Village History of Schnann

As with all villages in the Stanzertal Valley, Schann was used by the Romansch people in the early centuries after Christ’s birth for summer farming. Its favourable position on accumulated scree in front of the Schnanner Gorge eventually persuaded the alpine folk to turn it into a permanent settlement. During the early Christian centuries, Schann formed a cooperative community (economic and labour federation) with the other settlements in the Stanzertal Valley. Over the course of time, this evolved into an alpine farming cooperative community. Settlers in the villages down in the valley acquired forests and meadows as personal property to grow winter supplies and cultivated only the high alpine pastures together.

These settlements eventually developed into the communities of Stanzer valley, which in turn comprised of very independent factions. In 1869 the alpine pastures used for dairy farming were allocated as property to the municipalities / factions. Even today, 2/3 of the summer grazing pastures for young cattle and sheep are cultivated jointly by so-called Gerichtsgemeinden – or judicial communities. After the the Province of Tyrol was handed over to the House of Habsburg-Austria (1363), the transport route through the Stanzertal Valley and over Arlberg to Switzerland became incredibly significant. Now in addition to the farmers, craftsmen, transporters and innkeepers were given the opportunity for gainful employment. There were constant fluctuations in the valley’s economic development over the next five hundred years.

1884 – and the opening of the Arlberg Railway Tunnel – is another turning point in the development of our village. Migrant workers who had, until then, worked summer for summer as bricklayers, carpenters or masons found a good employer in the railway and hundreds of permanent jobs came into existence. The railway also brought tourists into the Stanzer Valley. Mountain huts were built by German and Austrian Alpine Associations and the first Ski Club was founded in Arlberg in 1901. Summer tourists, alpinists and winter sports enthusiasts populated the valleys and mountains around Arlberg.

Tourism boomed and continues to this day, only interrupted by the two world wars. The tourism industry and all its related sub-sectors provided welcome jobs in the Stanzertal Valley. The Arlberg Road Tunnel was approved for traffic in 1978 and the Arlberg Motor Highway was built on the southern side of the valley.

The Schanner floodplains proved to be an ideal location for service providers for passing traffic and Arlberg tourism enterprises. And so this popular commercial area between the Rosanna River and the motorway has flourished since the beginning of the 21st Century.

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