Coordinates: 47°22′00″N 09°40′00″E / 47.36667°N
9.66667°E / 47.36667; 9.66667Coordinates: 47°22′00″N
09°40′00″E / 47.36667°N 9.66667°E / 47.36667; 9.66667
Dieter Egger (FPÖ)
29.18 km2 (11.27 sq mi)
432 m (1,417 ft)
Population (1 January 2016)
550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
• Summer (DST)
Hohenems is a town in the Austrian state of
Vorarlberg in the Dornbirn
district. It lies in the middle of the Austrian part of the Rhine
valley. With a population of 15,200 it is the fifth largest
municipality in Vorarlberg. Hohenems' attractions include a
Renaissance palace dating back to the 16th century and a Jewish
2.1 Jewish heritage
7 Twin towns
8 Notable persons
10 External links
The town is located at 432 metres (1,417 feet) above sea level, about
16 km (10 miles) south of Lake Constance.
Hohenems extends for
5.5 km (3.4 mi) from north to south and 8.2 km
(5.1 mi) from west to east. Its total area is 29 square
kilometres (11 sq mi), of which 42% is covered with forest.
The oxbow lake of the river
Rhine in the west, forming the border of
Austria as well as EU to Switzerland, and the mountainside in the east
implies the narrowest point of the Austrian
Rhine valley. The
Schlossberg ("castle mountain"), elevation 740 metres (2,428 feet),
depicts a distinctive backdrop of the town centre.
Hohenems is subdivided into the neighborhoods of Markt (centre),
Oberklien and Unterklien (north), Hohenems-Reute (east), Schwefel
(south) and Herrenried (west). It is surrounded by six other
Dornbirn in the
Dornbirn district (north
and east), Fraxern,
Altach in the Feldkirch district
Diepoldsau in the Swiss canton
St. Gallen (west).
Town hall, built in 1567 as lordly guesthouse
The summit of the Schlossberg rock, within 45 minutes walk from town
centre, hosts the ruins of Alt-Ems, a castle dating back to the 9th
century. From the 12th century it was among the biggest fortifications
in the south of the German kingdom. The stronghold was very
strung-out and extended up to 800 m (2,625 ft) in length and
85 m (280 ft) in width. The lords and knights of Hohenems
resided there, being at the peak of fame from 13th to 16th century. As
they were loyal ministeriales of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, the castle
served for the arrest of notable prisoners like the Norman king
William III of Sicily, who probably died here in 1198.
The first time
Hohenems received the rights and liberties of a city
(German Stadtrecht) already was in 1333, but the town never made use
of this municipal law. Only at the 650th anniversary of the
Stadtrecht, in 1983, the government of
all city rights.
On a crest near Alt-Ems the
Burg Neu-Ems (also "Schloss Glopper") is
located, built in 1343. In 1407 both castles were destroyed during the
Appenzell Wars and rebuilt shortly afterwards.
Burg Neu-Ems is still
intact today and in the private property of the
Renaissance palace in the centre of Hohenems
Renaissance palace stands at the foot of the Schlossberg and
dominates the main square of town, the Schlossplatz. It was built from
1562 to 1567 under the direction of architect Martino Longhi the
Elder. Religious war and the plague devastated the area in the next
century, ironically the time of the greatest power of the (Protestant)
Counts of Hohenems, when they acquired
Vaduz Castle from what became
Liechtenstein nearby. In the 18th century
Hohenems was noted for
the discovery of two manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied, found in 1755
and 1779 in the palace's library.
The Jewish community in
Hohenems began with a charter in 1617 and a
synagogue, a ritual bath (mikvah), a school and a poorhouse were
built. A cemetery was established on the southern outskirts of town.
The first coffee house in 1797, and in 1841, the first bank and
insurance company in Vorarlberg, were the result of the Jewish
economic activity in the town. The community reached its peak in 1862,
with nearly 600 Jewish citizens living in Hohenems, 12% of the
population. The Jewish presence in town was terminated in 1942 with
the deportation of the last remaining Jew, Frieda Nagelberg. Recently
3 more have moved in.
A part of the Jewish quarter with the former synagogue
Although the synagogue survived
Kristallnacht without damage, it was
acquired by the municipality after the war and converted into a fire
station. Everything pertaining to its uses as a synagogue was removed
or destroyed, a condition that continued until 2001, when the
synagogue was partly reconstructed. The Jewish quarter, which has
had historical preservation status since 1996, consists of numerous
townhouses and mansions surrounding the synagogue. Along with the
former Christengasse ("Christian Lane"), renamed Marktstrasse (Market
Street), it forms the urban core of Hohenems.
In 1991, the Jewish Museum
Hohenems was opened in a mansion in the
centre of the Jewish quarter. The museum commemorates the history of
the Jewish community in Hohenems. The few remaining objects it
presents, predominantly two-dimensional, are testament to the
elimination of all Jewish traces in Vorarlberg. The Jewish cemetery
south of the town dates to the first Jewish settlement in 1617 and is
still in use today. It contains more than 500 graves, 370 gravestones
of which survive today.
