Braunau am Inn

Location: Upper Austria   Map



Braunau am Inn is a town in Upper Austria. The district town of the district of the same name is located opposite Simbach am Inn on the right bank of the Inn, which forms the German-Austrian border here. With the Peace of Teschen in 1779 she came from the Electorate of Baiern (Kurpfalzbaiern) together with the Innviertel to Austria, where she stayed with brief interruptions. It became known through the execution of the bookseller Johann Philipp Palm at the behest of Napoleon I in 1806. It is less well remembered as the birthplace of Adolf Hitler; a memorial from 1989 reminds of this.


Braunau am Inn Travel Destinations

Braunau am Inn or Braunau on Inn is a large Austrian town that stands on the banks of the Inn River and its confluence with the Salzach. It stands on a historic border of Austria and a state of Bavaria (today part of Germany). Early records indicate that it was probably found around the Abbey of Ranshofen that was first mentioned in 788. Braunau am Inn was first mentioned in 1120 deed, however in the 13th century it became an important fortified town with large salt mine technology that was thriving and giving its residents work.


Catholic parish church of St. Stephan with its 99 m high tower and largely preserved Gothic and Baroque furnishings
Citizens Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit
Ranshofen Abbey in the suburb of the same name
City gate tower


Hitler's Birth Place

Hitler's Birth Place or Geburthaus as it is locally known is a home where Adolf Hitler, future Nazi leader of the Third Reich (1933- 45), was born on April 20, 1889. Hitler family spent only few first few years of his life here before moving to Linz. It is easily recognized by a large bouldee that stands outside. It was brought here from a quarry at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp and bear an inscription in German: "For peace, freedom/ and democracy/ never again fascism/ millions of dead admonish" (Fur Frieden, Freiheit und Demokratie, nie wieder Faschismus, Millionen Tote mahnen).


Getting there

By plane
Munich Airport (IATA Code: MUC, travel time on the motorway approx. 60 minutes) and Linz Airport (IATA Code: LNZ) are easily accessible by car, bus and train. The somewhat closer Salzburg Airport W. A. ​​Mozart (IATA code: SZG, ICAO code: LOWS) can also be considered.

By train
Braunau is located on the Munich - Linz railway line, which has long been served by regional trains (travel time 2 hours 14 minutes, change in Mühldorf am Inn and Simbach).

By bus
Flixbus offers direct connections to Vienna and Munich.

By street
From Germany it is best to take the federal highway 3 to the Pocking exit, then continue on the federal highway B12, which is currently being expanded to the federal highway 94, to Simbach am Inn and there over the Inn to Braunau. From the direction of Vienna and Linz via the Innkreis Autobahn A8 to the Ried junction and further on country roads that form the Europastraße 552 after the planning of the Innviertel expressway S 9 was abandoned. The shortest route from Munich is via the 94 federal motorway, which has not yet been fully completed, to Simbach and there across the border. From Switzerland via Munich. From Salzburg via Lamprechtshausener Straße B156.

By boat
The previously quite significant shipping on the Inn was discontinued with the beginning of the railway age.



Between the 8th and the 20th century
Rantersdorf (Ranshofen) was first mentioned in documents in 788 and Braunau was first mentioned in documents in 1120 under the name Prounaw. For centuries, Braunau, like the entire Innviertel, belonged to Bavaria. In 1260 Braunau received city rights. During the great city fire in 1380, the wooden city from the time it was founded, including the Inn Bridge, was completely destroyed.

The parish church of St. Stephen was built in the middle of the 15th century, and in 1492 the foundation stone was laid for the 87-meter-high tower of the St. Stephen's Church. In 1504 the city was bombarded by the Palatinate and occupied for a short time.

During the Bavarian peasant and popular uprising of 1705/1706 (Sendlinger Murder Christmas), Braunau was briefly besieged by Austrian troops of the imperial army under the supreme command of the Habsburg Emperor Joseph I. However, the troops had to surrender to the insurgents on December 16, 1705. Braunau and Burghausen thus became the military and political centers of the uprising. The first democratic entity met in the city, the State Defense Congress (Braunau Parliament). In the course of the War of the Austrian Succession, Braunau was again besieged by the imperial army in 1743. In 1779, in the Peace Treaty of Teschen, the Innviertel, which belonged to the Electorate of Bavaria, was finally awarded to the Habsburgs.

