Bischofshofen, Salzburg, market town in the district of St. Johann im Pongau, alt. 544 m, pop. 10,138, area 49.62 km2, important railway junction in the mid Salzach Valley (Pongau area) at the foot of the Hochkönig (2,491 m). - Employment service, college for alpine agriculture, munitions institute of the Austrian army (Buchberg), Chamber of Labour, Vocational Training Institute of the Chamber of Labour, St. Rupert mission house, centre of environmental technology, college of tourism, kindergarten teacher training college, private St. Rupert Gymnasium secondary school, adult education centre; in 1991, roughly 61% of the active workforce worked in the service sector (mainly transport, trade, personal, social and public services); in the metal-processing industry (esp. building machinery production, as well as also metal, machine and tank construction, foundries), production of insulating glass, wood-processing (mostly at Mitterberghütten); Bischofshofen run-of-river power station (built in 1984, 73,200 Megawatt/hour), some tourism (37,514 overnight stays), Eiskogel cave (6,500 m long), ski jumps (final competition of the annual 4-jump tour).
Ancient settlement area on Götschenberg mountain, earliest evidence of copper processing in the Bischofshofen area dates from the second half of the 4th century B.C. Copper mining below the surface (17th century B.C., relics of tunnels) in Buchberg and Mitterberg mountains. Worship of St. Maximilian probably since ancient times; monastery of St. Maximilian founded by Rupert around 711/712 (destroyed in 820 and rebuilt in 822); first documented mention around 700 as "Pongo", the name "Bischofshofen" was first mentioned in 1217; economic upswing started in 1829 when copper mining was taken up again and a railway was built (1875). - Romanesque-Gothic parish church (14th -15th century) with frescoes dating from around 1500, marble tomb (1453) of Bishop Pflieger of Chiemsee, Gothic frescoes and sculptures; St. Rupert cross (7th -8th century, Irish) in the churchyard; Gothic church of Our Lady (1457) with Romanesque foundations (around 1000), frescoes (around 1420) and the oldest surviving tabernacle in the country (1618); Romanesque church of St. Georg with a fresco cycle (around 1230); Romanesque tower (during the 13th century seat of the bishops of Chiemsee); Romanesque subsidiary church on Buchberg mountain with frescoes (around 1330).
Coat of arms of Bischofshofen.
Literature: S. Biechl, Die Chronik von B., 1971; H. Koller et al., Beiträge zur Geschichte Bischofshofen, 1977; J. Apfelthaler et al., Bischofshofen. 5000 Jahre Geschichte und Kultur, 1984.
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