Liezen is a town in Upper Styria, the capital of the Styrian
Ennstal, and has around 7,500 inhabitants. Liezen has had town
charter since 1947 and is the cultural and economic center of the
Styrian Ennstal with numerous commercial and trading companies and
as the seat of authorities, institutions and service facilities.
Districts of Liezen are Pyhrn and Reithtal.
Liezen is mainly a regional economic center. The places worth
visiting are in the vicinity.
The Liezen old town is the area with Ausseer Straße and the church square.
Parish church of St. Veit, the western part dates back to the 16th century.
Kalvarienbergkapelle, probably built around 1770 on the Kalvarienberg and east of the old town.
city-rock (climbing center Liezen), Friedau, 8940 Liezen. Tel .: +43 (0) 3612 24 2 20.
In Roman times, the post station Stiriate was built on the road connection leading over the Pyhrnpass, which was of particular importance as the last resting and transformer station for the horse-drawn vehicles of the time before or after the Pyhrnpass. From here roads led westwards across the Ennstal and Ausseerland to the Roman city of Iuvavum (Salzburg), eastwards towards Admont, northwards to the next station "Gabromagum" (also called "Gabromagis") near Windischgarsten. The road led from the Triebener Tauernpass over "Surontio", over Burgfried-Lassing (later Reichsstrasse on the southern slope of Strechau Castle) and over the depression in the eastern part of the Mitterberg into the Ennstal. This post office, from which finds from Roman times, including inscription stones, have been preserved, also formed the starting point for the later settlement.
Middle Ages and early modern times
The first mention of Liezen took place around 1130 in an inventory of the Admont Abbey under the Slavic name Luecen, which means "wet meadow" or "moor". The village church, consecrated to St. Vitus, was first mentioned around 1160; the patronage refers to a missionary relationship with St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.
An important economic factor of the place was on the one hand its location on the Pyhrn Pass and on the other hand the iron ore mining on the Salberg, which has been demonstrable since the 13th century. The iron ore deposits visible on the Rote Wand above Liezen had led to the creation of a dragon legend, which was also thematized in the later city arms.
At the end of the 15th century, the church was rebuilt in the late Gothic style, and it was not until 1600 that it became an independent parish church. Because of the Turkish threat in the late Middle Ages, the church was also surrounded by a tabor. The Liezen branch church was incorporated into the Rottenmann Abbey in 1515, and it was not until 1614 that the church, which had meanwhile become Protestant, was elevated to an independent Catholic parish. The Calvary Church on Salberg, built as a baroque four-cone building after the plague epidemic of 1714/15, has a crucifixion group inside by the sculptor Balthasar Prandstätter from Judenburg. To the west of the town, the Renaissance Grafenegg Castle was built around 1600, which was finally demolished in 1982 after an eventful fate. Liezen actually had market functions since the 17th century, although no actual market rights were granted.
19th and early 20th centuries
The decisive turning point in Liezen's urban development came with the revolution of 1848, which ended the existing manorial conditions. Liezen received a municipal council in 1850 and became the seat of the district administration in 1866. Above all, however, the period from 1850 onwards was shaped for Liezen by the economic development into an industrial location for iron smelting. Josef Pesendorfer (1791–1856) - he is remembered by the cast iron Pesendorfer Cross from 1827 - founded the Amalienhütte below the Pyhrn Pass in 1853 (closed in 1893). In 1873 Liezen was connected to the existing rail network with the Selzthal-Liezen station on the Kronprinz-Rudolf-Bahn, and in 1875 with its own station on the new connecting line from Selzthal to Bischofshofen, the Giselabahn. As a result of this connection, Liezen, famous for its location, became increasingly a popular holiday destination. The historic station building from 1875 was demolished in 2016.
One of the most important personalities in Liezen in the later 19th century was the Viennese industrialist and patron Nikolaus Dumba, who was granted honorary citizenship in 1870 for his social and economic commitment to the place. While the hunting lodge, built in the historicism style, which he had built here in 1874/75 by the Viennese architect August Krumholz, was demolished in 1960, the neighboring "Small Villa Dumba" has been preserved. The artists who stayed in Liezen as guests of the Dumba family included: Rudolf von Alt, Gottfried Seelos and Karl Pischinger, who died here.
