Brixen (German: [ˈbrɪksn̩] (listen), locally [ˈb̥ʀɪksn̩]; Italian: Bressanone [bressaˈnoːne]; Ladin: Porsenù or Persenon)[pronunciation?] is a town in South Tyrol, northern Italy, located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Bolzano.

Brixen (German)
Porsenù/Persenon (Ladin)
Gemeinde Brixen
Comune di Bressanone
Brixen Innenstadt.jpg
Flag of Brixen Bressanone
Coat of arms of Brixen Bressanone
Location of Brixen
Brixen Bressanone is located in Italy
Brixen Bressanone
Location of Brixen
Bressanone in Italy
Brixen Bressanone is located in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
Brixen Bressanone
Bressanone (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol)
Coordinates: 46°43′N 11°39′E / 46.717°N 11.650°E / 46.717; 11.650Coordinates: 46°43′N 11°39′E / 46.717°N 11.650°E / 46.717; 11.650
RegionTrentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
ProvinceSouth Tyrol (BZ)
Frazionisee list
 • MayorPeter Brunner (SVP)
 • Total84.86 km2 (32.76 sq mi)
560 m (1,840 ft)
 (31 August 2015)[2]
 • Total21,416
 • Density250/km2 (650/sq mi)
DemonymsGerman: Brixner
Italian: brissinesi
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0472
Patron saintSaint Albuin
Saint Ingenuin
Saint dayFebruary 2
WebsiteOfficial website


First mentioned in 901, Brixen is the third largest city and oldest town in the province, and the artistic and cultural capital of the valley. It is located at the confluence of the Eisack and Rienz rivers, 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Bolzano and 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of the Brenner Pass, on the Italy-Austrian border. It is flanked on the eastern side by the Plose and Telegraph (Monte Telegrafo) mountains (2,504 m) and on the western side by the Königsanger (Monte Pascolo) (2,436 m) mountain.

Brixen is especially known as a major skiing resort (the Plose). Other activities include hydroelectric power, orchards, and vineyards.


Frazioni / incorporated villages: Afers (Eores), Albeins (Albes), Elvas, Gereuth, Karnol, Klerant (Cleran), Kranebitt (Costa d'Elvas), Mahr (La Mara), Mairdorf, Mellaun (Meluno), Milland, Pairdorf (Perara), Pinzagen (Pinzago), Plabach, Rutzenberg, St. Andrä (S.Andrea), St. Leonhard (S.Leonardo), Sarns (Sarnes), Tils (Tiles), Tötschling (Tecelinga), Tschötsch (Scezze), Untereben.


The area of Brixen has been settled since the Upper Paleolithic (8th millennium BC). Other settlements from the late Stone Age have been found and in 15 BC, the area was conquered by the Romans, who had their main settlement in the nearby Säben (Sabiona). They held it until around 590, when it was occupied by Bavarians.

The first mention of Brixen dates to 901 in a document issued by the King of Germany, Louis III the Child, in it a territory called Prihsna is assigned to Zacharias, bishop of Säben. As time passed, "Prihsna" turned into the current name of Brixen. The bishops moved here from Säben in 992, after the Cathedral had been finished.

In 1039, the Bishop of Brixen, Poppo, was elevated to Pope by emperor Henry III. However his reign lasted for only 23 days. In the same century, Brixen became the seat of an independent ecclesiastical principate which, in the following years, struggled for existence against the neighbouring county of Tyrol. In 1080, the synod of Brixen condemned Pope Gregory VII. In 1115, a first line of walls encircling Brixen was completed.

The bishopric was secularized in 1803 and annexed by the Austrian Empire. Between 1851 and 1855, the Czech journalist and writer Karel Havlíček Borovský was exiled by the Austrian government to Brixen. After the end of World War I, Brixen was annexed by Italy.


The oldest coat of arms dates back to 1297 with the lamb, known then from 1304 as a symbol of the lamb. On 13 November 1928, a shield with the city walls and a gate on the lawn in the upper half and the lamb in the lower was adopted. The emblem is a turned argent lamb with an or halo on a gules background; the right foreleg supports a flag with a gules cross. The emblem was granted in 1966.[3]

Main sightsEdit

  • The Cathedral (10th century), dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, was rebuilt in the 13th century and again in 1745–54 along Baroque lines. The ceiling of the nave has a large fresco by Paul Troger portraying the Adoration of the Lamb.
  • The Hofburg, a Renaissance Bishop's Palace (started in the 13th century), one of the main noble residences in South Tyrol. The Diocesan Museum has several artworks, including a presepe with 5,000 figures created for Bishop Karl Franz Lodron.
  • The round parish church of Saint Michael (11th century). The Gothic choir and the bell tower are from the 15th century while the nave is from the 16th. The main artwork is a wooden Cireneus from the 15th century.
  • The Pharmacy Museum (Pharmaziemuseum Brixen), located in a nearly 500-year-old townhouse, shows the development and changes of the local pharmacy. The Peer family (now the 7th generation) has run this pharmacy since 1787, always in the same location. The museum's carefully restored rooms illustrate the development of the pharmaceutical profession over the centuries and the changes in remedies used, from the testicles of a beaver and pieces of an ancient Egyptian mummy to modern plasters and lyophilisates. All the objects and medicines on display were in use over the centuries. The Museum also has a library for historical research and the archive of the Peer family. In a separate room there is a multimedia display of the history of the family.
  • The White Tower (also known as "Weißer Turm") was completed in 1591, but subsequently modified. The 72 meter tall tower, which is located next to the parish church of Saint Michael, is inside the city walls in the historic center of Brixen.[4] It contains a complex carillon mechanism of 43 bells, which ring every day at 11.00 a.m. and can play more than a hundred different tunes.[5] On the top floor there is a large roof where it is possible to observe the circumstances. The Tower also has a lunar clock. The architecture of the tower belongs to the Gothic Architecture and is one of the few remaining in South Tyrol. It is the cultural heritage monument with the number 14186 in South Tyrol. The White Tower is used as a museum since 2007.[6]

Outside the city is Rodeneck Castle, one of the most powerful of its time. It has precious frescoes from the early 13th century. Also important are Reifenstein Castle and Trostburg Castle in Waidbruck. In the latter lived the adventurer and minstrel Oswald von Wolkenstein.



