44,991 (Apr 1, 2009)
Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences
Andrea Kaufmann (OVP)
Dornbirn 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.
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 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.
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.