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|regione: Trentino - Alto Adige||South Tyrol|
|Provinz/provincia: Bozen / Bolzano|
Bozen (Italian: Bolzano, Ladin: Bulsan) is situated at an altitude of 262 m at the confluence of the rivers Etsch (Adige), Eisack (Isarco) and Talfer (Talvera). Archeological traces of prehistoric settlements are only found in the vicinity at the mountain slopes because the valley basin was occupied by swamps and was frequently afflicted by floodings. The first settlement at the modern location of Bozen originated in Roman times as a military post. This settlement became known as Pons Drusi (ca. 15 BC) and later developed into a small town, which was first mentioned as Bauzanum in about 680. The Romans were followed by the Goths, Franks, Langobards, and Baiuvarii.
In the 11th century, Bozen came in possession of the bishops of Trient (Trento) who founded the modern town. During the 12th and 13th centuries the town was enlarged, fortified, and also received a town charter. After the death of the last count of Eppan in 1248 Bozen came in possession of the counts of Tirol, who were followed by the counts of Görz (Gorizia) and Tirol in 1253 and the Habsburgs in 1363. Since then Bozen was part of the Austrian countries. When the capital of the county of Tyrol was moved from Meran to Innsbruck in 1480, Bozen soon became the regional administrative centre of South Tyrol. After the Peace of Pressburg (Bratislava, SK) in 1805, Tyrol had to be handed over to Bavaria in 1806. After the defeat of the Tyrolean liberation movement and the Peace of Schönbrunn (see Vienna) in 1809, North Tyrol and the northern part of South Tyrol remained Bavarian, but Bozen and the southern parts of South Tyrol were awarded to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1810. Tyrol was recaptured by Austria in 1813, which was confirmed by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
Until the mid 19th century, the town retained its medieval appearance. After that it quickly became popular as a tourist destination. Especially the town borrough of Gries became renowned as a climatic spa. The opening in 1867 of the railroad, which leads north to North Tyrol and Bavaria via the Brenner pass and south to Trento and Italy, further boosted the economy of the city. After World War I Bozen became part of Italy in 1919/20. Today, Bozen is the capital of the autonomous province of Bozen-Südtirol (Bolzano-Alto Adige).
The cathedral Mariä Himmelfahrt (Ascension of Our Lady) [left] was first mentioned in 1184 and by 1238 had obtained the status of a parish church. After several fires the church was largely rebuilt from the 14th century onwards. Most of ther Romanesque parts were removed and were replaced by Gothic structures. The spire (63 m high) was added in 15001519. The Baroque main altar of 1719 was largely destroyed during World War II, but was reconstructed until 1959. The former main altar (14211423), whose parts today are found in several museums, was a masterpiece of the master sculptor Hans of Judenburg. The Baroque chapel of grace was added in 1745 and houses the statue of Our Lady. A further object of veneration is the painting of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, created in the late 18th century. In 1975 the church, now cathedral, became the seat of the bishops of Bozen/Bolzano. Before that, Bozen was part of the diocese Bozen-Brixen (Bolzano-Bressanone), which had been created in 1964 out of the diocese of Brixen/Bressanone and parts of the diocese Trient/Trento. The cathedral received the papal title of a Basilica minor in 1950.
Glass no.2092 [left] shows the
The Waltherdenkmal (monument for Walther von der Vogelweide) [foreground]
commemorates one of the most famous German minstrels who lived from around 1170 until about 1230.
The monument was unveiled in 1877. Plans to remove the monument were not carried out in 1926,
but in 1933 it was moved to the Rosegger-Park. It remained there until 1981 when it was moved back to its original