Dornbirn, Vorarlberg, town (1901) in the district of Dornbirn, alt. 437 m, pop. 40,735, area 120.93 km2, largest town in Vorarlberg, many gardens, popular venue of trade fairs and important commercial centre in the Rhine valley, located at the main north-south traffic route. District Commission, district court, employment services, measurement office, prison, hospital, Chamber of Labour, Medical Association of Vorarlberg, pension insurance office, local health and social insurance office, culture and congress centre, multipurpose complex hall, Vorarlberg stadium; Medienhaus Schwarzach media centre ("Vorarlberger Nachrichten"), studios of the ORF Austrian broadcasting corporation, Hohenems-Dornbirn gliding field and club airfield, Department of Textile Chemistry and Physics of Innsbruck University, consulates, New-Apostolic church, SOS Kinderdorf children´s village, home for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, Kolpinghaus centre, ice sports centre, Dorotheum auction house, town museum Vorarlberger Naturschau (modern museum of nature studies, geological, botanical and zoological collections, Vorarlberg settlement types); schools: Fachhochschule, Bundesgymnasium, Bundesrealgymnasium and Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium secondary schools, 3 vocational schools, domestic science school, Bundeslehr- und -versuchsanstalt fuer Textilindustrie (textile college), Hoehere Technische Lehranstalt des Vereins Technikum Vorarlberg (technical/engineering college), Werkmeisterschule (vocational college) of the Institute for Economic Development (WIFI), Vorarlberg Landessportschule (sports school); cableway leading up the Karren mountain (971 m).
Commercial centre with high-level service sector (approx. 58 % of all 18,597 employed persons 1991, particularly trade, also personal, social and public services), has remained a centre of the Austrian textile industry despite economic crisis and drop in employment figures, electrical and metal-working industries (lamps, mechanical engineering, cranes, cast-iron ware), food (Oelz-Backwaren bread and confectionery) and ceramics industries, wax products, breweries; every September Dornbirner autumn trade fair and in April a spring trade fair on the Messegelaende showground (Messepark).
Documented mention in 895 as "Torrinpuiron" (Old High German bur = settlement; "settlement of Torro"), agglomeration of several villages; development of the textile industry since the end of the 18th century (1773 first spinning mill). Classicist parish church (1840), next to the "Rotes Haus" (1639, wooden building with intersecting gable) as typical representative of houses in the Rhine valley; industrial monuments: 2 shingle-roofed factory buildings (around 1830) with drying tower (1894) in Wallenmahd. Rappenlochschlucht, Schaufelschlucht and Alplochschlucht ravines (waterfalls) and Lake Staufensee in the vicinity.
Literature#Oesterreichisches Staedtebuch, vol. III, Vorarlberg, 1973; W. Haemmerle, Beitraege zur Geographie der Stadt Dornbirn, doctoral thesis, Innsbruck 1974; W. Bundschuh, Bestandsaufnahme Heimat Dornbirn 1850-1950, 1990.