Bischofshofen (colloquially abbreviated "B'hofen") is a town with 10,580 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the state of Salzburg in Austria and is located about 50 km south of the state capital Salzburg.



1 parish church of Maximilian
2 Frauenkirche
3 Georgi Church
4 Buchberg Church
5 St. Rupert Mission House, today a humanistic private high school
6 Museum at the Kastenturm, on Pfarrplatz. Tel .: +43 6462 2972. Archeology of the area, sacred art, Rupertus Cross (copy) Open: Open Wed, Fri, Sat 1 pm-5pm, Sun 10 am-5pm.
7 Bachsfall castle ruins (Pongowe), above the Gainfeld waterfall
8 Paul Ausserleitner ski jump. The three-king competition of the Four Hills Tournament is held annually on the hill. The ski jump was built in 1947 as a Hochkönigschanze. The ski jump is the largest of three ski jumping facilities in the Sepp Bradl Stadium. It is named after Bubi Bradl, the first winner of the Four Hills Tournament. The ski jumping area is freely accessible except during competitions.



The place name developed from pongowe, the Maximilianszelle (711/12), via Hove (1151), Hofen, Bischofhof, from around 1420 to Bischofshofen.

In the High Middle Ages, the place had a mystical high reputation and the secular lords of Pongau also held high positions as the Salzburg-Bavarian ministerial family (giving). From 1243 onwards, however, with the creation of the new location Werfen under the protection of its castle, the center of the Pongau shifted from both the Pongau old parish of St. Cyriak (Pfarrwerfen) and from Hofen to the new Werfen market. The Goldeggers also replaced the Lords of Pongowe.

From the end of the 19th century, Bischofshofen assumed a pioneering role as a railway junction and as a result of industrialization.

Historically, from 1216 to 1803, Bischofshofen was divided into two parts: the Chiemsee Hofmark around today's parish church and the district that was subordinate to the Prince of Salzburg (Archbishop). The diocese of Chiemsee was in turn an own diocese of the Salzburg church itself.

History: The central Pongau around Bischofshofen (like the Grauwackenzone) was an old central European copper mining area of ​​the pre- or. early Celtic population (similar to Uttendorf im Pinzgau). The oldest grave finds date from the Hallstatt period to the Latène period. There were other finds from this period. a. at Götschenberg, at the Bachfall ruins and at the Sinnhubschlössl.

During the Iron Age, copper mining was stopped for 2500 years and only rediscovered in 1827. At the Buchberg the mining took place until 1959. Iron was in Bischofshofen from 1615, especially in the 17th and 18th Century. From the 5th century, especially in the 2nd / 1st Century BC, the Celtic salt mining dominates the Hallein Dürrnberg.

15 BC - 488 AD - Roman times; Ostrogothic up to 536, then Frankish or Bavarian rule

At the Frauenkirche (mentioned for the first time on August 24, 1359) there was a lime tombstone from Roman times (A. Lippert found remains of a Roman building underneath), a Celtic coin from the 1st century BC (2019) and surprisingly close on the hillside, some early to high medieval graves from the 8th to 13th century AD (latest excavation 2019 by the BDA). As a result, there must have been a very early predecessor church to the Gothic Frauenkirche (cited in Höglinger). Until now, the remains of the foundations had been assumed to be around 1000 AD.

The Roman road itself led via Hüttau sunny via Ani (in the Ennstal) into the Lungau, like several milestones, mostly from the 3rd / 4th. Century, document.

711/712: The first documented mention of the wooded area (pongowe) in the Inner Mountains is for the year 711/712, with the establishment of the Maximilianszelle (Cella Maximiliana) as the predecessor of today's parish church. This takes place under Bishop / Abbot Rupert von Salzburg, with the consent of the Bavarian Dukes Theodo or his son Theodbert who is present from the Agilolfinger family and the Albina family (von der Albm).

The immediate conflict zone of Bischofshofen on the border with the post-Norse, Slavic principality of Carantania is documented by the destruction of the Maximilian cell in the middle of the 8th century by Slavs. After another destruction in 820, however, the new building followed immediately in 821.

At that time, the Salzburg bishops partly provided the chancellors of the Duchy of Bavaria. The Bischofshofener estates are among the oldest named in the country and formed the nucleus of the later Salzburg land acquisition. In the late Middle Ages, almost 50% of the goods belonged to the Salzburg archbishopric (manorial rule), which were managed by landholders.

