Feldkirch

Tradition – Encounter – Future

The Montforthaus was opened at the beginning of 2015. Since then, the architecturally sophisticated and sustainably built culture and congress centre has been very popular with visitors and event organisers. Planned by architects Hascher/Jehle from Berlin and Mitiska/Wäger from Bludenz, the house affords exciting views of the city centre, which is listed as a heritage site. Visitors can enjoy glorious views of the Schattenburg and the old town from the roof terrace of the Montforthaus restaurant.

The Schattenburg has been looming majestically over the city for nearly 800 years. Back then, it was a fortress, residence, poorhouse and prison. Nowadays, the Schattenburg houses a museum and a restaurant and is the best-preserved castle in the region. The public tours of the castle every Wednesday from May to October are particularly warmly recommended.

The Katzenturm (cats’ tower) is the most impressive symbol of the city‘s former fortifications; it was rebuilt by Emperor Maximilian around 1500. The name comes from the cannons (››cats‹‹) that were kept in this tower. Nowadays, it houses Vorarlberg‘s biggest bell, weighing more than 8.5 tons. This bell is rung every Friday at 3 pm (the hour of Christ‘s death) and on high church holidays.

The cathedral Dom St. Nikolaus is one of Vorarlbergs most beautiful Gothic churches. The cathedral‘s master builder Hans Sturn gave the church its today’s face in 1478. One sight particularly worth seeing is the side-altar on the right, built by Wolf Huber and known as the ››Annenaltar‹‹, as well as the contemporary windows by Feldkirch’s artist Martin Häusle.

The artwork in the cathedral square, titled ››der betstuhl‹‹ (››the prie dieu‹‹), is also a sundial. It was built by Hanno Metzler and was awarded the City of Feldkirch‘s culture prize. The monument remembers Feldkirch‘s great mathematician, physician and astronomer Georg Joachim Rheticus.

The Rathaus (town hall) bears impressive testimony to Feldkirch‘s rich history. Even the facade tells the story of the city and its citizens, and you can view a painting inside the house that shows Feldkirch and its city walls around 1650.

The Landeskonservatorium Feldkirch (Vorarlberg State Conservatory) was built around 1900 and was a part of the world-famous former Jesuit college Stella Matutina. This college drew pupils from all over the world. Sherlock Holmes’ author Arthur Conan Doyle was also a pupil here. The pupils and teachers give regular concerts at the state conservatory.

The Churertor is one of the two surviving city gates, which opened the way to Switzerland. Feldkirch was a medieval transport centre and a transit point for many goods. The city gate accordingly got its name from the salt trade with the Swiss city of Chur.

The Ardetzenberg (››Ardetzen mountain‹‹, wildlife park and Institut St. Josef), from where you can enjoy glorious views of the Schattenburg, is the home of the wildlife park, where you can see around 140 indigenous animals all year round. Both the team of volunteers and the animals are happy to accept donations (money or bread). Built in 1910, the Institut St. Josef on the Ardetzenberg accommodates various schools and is run by the Holy Cross Sisters.