Schwarzenberg

Schwarzenberg “As git Mändle, Wieble und Schwarzobergar” – “There are men, there are women, and there are people from Schwarzenberg”, according to many Vorarlberg locals. This saying alludes to the industriousness, the thriftiness and the unconventionality of the village’s inhabitants. 


It is considered the most magnificent of the villages in the Bregenzerwald. Its prosperity is displayed in the large, old houses – and in the fact that it is the only place which owns its own alps in the Hinterwald. It also has considerable cultural assets in the form of the Schubertiade, modern architecture, local musicians, august guests and the Angelika Kauffmann memorials. Hamlets with magnificent views over the countryside of the Bregenzerwald surround the village.

Tour interactive

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1. Gasthof Adler

The inn was built in 1756. It needed a complete refurbishment in 1990. The architect and the craftspeople turned the “Adler” into a real architectural treat. A succession of rooms displays the change between the preservation of old building stock and modern design. During the redevelopment work, the original timber-log façade was uncovered. It displays light ornaments on a dark red colour, called “ox blood”. This locally produced paint contains blood serum as a binding agent. The red colour comes from iron oxide. Slaked lime and lime water prevent mould. Boiled linseed oil penetrates the finest of joints, repelling water.

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2. Hotel Gasthof Hirschen

The façade is late baroque, the history aristocratic. Royalty and aristocrats have spent the night in this inn, which has been in business for over 250 years. These days, it is international celebrities who spend the night in the “Hirschen”. Around 1850, the German poet Eduard Mörike wrote about the establishment: “The inn is made entirely of wood with panelled walls. All the furnishings and fittings are opulent, sophisticated and beat the comforts and cleanliness of the inns in the town by far.” The same can still be said of the “Hirschen” today. The restaurants are cosy and exude historical elegance – a unique blend of Bregenzerwald architectural history and hospitality.

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3. Dance gazebo

Once upon a time, the local court used to meet here. The name “Tanzhüsle” goes back to the custom of rounding off the meeting with a dance. Naturally, this dance was very formal, comprised only three dances and was supervised by the elders. Almost all the villages in the Bregenzerwald used to have their very own dance gazebo. This, the last one, was built in the years after the 1755 village fire. It was the meeting place between the public houses, church and market for people to listen to the latest announcements and to exchange news – the dance gazebo was a sort of information centre for the goings-on in village life.

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4 Angelika Kauffmann Museum

She was born in Chur in 1741, gained fame in London and died in Rome. Despite this, Angelika Kauffmann is considered an Austrian artist, and her museum is in Schwarzenberg. It is where her father Joseph came from. In 1757, he was commissioned to re-paint the parish church destroyed in a fire. Angelika joined in the work and painted the twelve apostles above the Stations of the Cross. She based her paintings on the copperplate engravings by the Venetian artist Piazzetta, using the fresco technique. Her museum is the exemplary redesign of the service wing of a traditional Bregenzerwald farmhouse.

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5. Beien hamlet

A hamlet is a group of houses smaller than a village. It describes a collection of a few buildings without a central point such as a church or a public house. Originally an economic unit and, as such, subject to rent, division of the estates amongst farmers resulted in several estates with their own houses. These “farms” were independent from an economic point of view, yet bound to joint farming by hamlet acts. Fencing and paths were regulated mutually. There were wells and alpine-dairy cooperatives, and the common commercial area, the “Allmende”.

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6. Angelika Kauffmann Hall

The heritage building, around 400 years old, has been converted to house two families. The residential building, which has been redeveloped according to the requirements of a listed building, now has a modern look yet has maintained its old parlours and pantries. When building the flat in the old hay barn, the architect, who lives here himself, dared to draw up an exceptional design – no rooms, no storeys. Instead, the levels in the spacious, glazed building spiral upwards, staggered by around one quarter of a storey. They are open or separated only by glass walls and curtains. Contemporary and historical architectural ideas intertwine with each other.

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