1025-1041 Archbishop Dietmar consecrated an altar.

In 1106-1216 a small Augustinian canon monastery was founded, led by provosts.

The name Hoven was first mentioned in a document in 1151.

In 1216/17 the small Augustinian canons founded in 1106 and several manors came into the possession of the bishops of the newly created Salzburg diocese of Chiemsee. Their legally sovereign Hofmark of Kastenhof also came under the lower jurisdiction. The remaining part of the emerging village was under the jurisdiction of Werfen.

In 1405 the name Bischofhof is mentioned for the first time in a land register of the diocese.

The lords of Pongowe (Pongau) form one of the oldest and respected ministerial families of the archbishops in their castle above the Gainfeld waterfall (castle ruins Bachsfall or Purchstall) in the 12th century. In the 13./14. In the 19th century there were constant feuds between the archbishops and the ministerials and Bavarian knight families; Vests were built and later destroyed.


Although only a village, Bischofshofen was granted market and market customs law (forum et mercatus) in the 14th century. The oldest goods in the records from 1330 and 1350 all have Germanic first names: Heinrich de Flechsberg (Flachberg), Meingotz an dem Puchberg, Eisenbert, Altmann, Godewin, Percht ... These goods designations are almost only used as field names today.

From 1500 to 1850 the so-called Little Ice Age prevailed with decreasing profitability of agriculture.

In 1458 and especially in 1462 the farmers in the Inner Mountains (Pongau, Pinzgau, Brixental), also in association with the city of Radstadt, rose up against new taxes from the ecclesiastical ruler (consecration tax and surcharges). A copy of the settlement made with the sovereign was also issued for Bischofshofen in 1462.

1525/26: Pressured by high tax pressure (and an increasing population to be fed), the Salzburg Peasant Wars in 1525/26 also hit Bischofshofen. The neighboring Hohenwerfen Castle was occupied by farmers and miners, and the Hohensalzburg Fortress was besieged for three months. However, the farmers are defeated at Zell am See and Radstadt by auxiliary troops of the Swabian Federation. In 1564, farmers in Bischofshofen appointed the Protestant Constantin Schlafhauser as pastor, and unrest broke out. This was followed by the execution of the insurgent farmers Wilhelm Egger (1565) and Hans Steiner. From 1570 to 1811, the descendants of the rebels took part in the blood ram service, the delivery of a ram covered with a red woolen cloth.

In 1732 the evangelicals began to be expelled from the prince-archbishopric of Salzburg, also from Bischofshofen. Over 4,000 people from the Bischofshofen and Werfen courts alone had to leave the country. About 70% of the population put their faith before their homeland and were mostly accepted into Prussia (Salzburg exiles).

In 1775, the heavy flooding of the Gainfeldbach in the village center claimed 16 lives. In 1803 the church property was secularized and the state of Salzburg has been part of Austria since 1816. The country did not recover for a long time from the Napoleonic Wars and the struggles for freedom (around 1809, rifle commander Josef Struber) and the looting and the place was, for example, in 1869 as in poor conditions. There has been a (limited) elected council since 1850.

In 1848 Austria was liberated (redeemed) from the manors.

The construction of the railway around 1875, the option in South Tyrol with the construction of a South Tyrolean settlement around 1940, the war displaced persons and industrialization brought a high level of immigration. In 1882, copper smelting was relocated from Mühlbach to Ausserfelden (today Mitterberghütten) (which has not existed since 1977).

It was only through the construction of the Giselabahn to Wörgl in Tyrol and the Kronprinz-Rudolf-Bahn towards Graz in 1875, the copper mining in Mühlbach and the industrialization that Bischofshofen grew into an economic center in Pongau and an early Salzburg center of social democracy and became in the consequence on February 9, 1900 raised to the market town. Due to the continuous development into an important business and shopping center in the region, Bischofshofen received city rights on September 24, 2000.


Getting there

By plane
Salzburg Airport (IATA code: SZB) is approx. 50 km away.

By train
There are direct connections from 1 Bischofshofen train station to Salzburg, Villach and Vienna (Westbahnhof).

By bus
In the street
From Salzburg you can reach Bischofshofen via the A10 Tauern Autobahn, Pongau junction, or alternatively via the B159

By bike (optional)
Bischofshofen is on the Tauern Cycle Path