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Vorarlberg: the westernmost state of Austria

Vorarlberg is one of the smallest states (Bundesländer) of Austria, in fact only the territory of Vienna is smaller. This Austrian state is located at the western end of the country and borders Germany to the north, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the south and west. While to the east lies the Austrian state of Tyrol, and to the north-west, for a short distance, it overlooks Lake Constance (Bodensee). The capital of Vorarlberg is the city of Bregenz located on Lake Constance.

During the Roman Empire, Vorarlberg was part of the province of Raetia, of which one of the most important cities was Brigantium, today’s Bregenz. In the Middle Ages the region was a possession of the Alemanni and the Franks, later becoming a county under the counts of Montfort, who were replaced by the Habsburgs starting from the 15th century.


Made up mainly of mountains, Vorarlberg has high mountain ranges to the east, south and north. While in the west it is crossed by the River Rhine which marks the border with Switzerland, in the north-west corner there is also the extreme eastern offshoot of Lake Constance. Along the Rhine valley and on the shores of Lake Constance are the main cities of the region: Bregenz, Dornbirn and Feldkirch.

To the north, on the border with Germany, the territory of this Austrian state is closed by the Allgäu Alps (Allgäuer Alpen). While the Lechtal Alps (Lechtaler Alpen) and the Verwall Group (Verwallgruppe) mark the border with Tyrol. Finally, on the southern border with Switzerland are the Reticone (Rätikon) and Silvretta massifs. In the latter massif there is the highest mountain peak of Vorarlberg, Piz Buin (3,312 meters).

Tourist attractions: What to see in Vorarlberg.

Population: 370.294 (2010)
Area: 2,601 km²
Capital: Bregenz
Highest point: Piz Buin 3,312 meters
Lowest point: Lake Constance (Bodensee) 395 meters


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