Lienz is a medieval town in the Austrian state of Tyrol. It is the administrative centre of the Lienz district (Bezirk), which covers all of East Tyrol. Lienz is located at the confluence of the rivers Isel and Drava, between the Hohe Tauern mountain range in the north and the Gailtal Alps in the south. The municipality also includes the cadastral subdivision of Patriasdorf.


The area of Lienz had been settled since the Bronze Age about 2000 BC. Celtic people lived here from about 300 BC on, mainly as miners, who came under control of the Roman Empire in 15 BC. It was incorporated into the province of Noricum and Emperor Claudius had a municipium called Aguntum erected near Lienz in the todays municipality of Dölsach. Aguntum became the see of an Early Christian bishop in the 5th century but decayed during the Slavic settlement of the Eastern Alps about 600.

Lienz itself was first mentioned as Luenzina in a deed about 1030 when it together with Patriasdorf was a part of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and then was acquired by the Counts of Gorizia, who chose Lienz as a residence. It received city rights on February 25 1242 and in 1278 the Counts finished Schloss Bruck, a castle that until 1500 served as their local seat. When the Gorizia dynasty became extinct in 1500 their estates were bequeathed to Maximilian I of Habsburg and were incorporated into the County of Tyrol.

After World War I the region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol was awarded to the Kingdom of Italy under the terms of the 1919 Treaty of Saint-Germain, making the Lienz district of East Tyrol an exclave with no territorial connection to North Tyrol. After the 1938 annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany (Anschluss), the Lienz district became a part of the "Reichsgau" of Carinthia.

On May 8, 1945 British forces occupied Lienz, which together with Carinthia and Styria became part of the UK occupation zone. At this time several thousand members of the former Wehrmacht 1st Cossack Division coming from Yugoslavia had arrived in and around Lienz. They surrendered to the British troops but were forcibly repatriated to the Soviet allies.


Lienz is located at a road junction between the Drautalstraße highway, leading from Carinthia to the Puster Valley in the Italian province of Bolzano-Bozen (B100), and the Felbertauernstraße (B108) from Lienz to Mittersill in Salzburg. It is also connected by the Drautalbahn railway line from Villach to Innichen in Bolzano-Bozen.

Notable people

Neighboring municipalities

By the consistent growth of the city, some smaller villages around - though officially municipalities in their own right - are now widely considered to be suburbs of Lienz. Those suburbs comprise:
Thurn, Gaimberg
Leisach, Oberlienz Nußdorf-Debant
Amlach, Tristach

Twin towns

See also

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