The town of Hohenems had its humble origin as a castle from the 9th century. Over the next few hundred years, it eventually grew into one of the biggest fortifications in the south parts of the German Kingdom. Many lords and knights resided in the fortification, which also sometimes served as a prison for nobles like the king of Sicily William III or Archbishop Bruno of Cologne.
Hohenems was first granted the status of “town” back in 1333 but it was never made use of by its local government due to a shortage of funds to build a wall around its periphery. That changed on its 650th anniversary – in 1983 the provincial government of Vorarlberg officially gave Hohenems all appropriate town rights.