Brixen im Thale

Brixen im Thale is, as its Celtic name suggests, one of the oldest settlements in the Tyrolean lowlands. A Celtic axe (Lappenaxt) from the Late Bronze Age, which was found in Brixen, now adorns the coat of arms of Brixen im Thale.

If we look at the names of the communities in the Brixen Valley, we can easily recognise the original meaning in most of them, such as Hopfgarten, Westendorf, Kirchberg. These are German names that go back to the Bavarian settlers.

From the campaign of Tiberius and Drusus in 15 BC until the Bavarian settlement that began in the 6th century, the Brixen Valley belonged to the Roman Empire, whose language was Latin. However, the name Brixen can no more be explained by Latin than by German. The first settlers in Brixen im Thale were Celts and they appeared around the middle of the first pre-Christian millennium, mainly on the fringes of the Alps. In the second century BC, a Celtic kingdom with the main city of Noreia emerged in the area of the Eastern Alps, which confronted the Romans as the Regnum Noricum. The north-eastern Tyrol also belonged to this kingdom.

Ancient Church History
Ancient Church History

Ancient Church History

Historians have always assumed that the parish church of Brixen im Thale is an important ecclesiastical building on ancient sacred ground. Brixen is also the only place in the Brixen Valley to appear in the "Indiculus Arnonis", which confirms the mention of an "ecclesia ad prixina" there, which is obvious due to the settlement history and landlordship development of this area:

Brixen im Thale is undoubtedly the oldest and actual mother parish of the valley, which once encompassed the district of the entire market cooperative in it.
Its boundaries met towards the west in the then still unsettled, wooded narrows of Hopfgarten with those of the equally old original parish of Kirchbichl and towards the east at the Klausenbach with those of St. Johann in Tyrol, the mother church of the Leuken Valley.

The church mentioned in the property register of Bishop Arno was always considered the first, oldest church building in Brixen. When this church, which probably dates back to the 8th century, was scientifically excavated in 1978 on the occasion of the laying of new paving, the archaeologists discovered a sensation. A foundation of an even older (possibly sacral) building, dated to the 3rd century and thus one of the most important and rare Roman testimonies in the Tyrolean lowlands.

788 AD - Brixen im Thale is first mentioned in a document
First documented mention in the so-called directory of the Salzburg bishop Arno, a famous Salzburg manuscript, which already refers to Brixen as a church town at that time.

In 1481...
a school was already mentioned here. The Taz library (founded in 1473), which still exists today (in the meantime in the archdiocese of Salzburg), and the extremely rich deanery archives document the exceptional cultural position of the place.

17th century
The religious importance of the town was joined in the late Middle Ages, and then especially in the 17th century, by a strong economic upswing, when copper and silver mining, which had already been practised in Celtic times but had then fallen into oblivion, flourished again. Brixen was also the cultural centre of the valley, to which it gave its name.

Ecclesiastically, Brixen, which had always belonged to the Archdiocese of Salzburg, was originally under the Archdeaconry of Chiemsee and, from 1620, the Dean of St. Johann, until it became its own deanery in 1812. Politically, Brixen once belonged to Regensburg, from 1312 to Salzburg and only became part of Tyrol in 1816.