Cathedral of Brixen.

Linguistic distributionEdit

According to the 2011 census, the majority of the population speaks German as first language (72.82%). The remainder of the inhabitants speak Italian and Ladin as first languages, with percentages of 25.84% and 1.34%, respectively.[7]

Language 2001[8] 2011[7]
German 73.13% 72.82%
Italian 25.65% 25.84%
Ladin 1.23% 1.34%


St Jacob Church

The rock band, Frei.Wild, has its origin in Brixen.

Notable peopleEdit



Brixen railway station

Brixen has a railway station on the Brenner Railway, which connects the town to Verona and Innsbruck. It has an individual fare structure for public transport within the Tirol-Südtirol zone.


  • Regional Train (Trenitalia Regional): Brennero/Brenner - Fortezza/Franzensfeste - Bressanone/Brixen - Chiusa/Klausen - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento - Rovereto - Verona - Isola della Scala - Nogara - Bologna

Germany/Austria/South Tyrol

(D for Germany, A for Austria)

On 11 December 2016, ÖBB took over Deutsche Bahn's night trains. The Munich-Milan service was withdrawn.

  • Night Train (DB CityNightLine) Munich-Milan/Rome: Munich (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Brixen/Bressanone - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento/Trient - Verona - Peschiera del Garda - Brescia - Milan
  • Intercity Train (ÖBB Eurocity) Munich-Verona/Venice: Munich (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Brenner/Brennero - Franzensfeste/Fortezza - Brixen/Bressanone - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento - Rovereto - Verona - Padua - Venice
  • Intercity Train (ÖBB Eurocity) Munich-Verona/Bologna: Munich (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Brenner/Brennero - Franzensfeste/Fortezza - Brixen/Bressanone - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento - Rovereto - Verona - Bologna
  • Regional Train (Südtirol Bahn Regio-Express) Bolzano/Bozen-Innsbruck: Bolzano/Bozen - Brixen/Bressanone - Franzensfeste/Fortezza - Sterzing/Vipiteno - Brenner/Brennero - Innsbruck
  • Regional Train (Südtirol Bahn Regio) Brixen/Bressanone-Lienz: Brixen/Bressanone - Franzensfeste/Fortezza - Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria - Vintl/Vandoies - Ehrenburg/Casteldarne - St. Lorenzen/San Lorenzo di Sebato - Bruneck/Brunico - Olang/Valdaora - Welsberg/Monguelfo - Niederdorf/Villabassa - Toblach/Dobbiaco - Innichen/San Candido - Lienz (A)
  • Train connects at Verona with ÖBB EuroNight Rome-Vienna: DB CityNightLine splits into two trains (first half couples with ÖBB Rome-Vienna and leaves for Vienna or Rome; second half continues to Munich or Milan). Vienna-Rome splits into two trains (first half continues to Rome or Vienna; second half couples with DB CityNightLine for Milan or Munich).

By road, the town has two exits on the Brenner Autobahn that connects Brixen to the Brenner Pass.

Twin towns - sister citiesEdit

Brixen is twinned with:[10]



  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Heraldry of the World: Brixen-Bressanone
  4. ^ "St.-Michaelstor / Weißer Turm - Brixen, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy - Signs of History on". Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  5. ^ "Glockenspiel Weißer Turm - Brixen, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy - Carillon on". Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  6. ^ "Brixner 179 - Dezember 2004". Issuu. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  7. ^ a b "Volkszählung 2011/Censimento della popolazione 2011". Astat Info. Provincial Statistics Institute of the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol (38): 6–7. June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  8. ^ Oscar Benvenuto (ed.): "South Tyrol in Figures 2008", Provincial Statistics Institute of the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol, Bozen/Bolzano 2007, p. 16, table 10
  9. ^ "Fallmerayer, Jakob Philipp" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 154–155.
  10. ^ "Città gemellate". (in Italian). Brixen. Retrieved 2019-12-18.

Further readingEdit

  • Leo Andergassen, Der Dom zu Brixen. Geschichte, Raum, Kunst. Bozen: Verlagsanstalt Athesia 2009. ISBN 978-88-82665975
  • Coolidge, William Augustus Brevoort (1911). "Brixen" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 4 (11th ed.). p. 619.
  • Helmut Flachenecker, Hans Heiss, Hannes Obermair (eds), Stadt und Hochstift, Brixen, Bruneck und Klausen bis zur Säkularisation 1803 – Città e Principato, Bressanone, Brunico e Chiusa fino alla secolarizzazione 1803 (= Veröffentlichungen des Südtiroler Landesarchivs 12). Bozen: Verlagsanstalt Athesia 2000. ISBN 88-8266-084-2
  • Barbara Fuchs, Hans Heiss, Carlo Milesi, Brixen. Die Geschichte. Kunst, Kultur, Gesellschaft. 2 vols. Bozen: Athesia/Tappeiner 2004–06
  • Ludwig Tavernier, Der Dombezirk von Brixen im Mittelalter. Gestalt, Funktion, Bedeutung (= Schlern-Schriften 294). Innsbruck: Universitätsverlag Wagner 1996. ISBN 3-7030-0266-2

External linksEdit

  Media related to Brixen at Wikimedia Commons