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The U-shaped Ziller valley is the widest and southernmost side valley of the Inn valley. It is named after the Ziller river, which ends in Strass, where if flows into the Inn river. The course of the river from Strass to Mayrhofen is quite shallow and descends only slightly. After Mayrhofen, the valley divides into several subsidiary valleys: The Zillergrund valley, the Tux valley, the Zemm valley, and the Stillup valley.
The Ziller valley was first mentioned in 889 A.D., and was then called “Cillarestale”. But some findings at the Tuxer Joch show that the mountain path to the Wipp valley was already used in the Stone Age. The first settlements date back to 1,200 - 800 B.C., and remnants of a settlement dating back to about 500 B.C. were discovered recently. The names of some locations bear reference to pre-roman times. After the roman invasion in 15 B.C., the Ziller river served as the border between the roman provinces of Rhaetia and Noricum.
And at the beginning of the 19th century, the Ziller river marked the border between Bavaria and Tyrol. Nowadays it is still the border between the Salzburg and Innsbruck dioceses. Also the colour of the shingles on the rooftops of churches indicates, which diocese a church belongs to. West of the Ziller river, they are red and belong to the diocese of Innsbruck. The shingles east of the river are green and are part of the diocese of Salzburg. With the construction of mountain huts and paths in the second half of the 19th century, mountaineering developed into a popular sport. Winter tourism kicked off after the Gerlossstein ski area was opened in 1953/54. The Penkenbahn Cable Car followed in 1954.
Fügen, the largest municipality of the Ziller valley, is located near the valley entrance at an altitude of 545 metres above sea level. Currently, the village has 4,029 residents. Fügen was first mentioned in the 12th century. In the 15th century, Fügen became the industrial centre of the Ziller valley. Also today, many companies with national importance are headquartered in Fügen. Furthermore, Fügen is popular tourist destination in summer and winter.