The Nuremberg bookseller Johann Philipp Palm was executed in Braunau in 1806 on Napoleon's orders for high treason. Between 1810 and 1816, the Innviertel once again belonged to the Kingdom of Bavaria. On March 28, 1874, a fire that broke out in a brewery on the town square destroyed more than 70 houses.

In Braunau garrisoned the Galician Feldjäger Battalion No. 4. A prison camp was set up along the Mattig at the beginning of the war. Up to 15,000 prisoners of war were housed in 120 barracks. A year later, the Naval Academy was moved from Pula to the Salzburgertor barracks (now Bucheder). The Braunau refugee camp was set up in the district of Laab, in which refugees from Trentino (then: Welschtirol) were accommodated.

After Austria was annexed to the National Socialist German Reich in March 1938, the previously independent municipality of Ranshofen was incorporated into the municipality of Braunau am Inn on October 15, 1938. On May 2, 1945, troops from the 13th US Armored Division marched over a pontoon bridge to Braunau and occupied the city area.

After the end of World War II, Braunau belonged to the US occupation zone in occupied post-war Austria. The US military administration set up a DP camp.

Braunau as Hitler's birthplace
The dictator Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau. The family moved to Passau three years later. At the end of the war in 1945, American soldiers occupied the birth house and prevented fanatical Nazi supporters from blowing it up. Public attention to Braunau's Nazi past only began hesitantly at the end of the 1980s, when in April 1989 - two weeks before Hitler's 100th birthday - at the instigation of Mayor Gerhard Skibas, a memorial stone against war and fascism was erected on public land in front of the house where he was born became. The stone comes from the quarry of the former Mauthausen concentration camp. Since this initiative, several projects have been launched that deal with the Nazi past and serve as a reminder and commemoration. In 1992, Andreas Maislinger and Erich Marschall started the Braunau Contemporary History Days, organized by the Association for Contemporary History from 1993, an initiative that dealt with contemporary history and increasingly regional history. The "Braunau sets a sign" initiative launched by the editor-in-chief of the Braunauer Rundschau Reinhold Klika in February 2000 called for the purchase of Hitler's birthplace and the establishment of an international meeting place. In 2006, the hospital park was renamed in the name of Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who was executed by the National Socialists, and the German artist Gunter Demnig laid several such memorial stones for Nazi victims in Braunau am Inn as part of his Europe-wide memorial project Stumbling Stones place (see list of stumbling blocks in the district of Braunau am Inn).


In 2007, the municipality, together with the Association for Contemporary History, awarded the Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer Prize for the first time, which was named after Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer, a diplomat, constitutional lawyer and emigrant from Ranshofen near Braunau am Inn, as well as an adviser to the US government during the Second World War became. Since then, the prize has been awarded to Austrians abroad who are or have been particularly committed to their home country of Austria.

On July 7, 2011, the Braunau municipal council posthumously revoked Hitler's honorary citizenship and homeland rights, which had been awarded by the then independent municipality of Ranshofen in the 1930s.

In the early 1950s, the house where Adolf Hitler was born was returned by the Republic of Austria to the former owners, who had bought the house during the annexation of Austria, as part of a restitution settlement. In 2012, a Russian Duma deputy wanted to buy the house and have it demolished. After unsuccessful negotiations, the Interior Ministry considered expropriating the owner in 2016 in order to gain control over the use of the building. In an interview in October 2016, the Austrian Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Sobotka, stated that the house would then be demolished and a new building erected. Sobotka was referring to an alleged recommendation by a commission of historians. The mayor of Braunau, Hannes Waidbacher, who is a member of this commission, said that the recommendation of the commission contained "nothing about demolition", but only a "profound architectural redesign" which would permanently improve the "recognition value and symbolic power of the building should stop”. The head of the Upper Austrian State Archives, Cornelia Sulzbacher, was also surprised by the minister's statements and also said that there was only a recommendation to change the appearance so that the house could no longer be used as a symbol.