First mentioned in a document in 1110, the town of Braunau (“Prounaw”) was awarded city status in 1260. It greatly benefited from the lively trade on the Inn River and soon became the region’s cultural and economic centre.
One of Braunau’s most famous citizens is the former town commissioner Hans Steininger, who grew an almost 2 meter long beard that now more than 450 years later can still be viewed in the Herzogsburg Bezirksmuseum.
The former fortress town of Braunau am Inn was an important regional centre and therefore time and again the cause of armed conflict between Austria and Bavaria. In the end the Innviertel district was ceded to Austria.
Emperors and kings as well as members of the aristocracy and clergy often stayed in Braunau. In 1903, although it was not his custom to visit small towns, Emperor Franz Joseph attended the inauguration of the new town hall built after the old one was destroyed during a great fire. In honour of the Emperor, the town also celebrated its 700th anniversary at the same time. Later it was discovered that this date was obviously wrong, and in 1960 the town re-celebrated its 700th anniversary. No other town has this claim to fame: turning 700 twice.