Ziller Valley, Tyrol, widest southern side valley of the Inn Valley, main valley in the Zillertal Alps and one of the most frequented valleys in Tyrol (summer and winter tourism). Strictly speaking, the Ziller Valley extends from Straß im Zillertal (523 m) up to Mayrhofen (633 m), where it fans out into the Zemm Valley (Zemmbach), Tux Valley, Stillupgrund (Stillup reservoir) and Zillergrund plains. These 4 high valleys reach southwards almost up to the glacial region of the Zillertal Alps. At Dornauberg (985 m), the Floitengrund plain branches off from Zemm Valley in a southeast direction. The Zillergründl reservoir was built on the upper course of the River Ziller, the Zillergrund plain, at 1,850 m. The Ziller Valley is surrounded by the Tux Alps in the west and the Kitzbühel Alps in the east. Grassland farming with milk production and animal husbandry predominate in the valley, in some parts also sheep breeding and cultivation of green maize. First documented mention in 889, until 1816 major parts of the Ziller Valley belonged to the province of Salzburg. Even today the River Ziller forms the border between the dioceses of Salzburg and Tyrol (the parishes east of River Ziller belonging to Salzburg). The Ziller Valley was frequently the scene of conflicts between Catholics and Protestants (Zillertaler Inklinanten), especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. Further main villages and towns in the densely populated Ziller Valley are Schlitters (548 m), Fügen (545 m), Kaltenbach (577 m), Stumm (556 m) and Zell am Ziller (575 m). The Zillertal-Bahn railway (narrow gauge) and the Zillertal-Straße road make the valley accessible up to Mayrhofen. Cableways starting in the Ziller Valley run up to the surrounding mountain tops.
The Ziller river rises near Marchsteinjoch mountain (2,766 m), at the border to South Tyrol and Salzburg, and drains the Ziller Valley. It has relatively good water quality (level 2), and an average rate of flow of 43.1 m3/sec. (near Hart im Zillertal). Main inlets: Zemmbach stream, and also Finsingbach stream coming from the west and Gerlosbach stream (Gerlos Valley) in the east.
Literature: B. Fischer, Tirol, Nordtirol und Osttirol, 1981; G. Pfaundler, Tirol-Lexikon, 1983.
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