2004-2015: Richard Amann since December 2015: Dieter Egger (born 1969)
Exhibit in "Stoffel's sawmill"
Apart from the historical sites, the town centre lacks urban ambience,
although hotels, shops, and restaurants can be found there. On the
outskirts near the motorway can be found branches of multinational
retail chains and a ten-screen multiplex. On the way to Hohenems's
mountain village, Reute, the Stoffels Säge-Mühle ("Stoffel's
Sawmill") Museum can be found, which presents the history of saw
milling and mill grinding technologies.
Hohenems has several leisure facilities. In the mountain area there is
a small ski resort (Schuttannen alp) and a rock climbing area called
Löwenzähne ("lion's teeth") with walls up to 150 m
(500 ft) and level 10. There also is a range of hiking and
mountain biking routes. The town owns the biggest recreation and
leisure centre (13 hectare) in Vorarlberg, situated at the banks of
the river Rhine's oxbow lake.
Altes Krankenhaus (old hospital)
Since 1908 there is a hospital in Hohenems, when the
Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Krankenhaus ("Queen Elisabeth hospital") was built
in Art Nouveau. It hosts the palliative care unit of the provincial
hospital today, which in 1972 was put up in form of a concrete block,
contiguous to the old one. After long discussions, also the first
crematory in the state of
Vorarlberg was erected in 1998.
Two state roads, the Vorarlberger Strasse L190 and the Rheinstrasse
L203 are crossing the municipality from north to south. The L46 leads
from town centre to customs to Switzerland.
Hohenems has motorway
access to the Rheintal/Walgau-Autobahn (Austrian A14/European route
E60) and connection to the Vorarlbergbahn railway line in directions
Bregenz and Innsbruck, operated by the Austrian Federal Railways
(ÖBB). Within municipal borders the sole airfield of
located, the Flugplatz Hohenems-
Dornbirn with a 630 m (2,066 ft)
Hohenems was one of the locations in the Swiss-Austrian film Akte
The town is the site of the climax of Dennis Wheatley's novel about
the 1914 outbreak of the First World War, The Second Seal(1950).
Hohenems is twinned with
Polička in the
Czech Republic (since 1997) 
Jean Améry, (1912-1978), resistance fighter against Nazism, essayist
Matthias Brandle (born 1989), professional cyclist
August Brentano (1829-1886), newspaper dealer
Rudolf von Ems
Rudolf von Ems (1200-1254), medieval poet and minstrel
Adi Hütter (born 1970), football player and coach
Christian Klien (born 1983),
Formula One Racing Driver
Michael Köhlmeier (born 1949), Austrian writer and musician
Marcel Mathis (born 1993), alpine skier
Harald Morscher (born 1972), cyclist
Ramazan Özcan (born 1984), football goalkeeper
Hans Jörg Schelling
Hans Jörg Schelling (born 1953), entrepreneur, politician (ÖVP) and
Federal Minister of Finance
Mark Sittich von Hohenems (Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg)
Mark Sittich von Hohenems (Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg) (1574-1619),
Archbishop of Salzburg
Salomon Sulzer (1804-1890), Reform cantor and composer
Bernhard Vogel (1913-2000), politician, Member of Parliament and
Federal Council (SPÖ)
Wolfram Waibel Jr. (born 1970), Austrian sport shooter
Eckart Witzigmann (born 1941), cook, awarded three stars in Michelin
Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahresbeginn 2002-2016 nach
Gemeinden (Gebietsstand 1.1.2016) for Hohenems.
^ Tiscover: Ruin Alt-Ems
^ Nibelungenlied, The. eBooks@Adelaide. Shumway, Daniel B. (trans.).
Houghton–Mifflin. 1909. The honor of rediscovering the
“Nibelungenlied” and of restoring it to the world of literature
belongs to a young physician by the name of J.H. Obereit, who found
the manuscript C at the castle of
Hohenems in the Tirol on June 29,
Synagogue Jewish Museum Hohenems, official website.
^ Jewish cemetery Jewish Museum Hohenems, official website. Retrieved
July 8, 2010
^ Tiscover: Rheinauen
^ www.loih.at: Flugplatz Hohenems-Dornbirn
^ Ingrid Bertel (2014-01-29). ""Akte Grüninger": Filmpremiere in
Hohenems" (in German). ORF (broadcaster). Retrieved 2014-10-20.
^ "Akte-Grüninger. Geschichte eines Grenzgängers" (in German).
Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust (erinnern.at). Retrieved
^ Website of
Hohenems Archived 2007-11-16 at the Wayback Machine. -
Sistercities: Bystre and Policka
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hohenems.
Town of Hohenems
Jewish Museum of Hohenems
Stoffel's Saw Mill
Municipalities in the State of Vorarlberg
Lech am Arlberg
Sankt Anton im Montafon
Langen bei Bregenz