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Kitzbühel is situated at an elevation of 762 m on the river Kitzbühler Ache in eastern Tyrol. It is one of Austria's most important and fashionable winter sport resorts. The town is the administrative seat of the district of the same name and has a population of about 8,600.
In the late Bronze Ages the area was settled by Illyric tribes who began to search for copper. In Roman times the region belonged to the province Noricum. After the decline of the Roman empire the Bavarii started to clear the woods and founded permanent settlements. The oldes written mention of Chizbuhel is found in a document dating from the 12th century, another document written about a century later talks about Kicemgespuchel. After the first partition of Bavaria in 1255, the village became part of Upper Bavaria and, now called Chizzingenspuehel, was granted the privileges of a town in 1271. Situated at an important trading route that connected the upper Salzach valley via the Thurn Pass with the Chiemgau region, the town soon prospered as a trading place. In 1342 Countess Margarethe of Tyrol ("Margarethe Maultasch") married Ludwig of Brandenburg and Bavaria (1347 as Ludwig V Duke of Bavaria, and until 1351 as Ludwig I also Margrave of Brandenburg) and Kitzbühel for the first time became part of Tyrol (which itself, however, was united with Bavaria). In 1369 the town was handed back to Bavaria and later was part of Bavaria-Landshut). After the end of the Landshut War of Succession, the Kitzbühel district as finally ceded to Tyrol together with the districts Kufstein and Rattenberg. At the end of the 16th century the town was pawned to the Counts of Lamberg who remained in possession of the town until 1840. After the Peace of Pressburg (now Bratislava, SK) (1805) Tyrol had to be ceded to Bavaria, but after Napoleon's defeat and the Congress of Vienna (1815) it was returned it to Austria.
The Kaisergebirge (or short Kaiser) [background] is a mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps and the Eastern Alps. It consists of two main mountain ridges the Zahmer Kaiser to the north and the Wilder Kaiser to the south. The entire range is situated in Austria's state Tyrol between the city of Kufstein and the market town St. Johann in Tirol. The Wilder Kaiser is mostly composed of bare limestock rock, the Zahmer Kaiser to the south is mostly covered by mountain pines (dwarf pines). Both parts of the mountain range are connected by the Stripsenjoch pass (1,580 m). Overall, the Kaiser mountain range extends about 20 km from east to west and about 14 km from north to south. The Zahmer Kaiser barely exceed the 2,000-meter limit (Vordere Kesselschneid). The highest elevation in the Wilder Kaiser is the Ellmauer Halt (2,344 m). There are about forty other peaks, among them many famous for mountain climbing (Karlspitzen, Totenkirchl, Fleischbank, Predigtstuhl, Goinger Halt, Ackerlspitze, Maukspitze).
The Katharinenkirche [left: background] was built in 1360–1365 in Gothic style. A treasure of the church is the Kupferschmiedaltar (Coppersmith altar), created in 1513–1515.
Schloss Kaps [left] was founded in the 15th/16th century (the name Kaps, however, had already been mentioned in the 14th century). In 1682 the castle was largely rebuilt and towards the end of the 19th century it was converted into a residential castle. Since 1955 the castle is home of the Golf Club Kitzbühel, the oldest of the four golf clubs of the town.