Austrian artist, author, poet, singer, songwriter and actor.

Cabinet of curiosities encyclopedic collections of objects whose categorical boundaries were, in Renaissance Europe, yet to be defined

Cabinets of curiosities were notable collections of objects. The term cabinet originally described a room rather than a piece of furniture. Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history, geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art, and antiquities. The classic cabinet of curiosities emerged in the sixteenth century, although more rudimentary collections had existed earlier. In addition to the most famous and best documented cabinets of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe formed collections that were precursors to museums.

Ambras Castle Castle in Innsbruck, Austria

Ambras Castle is a Renaissance castle and palace located in the hills above Innsbruck, Austria. Ambras Castle is 587 metres (1,926 ft) above sea level. Considered one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Tyrol, Ambras Castle was built in the 16th century on the spot of an earlier 10th-century castle, which became the seat of power for the Counts of Andechs. The cultural and historical importance of the castle is closely connected with Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–1595) and served as his family residence from 1567 to 1595. Ferdinand was one of history’s most prominent collectors of art. The princely sovereign of Tyrol, son of Emperor Ferdinand I, ordered that the medieval fortress at Ambras be turned into a Renaissance castle as a gift for his wife Philippine Welser. The cultured humanist from the House of Habsburg accommodated his world-famous collections in a museum: The collections, still in the Lower Castle built specifically for that museum purpose, make Castle Ambras Innsbruck the oldest museum in the world.

Other museums are the typewriter museum and the Museum Wattens, dedicated to the history of Swarovski, the paper mill and excavations (Prehistory, Classical antiquity) in Wattens, as well as in neighbouring Volders and Fritzens.

The historic paper mill is the predecessor of the Wattenspapier factory, one of the leading manufacturers of rolling paper, since 1980 owned by the Finnish Delfort Group. 97% of the tobacco paper is exported to over 90 countries.


Portrait of Jakob Gapp at the St Mary's parish church Jakob-Gapp Marien-Pfarrkirche Wattens.JPG
Portrait of Jakob Gapp at the St Mary's parish church

Wattens is the birthplace of the Marianist priest Jakob Gapp (1897–1943). Openly rejecting the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938, Gapp fled to France and upon the French defeat in 1940 to Valencia in Spain, where he preached against the persecution of Catholic resistance fighters by the Nazi authorities. In November 1942 he was captured by Gestapo agents in German-occupied France and deported to Berlin. At trial of the People's Court led by President Roland Freisler, he was sentenced to death and was executed at Plötzensee Prison. A Christian martyr of the Catholic Church, Gapp was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996.


Climate type is dominated by the winter season, a long, bitterly cold period with short, clear days, relatively little precipitation mostly in the form of snow, and low humidity. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfc" (Continental Subarctic Climate). [2]

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Sellrain Place in Tyrol, Austria

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Mils, Tyrol Place in Tyrol, Austria

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The Tyrol S-Bahn provides regional rail services in metropolitan Innsbruck, Austria and its hinterlands in the state of Tyrol. At present, it is only a nominally an S-Bahn in that it only operates on the lines of the Austrian Federal Railways. Expansion projects, including new stations, however, are being planned.