Walser Regions | Vorarlberg-Tirol



Concerning the earliest history of Schröcken one has to rely on assumptions as very little is documented. A statement from 1492 by the head of the district council, Jörg Hildebrand about the settlers on the Tannenberg and Mittelberg is very likely true: on the occasion of an argument before the court in Bregenz about hunting grounds, he said that the poor people from Mittelberg and Tannberg had come from Valais and settled over 200 years ago. The route the Walser settlers took could not be traced yet. The immigration most probably took place through Klostertal into the Lech high valley.
From here the settlers moved over the Auenfelder Sattel into the headwaters of the Bregenzerach, today’s district Schröcken. This assumption is confirmed by the fact that the first stage of settlements in Schröcken was on today’s Auenfelder (meadow fields). Further, the municipality was ecclesiastically dependent on Lech up to the year 1661 and in politically dependent until 1806. But it is possible that another immigration from Großwalsertal over the Schadonapass took place, too. The parcels Unterboden and Oberboden might have been used as alps and pastures by Wälder farmers before the Walser’s immigration.


The place name Warth is already found in a letter from 11 March 1453. For centuries the Walser eked out a meagre existence as mountain farmers in Warth, Gehren, Lechleiten and Hochkrummbach. This did not only mean a life of want, though as Franz Michael Felder recounts at a wedding in Warth in 1867: “At ten o’clock at night the second meal was served, the real wedding feast: soup with dumplings, cakes and pastries, pork sausages and at last a crowned calf’s head…” The people from Warth maintained an active movement of goods over the Schrofenpass with Oberallgäu, especially Oberstdorf. A large customs building in Lechleiten reminds of this trade. It stopped in 1884 when the Arlbergbahn (train) opened. But the trade with cattle remained active, there were up to three days in Lechleiten on which cattle was controlled and each time between 80 and 200 cattle were sold to the Allgäu.


Lech lies in the headwaters of the river Lech between 1444 and 1717 metres spanning 90 km² and has about 1300 inhabitants. The typical pass landscape is surrounded by the impressive massive of the Lechtaler Alpen which begin in various valleys. Due to the altitude agriculture and fruit-growing are not possible. The farmers only lived on dairy farming and cattle breeding until tourism came up once the Flexenstraße (road) was built (1895-1900). They were often isolated during winter because the cart paths leading to the high-lying valley were endangered by avalanches.
The word Lech as a river name appears for the first time as “Licca” in a document in 642 AD.
The finding of an axe from the Middle Bronze Ages suggests that people lived or migrated here earlier. Reatoroman field names like Flexen, Gampa, Zürs, Pazüel and Munzabun point to an early use as alps and hunting grounds. In 1059, the emperor Heinrich IV gave a large hunting ground surrounding the mountain Widderstein to the bishop of Augsburg. The region then belonged to Augsburg until 1841 in terms of the church.
The permanent settlement of the landscape near the river Lech took place through the Walser, though. They came from the Swiss canton Valais and immigrated to the high-lying valley shortly before 1300.  As they came across a lot of fir woods (Tannenwald), they called the region “Tannberg am Lech”. This name was shortend to „Lech“ in the course of the centuries. The Walser received the land as liege men of a Swabian land lord in return for a low interest which was paid in kind. In order to win the Walser to settle in this meagre landscape, they were granted special rights and freedoms.


region selection
Use this portlet to restrict the articles to the regions they were assigned to. Regions that do not have any articles assigned are grayed out. Selecting all or no regions makes all articles appear in the result set.

Berner Oberland
Verbania im Piemont
Vercelli im Piemont
Vorarlberg und Tirol
No Filtering available since all articles in the current context belong to the same regions.
Großes Walsertal
Rheintal and Walgau
Immigration to Vorarlberg and Tirol