Brixen-Bressanone (near Bozen-Bolzano), Italy
TravellingThe workshop will take place in the charming town of Brixen-Bressanone, near Bozen-Bolzano in South Tyrol at the heart of the Dolomites - the pink mountains of the Alps. This is 80 Km south of Innsbruck (where the ESWC-07 conference will take place immediately before); direct train connections run every hour between Innsbruck and Brixen-Bressanone.
The workshop venueThe workshop venue is the Faculty of Education of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Bahnhofstrasse - Viale Stazione 16, situated in the historical center of Brixen-Bressanone, and at 5-10 minutes walking distance from the train station (Bahnhof). Consult the map of Bressanone. All the locations (workshop venue, social events, hotels, train station) are at walking distance.
TourismThe workshop will take place in the charming town of Brixen-Bressanone, near Bozen-Bolzano in South Tyrol at the heart of the Dolomites - the pink mountains of the Alps. Brixen-Bressanone, a bishop's residence, is distinguished by its mediaeval Gothic architecture. Here you can still breathe the atmosphere of an academic, theological tradition that has lasted for centuries and today the city also houses the Faculty of Education of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, and a branch of the University of Padua. Like Bozen-Bolzano, Brixen-Bressanone has always been a crossroads of various cultures. Since the end of the Second World War Brixen-Bressanone has experienced a spurt in economic growth while consolidating its artistic and cultural vocation. Delegates who come to study here will find a comfortably-sized town of about 18,000 inhabitants, free of traffic problems. The mediaeval alleys and the wealth of historical references are an ideal starting point for excursions into the countryside and for practising a whole variety of sports and leisure activities. Leaving directly from the town centre delegates can set off on their bikes or on foot for excursions into the surrounding hills and mountains; a good example of a fine place for walking and biking is the Plose mountain, easily accessible by public transport, and which in the winter months becomes a favourite area for skiing and snowboarding. Where you come across the first sloping vineyards in the sunny South Tyrol when coming from the North, where the low mountain range gently opens into a wide basin, lies the charming diocesan town of Brixen. Where the two rivers Eisack and Rienz join, art, culture, way of life and enjoyment of life melt together in the same harmonious way. With its old lanes and town residence, arbours and brigdes, with is churches, the cathedral, the cloister, its Gothik frescoes, the Hofburg - former residence of the bishop (today diocesan and crib museum) - with its avenues and parks, its vineyards and orchards, brixen invites you to stay. You get the chance to know the South Tyrolean way of life, its customs and traditions.
...the sense of responsibility of the North,
...the elegance of the South!
A mixture of both; - this is what makes up the fascinating power of Brixen!
The History of Brixen-BressanoneFor over 10,000 years people have been living in the area that in more recent times has become known as Brixen. The first settlements appeared in the Neolithic age, and soon after the time of the birth of Christ Roman legionaries and villa owners settled around the confluence of the Eisack and the Rienz. They called the settlement "Pressena" or "Brixina": this means "settlement on a hill".
The small settlement took a large step forward when the Bishops of Saeben received the Brixen valley as a gift in 901AD and then took up official residence here around 960AD. After the building of the cathedral, parish church and bishop's palace, the settlement gradually grew into a town and was surrounded by walls around 1150AD. In around 1500AD, although the actual number of inhabitants (about 2,000) would have given it the status of small town, Brixen was actually an important diocesan town situated in the transition area between southern Germany and northern Italy. Until 1803AD Brixen was the "capital city" of the ecclesiastical principality of Brixen; it had been closely allied to the surrounding Habsburg earldom of Tyrol since 1363. Although the Renaissance left its important imprint on the town, the most obvious influences on the architecture stem from the Baroque period. Between 1745-58 the cathedral underwent a radical redesigning. The bishop's residence and administrative headquarters, the Hofburg, was converted into the prestigious palace.
In 1867 the town gained a railway station as part of the newly opened Brenner route and by 1900 it had followed Merano and Griess by developing into the up-and-coming spa town in the southern Tyrol. During the First World War, Brixen experienced hard times as a garrison and hospital town and in 1919, together with all of the Tyrol south of the Brenner Pass, became part of the kingdom of Italy. Fascism and the Second World War brought a time of national and economic depression, as a result of which about 3,500 inhabitants of Brixen took up the opportunity offered in 1939 to move to the German Reich. A slow period of recovery began after 1945, which became more intense from 1960 onwards. Many inhabitants of Brixen experienced the transfer of the status of diocesan town to Bolzano (1964) as a heavy blow; this was partially balanced by the boom in business and tourism. Brixen, however, remained the central point of reference for the Catholic population of the South Tyrol. The moderate rate of growth of the town and the surrounding area (1910: 6,500; 2004: 18,000 inhabitants) enabled a positive development of the individual industries.
The opening of the Faculty for Educational Sciences at the University of Bolzano strengthened the town's comprehensive range of educational opportunities. Brixen's future lies in the combination of education, tourism and innovative businesses, built on the foundations provided by an outstanding cultural landscape and the historical evolution of the features of the town.