An arrowhead from the early stone age was found in the vicinity of our local church and is proof that Wals-Siezenheim is among the oldest settlements in the state of Salzburg.
A Hallstatt-period settlement from the year 800 BC was located just to the north of Siezenheim along the sloping terraces of the Saalach river. The remains of a cemetery dating from the early Celtic period were found there.
The Romans also left numerous traces of their local settlements. A temple with grave monuments was found on the hill where the Wals church now stands, and a Roman settlement was found in the village Siezenheim. A watch tower on the Walserberg mountain served for centuries to monitor movement along the Walserfeld Plain.
A Roman farm, with origins in the Celtic period, was located in the Loiger Plain which today is a part of the village of Himmelreich. This farm complex was among the largest of its kind north of the Alps and included a temple, floorboard heating, baths, stalls, grain silos and outbuildings for the craftsmen. It continued as a working farm until the 5th Century. A piece of the large mosaic, entitled Theseus and Ariadne, was found during excavations on the Loiger Fields in 1815 and can now be seen in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Theseus and Ariadne
Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
The Great Migration also left its mark on the farm complex, but by the time the Romans returned in 488, the complex was abandoned and the buildings had fallen into disrepair.
The name Wals developed in the 14th Century from Walwis, or Village of the Romans. The name Walwis was first mentioned in 740.
Siezenheim was resettled by tribes of the Bavarian-Sizo clan and was first mentioned in 927 during an attack by Hungarian warriors.
Charlemagne and the Legend of the Walser Pear Tree.
The Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne paid a visit to Archbishop Arno of Salzburg in 803 to sort out numerous imperial and ecclesiastical matters. Their meeting proved particularly fruitful, and as such numerous legends arose around it. One such legend is that during the End Times, the emperor would lead his armies in the final earthly battle between good and evil on the Walser Plain with its famous pear tree.
In 987 the Monetary of St. Peter took charge of the church in Wals, including its tithe, thus beginning the expansion of the settlement toward the direction of the Viehhauser moor. The area around the Goiser Hill was later cultivated in1127.
The Battle on the Walserfeld Plains
Over the course of the centuries there were several military skirmishes with the Bavarians, the largest of which took place on the 13th and 14th of December 1800. This battle resulted in nearly 22,000 wounded, missing and dead on the French and Austrian side.
After a period of French administration and annexation to the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Saalach river became once and for all time the border line with Bavaria.
Municipal redistricting was introduced in Austria in 1830 for the purpose of cataloging all landholdings. At that point, the village of Liefering belonged to Siezenheim.
The Parish of Wals was created in 1860, but this attempt to establish an independent municipality of Wals failed. A second attempt in1906 was also unsuccessful.
In 1945 the seat of the local government was moved from Siezenheim to Wals.
The establishment of the twin villages of Wals-Siezenheim occurred in 1947, the same year in which the coat of arms was adopted.
During World War II parts of the village of Liefering were annexed by the city of Salzburg.
In May 1951 the territory under American control became Camp Roeder, a military base. Today this area is part of the Schwarzenberg Military Barracks and the Walserfeld district.
During the second half of the 20th Century the number of inhabitants climbed from about 1,000 to nearly 11,000. As of December 31, 2011, Wals-Siezenheim had a total of 12,275 inhabitants.
The economic growth of the community began in the 1960’s with the location of the Kaindl lumber firm and the Miele company to our town. Over the past 20 years, there has been considerable additional economic development, including the Porsche distribution center, as well as several large commercial zones throughout the village.
Additional developments include the Airport Center – now called the Outlet Center, and the Red Bull Arena.
The community of Wals-Siezenheim has two main secondary schools, four primary schools, a tourism trade school in Klessheim, an agricultural trade school in Klessheim and a vocational school in Walserfeld.
In October 2012 the new elementary school in Wals was opened as the first fully energy self-sufficient public construction project in Austria.