Around the turn of the 20th century, Liezen presented itself as an ambitious place, which was expressed in the intensive construction activity. In 1881 a new school building was built according to plans by the Admont master builder Luigi Franz. The school building was "modernized" in 1960, losing its architectural character. As early as 1900 Liezen had tried - unsuccessfully - to be recognized as a market town and built a representative town hall, which was also the seat of the district administration. 1902–1904 the court building on Ausseer Straße was built. In 1911–1912 the late Gothic parish church was expanded to include a neo-Gothic choir based on a design by the Linz cathedral builder Matthias Schlager, for which the late medieval tabor was abandoned.
In the interwar period Liezen's economic development was rather
hesitant. In 1925, the brothers Vasold founded the Alpine Art
Ceramics in Liezen, which existed until 1960 and, in addition to
utility ceramics, also produced sophisticated handicrafts.
Liezen was elevated to the status of a city in 1947 due to the economic and population growth before and after the Second World War. As part of the promotion of the armaments industry after the annexation of Austria, the Schmidhütte Liezen was founded in 1939 by August Schmid-Schmidsfelden. A South Tyrolean settlement was built to the west of the local area. In 1954, VOEST took over the now nationalized smelter, which was sold as a result of the Noricum scandal and was continued as the Liezen machine factory and foundry since 1994.
Following the town elevation, Liezen took on an urban development that was associated with a great loss of historical building fabric. The last remnant of the medieval tabor, the old schoolhouse, was demolished in 1983. In return, a main square was built around 1960, marked by two high-rise buildings, with uniform development on the edge of the square in the style of functionalism. In 1980 the tax office and employment office were given a joint new building in the style of brutalism.
On the occasion of the city elevation in 1947, the Protestant church of Admont, to whose district Liezen belonged, was raised to the rank of an independent parish church. The establishment of the Resurrection Church in Liezen took place in the years 1957-1959, after the addition of the community center, the official residence of the pastor was moved from Admont to Liezen.
More recently, the business center has increasingly shifted south to the federal highway 320, which was built as a bypass.
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the city of Liezen, a monumental metal sculpture of the city's heraldic animal, the lindworm, was set up by the sculptor Naira Boesch-Geworkian at the entrance to the town center.
Liezen is an old mining and industrial town, but only very few
old buildings remain. The main square in particular consists only of
new buildings. The historic town of Rottenmann, about ten kilometers
to the south, used to be the administrative center. Liezen is
located on the northern edge of the Ennstal, about one kilometer
from the flood-prone banks of the Enns. In the valley widening at
the foot of the Pyhrn Pass, which crosses the Limestone Alps to
Upper Austria, the Pyhrnbach flows into the Enns from the north.
Directly upstream is the district (on the body of the same name),
which has grown together spatially with Liezen. Liezen is also an
important traffic junction.
The flat valley floor of the Ennstal is two to three kilometers wide and partly swampy: to the west of the twin towns lies the approximately two square kilometers large Wörschacher Moos, to the east the Selzthaler Moos.
The municipality of Liezen was merged with the municipality of Weißenbach bei Liezen as part of the Styrian municipal structural reform in 2015, the new municipality continues to bear the name of the municipality of Liezen. The basis for this is the Styrian Municipal Structural Reform Act - StGsrG.
Liezen consists of four localities and cadastral communities of the same name (area: as of December 31, 2017; population as of January 1, 2020):
Liezen (6671 inhabitants, 2,684.50 ha) including Am Berg, Auf der Leiten, Hinteregg, Röth and Salberg
Pyhrn (259 inhabitants, 1,675.61 ha) including Pyhrnerhofsiedlung
Reithtal (190 Ew., 1,275.03 ha) including Zwirtnersee
Weißenbach near Liezen (1146 inhabitants, 3,575.59 ha) including a scythe smith
The nearest international airports are Vienna-Schwechat (244 km away, around two and a half hours' drive), Graz-Thalerhof (120 km, around 75 minutes' drive) and Salzburg Airport (139 km, around one and a half hours' drive).
Liezen train station is on the Ennstal railway and has connections to Graz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna
Liezen train station is about one kilometer south of the city center.
From the west (Munich - Salzburg area), toll on the Austrian motorways:
On the Tauernautobahn (A10) via Salzburg in the direction of Graz / Villach to the Ennstal junction (Altenmarkt), further about 74 kilometers on the federal road (B146) and via Schladming to Liezen.
In a variant from Salzburg via the A1 (Westautobahn) in the direction of Vienna to the Voralpenkreuz junction and then via the A9 (Pyhrnautobahn) to the "Liezen" exit, from here another five kilometers on the federal road to Liezen. For the last section of the motorway, an additional € 5.00 tunnel fee is due (as of 2015).
You can get there toll-free with numerous local through-roads (Salzburg, Bad Ischl) via the Salzkammergut and on the B145.