Historic Village Center

Architecture in Schwarzenberg

Heritage-protected village center with the Tanzhaus

In the early morning hours of October 1, 1775, a fire broke out in an empty house near the cemetery. At the time, most of the town's residents were with their cattle in the pastures. Those who remained in the town could only watch helplessly as the fire ran rampant. The catastrophic fire completely destroyed 16 houses. The church was burned to the ground, and the bells melted under the intense heat of the fire. In fact, the former village center no longer existed. So, the villagers built a new one that was even larger and more prestigious than before.

With an aesthetic typical for this area, the people of Schwarzenberg have been able to preserve the old "Hof", which consists of a harmonious interplay and polarity between buildings, streets, and squares in the present time. An awareness of tradition and a respectful handling of historic building structure have preserved an ensemble in which a symbiosis of tradition and modernity is formed. Today, the village square is considered the most beautiful and best preserved square in the state. In 1989, the Austrian Federal Monuments Office in Vienna placed 17 buildings under historical protection in Schwarzenberg's village center.

The Baroque church, the Tanzhaus, and 16 other buildings are part of the historic village ensemble. The oldest building in the square is the Mesnerstüble, which was spared by the fire of 1755.

Today's Tanzhaus (dance house) was previously the town square and a place of jurisdiction. The Landammann and the council practiced low justice here three times a year. The court sessions were concluded with a dance (Tanz), hence the name Tanzhüsle. In accordance with the solemn occasion, this "Tanz" was formal and included a maximum of three dances under the supervision of the elders. The court was originally outdoors and sheltered solely by the treetop of a linden tree. In order to escape inclement weather, it was covered, but the area had to remain open on three sides so that Bregenzerwald citizens could attend the trials. This was also a place where people gathered after attending church or going to the market to exchange news. It was something like an information headquarters. To this day, the Tanzhaus serves as a local information exchange center.

Tip: the book by Johann Peer "Schwarzenberg – Dokumentation der Kulturlandschaft" (Documentation of a Cultural Landscape) comprehensively describes cultural and art historical contexts and their representation in architecture. It is available at the tourist office. 

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SCHWARZENBERG tourist office
Vorarlberg, Austria
Tel.:  +43 5512 3570
E-mail: info@schwarzenberg.at 

Opening times
Mo, Tue, Thu: 8:00 to 12:00 & 14:00 to 16:00
Fr: 8:00 to 12:00
Wednesday: closed

Extended opening times during the Schubertiade

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