The largest town in the Rhine valley is considered a shopping town, and the hustle and bustle around the market square and the Church of St Martin, with its many small shops and businesses, certainly supports this reputation. It is not without good reason that boutiques flourish alongside well-known chains and cafés, since the centre is an extremely popular destination for shopping trips.
However, Dornbirn has much more to offer than just that. Along the banks of the Ach, you reach the spectacular Rappenlochschlucht, a recommended outing which certainly impresses guests. In Gütle, the industrial history meets a spectacle of nature. From here, paths take you to the unique vantage point above the Rhine Valley, the Karren and into hidden Ebnit, only a stone’s throw from beautiful mountain landscapes. The industrialisation of Vorarlberg was particularly successful in Dornbin. The mid-19th century saw numerous companies setting out on what would become a success story which has left behind urban traces. This has not changed – the competitiveness of the companies continues to leave its mark on the architecture and the lifestyle of the people even today. You must not miss the site of the closed-down Rüschwerke in the town park which have mutated into a cultural hotspot. Adapted with a great deal of sensitivity and stellar architecture, the old fabric of the former factory buildings form a lovely contrast to the modern art in the Kunstraum Dornbirn and the interactive inatura nature show which are both at home here.
Do you think you know Dornbirn already? Really? Do you agree with the crowned prince
of German writers Goethe, that one has only really been to a place once one has
hiked there by foot, or perhaps it is better to say ‘walked’. The word ‘hiked’ conjures up
images of special equipment and measurable success, calculated in metres of
elevation and mountain summits - at least that is what our guide Armin Malojer might
say. We simply want to get out in the fresh air and encourage you to do the same.
The biography of a town can be seen in many places. Amongst others its buildings and the layout of its plazas and the roads leading to them. Join us on a small tour
through Dornbirn city centre with a few pauses for reflection.
We are getting close to the charming mountain village of Ebnit, coming in the back way, so to speak, over Hohenems
Schuttannen, via Springhaldenweg from Schiheim Schuttannen and up onto the Fluhereck mountain, where
we stop for refreshment upon alighting at ‘Pfarrers Älpele’, where we are wonderfully received by the publicans
Harry and Kerstin. We then take Schönblickweg, not the steep section, rather the small path over the brook and
through the forest to the church. While waiting for the
bus, refreshments can be obtained from the ‘Marendstüble’
or the ‘Alpenrose’. There are many adventurous
activities in Ebnit - in addition to the extensive hiking
trails of course – this includes adventure tours in Bruderbach, a slackline course, a 3D archery course and the
‘Schluchten-Fox’ high wire and zipwire course. There is
also a riding school with well-trained, well-natured Icelandic
horses, which may be of particular interest to families
with children. In the winter months there is also a
small, child-friendly ski piste, complete with ski lift, and
the ‘Heumöser Stüble’ provides delicious sustenance.