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Summary Article: Tirol
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Federal state of Austria, bounded to the north by Bavaria and to the south by Italy; area 12,648 sq km/4,883 sq mi; population (2001 est) 675,100. Its capital is Innsbruck. East Tirol, the part south of the Hohe Tauern, is detached from the rest of the province.

Physical The main part of the province contains the valleys of the Inn and the Lech, both stretching southwest to northeast. The Alpine ranges separating these valleys are broken up by many small rivers flowing south–north. Grossglockner (3,798 m/12,460 ft), the highest peak in Austria, is at the junction of the borders of East Tirol, Salzburg, and Styria. The valley of the upper Drau crosses East Tirol. The area is heavily forested.

Economy The chief occupations are dairy farming, stock raising, and forestry. Lignite, nickel, and lead are mined, and there are textile and chemical industries and several hydroelectric installations. The region is well-known for its powder metallurgy and its production of diesel engines and optical instruments. Tourism is a major source of revenue.

History In Roman times Tirol was part of Rhaetia. It was later ruled by the bishops of Brixen and Trent, and came into the possession of the house of Habsburg in 1363. It was ceded to Bavaria in 1805, but was returned to Austria by the Congress of Vienna in 1814. By the Treaty of St Germain-en-Laye in 1919, it was divided, the part north of the Brenner Pass becoming a province of the new Austrian republic, and the part south of the pass being ceded to Italy.

Trentino-Alto Adige The Trentino and the upper Adige were the subject of bitter contention between Austria and Italy (1919–39). After World War II it was decided, despite Austrian demands to the contrary, that South Tirol should remain Italian. An Austro-Italian agreement relating to the region was incorporated into the peace treaty of 1947. Under the agreement, German- and Italian-speaking people have equal rights, and the region has a degree of legislative and administrative autonomy. Tension persisted between the two countries, however. Austria claimed that the Bolzano province was not given the autonomy envisaged by the agreement, and terrorist activities ensued. In 1971, Italy and Austria ratified an agreement stipulating that all Bolzanic disputes would be settled by the International Court of Justice, that the province would receive greater autonomy from Italy, and that Austria would refrain from interfering in Bolzano's affairs.


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