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Feldkirch

town, western Austria. It lies along the Ill River, near the Liechtenstein border, about 48 miles (77 km) east-southeast of Zurich, Switzerland. First mentioned as Veldkirichae (Veldkirichum) in 830, the settlement belonged to the counts of Montfort from 1190 until it was sold to Austria in 1375. It was chartered in 1218. Schattenburg castle, the Montforts' seat, houses a local museum. Other historic buildings include the Gothic parish church of Sankt Nikolaus (1478), the town hall (1493), and Sankt Johannes' Church (1218). The most important of the many old town gates and towers is the Katzenturm (1491-1507). Feldkirch is known for its schools, notably the former Stella Matutina, a Jesuit college founded in 1648. Among the industries of the town are textile mills and breweries. Summer and winter sports facilities attract many tourists. Feldkirch also serves as a market and service centre for the extensive rural environs. Pop. (2006) 29,855.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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