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Weiz


The city of Weiz in Steiermark is the Bezirkhauptstadt or capital of the county of Weiz.   

Wiez city

Altitude: 477 m

Area 5.07 km sq

Population: 11 357 / 5 534 housholds.

Weiz County  / Bezirk population: 86 000

Weiz County area:  1098 km sq


History

Wiez has more than 800 years of history and was mentioned as a community in  documents dating back to 1188. The name Weiz is derived from the stream meaning twisting and bending.  In the 12th  century the towns largest land owners  in the area the Archbishop of Salzburg to the North and East of Weizberg  and  to South the Aribon  heir Liutpold II began to open up the area / countryside by deforestation.


The Weiz castle/Catrum Wides was named  as a center of administration  in 1147.

A knight of Baron von Dionysen – Waldstein  Knight Ratkiso directed the deforestation of the area  to increase crop growing and farming. He built Radmannsdorf Castle and established the village on the left bank of Weiz steam  


Luitold II  son of Daron von Dionysen – Waldstein  who had commissioned the deforestation built Gutenberger castle as a new dynastic seat  and founded the market town of Wiez  in 1214. A small church and open market square surrounded by buildings of for artisans and farmers were built.


The church of St Thomas is oldest remaining building, the Tabor church built in 1188 in Romanesque style. Walled in graves and relief stones give witness to settlement form the Roman times.  

Frescos from the 13th century in church depict a pictorial bible.

The church was expanded as a tabor fortress with fortified wall, rounded towers and a moat.  The present day Tabor house replaced that structure. The gothic addition is from the early 15 century.


In 1288 the brothers Ulrich, Friedrich and Heinrich von Stuebenberg acquired the  Gutenberg property  including the market town of Weiz and thereby the town was under Stubenberg rule until 1848.


The industriousness of the people brought Weiz to significant economic importance.  Traders and authorities came to adapt the Weiz units of measure / bucket for corn.

Rights and granted freedoms supported the economic rise of the town and area.  


A great contributing factor to the towns successes was that the Wiez stream never freezes. The mills could run all year. Mills and foundries manufactured swords, blades  axes, scythes and other tools and weapon since the middle ages

Nail and pipes smiths also eventually started their productions. The last foundries where in operation until a few years ago.


Citizens were granted right to build a Town Hall in the 16th  century as well as a public hospital. After 1550 a new castle was built by the masters of Radmannsdorf. It was Emperor Ferdinand I who issued the heraldic document of the market town.

Construction of the new Weizberg church was stared in mid 18th century. As early as 1065 a church stood on the Weizberg and was a popular pilgrimage site. The high baroque church of today was built by the Styrian master builder Joseph Hueber  the church roof  was struck by lightning a few years  after completion.


A town hospital was built in 1873 hospital, and replaced in 2000.        

In 1850 Weiz became the district capital of the county.

The road through he Weiz gorge was finished in 1884 The first railway ran in 1889 from Gleisdorf to Weiz  and in 1911  the Feistritz Valley was made  accessible by a narrow gauge railway. These transportation links created a lot of jobs for the people living in the area  

On November 26th 1932  the market town was elevated  to city status.


Much of the economic success of Weiz is due to the ELIN.

A firm of international significance that was created by the local engineer Franz Pichler  He constructed the first electrical works of the Austro- Hungarian monarchy in Wiez

In 1908 the Weiz factory was  taken over by the Vienna Association for electrical industry. The company expanded after WW I and in 1921 became the ELIN Limited company. The various branches of the corporation manufactured transformers generators electric motors and more for the world market


Wiez is a regional educational center today with 3000 students.

The slogan of the town is “the friendly town in the country”, as well as being known as an energy center.

 

Town Square  

The town square of Weiz and it’s surrounding town houses were the heart of the market town until 18th century. The houses go back to the Renaissance  period, and later were upgraded in the Baroque style. In the center of the main square stands a column of the Virgin - erected at end of the 17 century. It proclaims Mary as the patron saint of the town, parish and pilgrimage church on the Wiezberg. The farmers market is a local attraction every Wednesday and Saturday morning with a large supply of locally grown produce.