There is no other road in Switzerland called Tirolerweg. What is the reason behind this name of this thoroughfare between Baarerstrasse in Zug and the nearby railway lines?

There are German cities where you get whole areas with names of related districts. In Stuttgart, for example, you can find an area with streets named after provinces in Austria, such as Tirol and Vorarlberg, and Allgäu, which straddles Swabia and Bavaria.

Around Zug’s Tirolerweg, there are no other street names in a similar vein; as mentioned, it is unique in Switzerland.

What is unlikely is that the street name is anything to do with the canton once being under Habsburg (Austrian) control, Swiss Confederate troops defeating Austrian soldiers led by Leopold I, Duke of Austria and Styria, at the Battle of Morgarten in 1315. No, this street name has only been in existence for around 60 years. Records show that Tirolerweg came into being only after the buildings at numbers 87-91 on Baarerstrasse and number one Aeussere Gueterstrasse had been constructed.

According to Beat Dittli, a local expert in such matters, employees of the Landis Bau company, primarily from Tirol, were housed here, though no precise dates can be given. Back in 2001, the editor of the then Neue Zuger Zeitung, Annemarie Setz, who also wondered where this street name came from, found out that local police were frequently called out to these Tyroleans arguing among themselves in the wooden barrack-style housing they lived in there, hence this name.

Let it not be forgotten, either, that the Baar-based company Sika owes its origins to Kaspar Winkler (1872-1951), an Austrian who came from Vorarlberg. He does have a street named after him, off Tüffenwies in Altstetten in the canton of Zurich, near the Sika plant there.

Incidentally, while South Tyrol was also part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, since 1919 this German-speaking area has been part of Italy.

With the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the end of the First World War, the imperial family fled initially to Rorschach in the canton of St Gallen, spending the rest of their lives in exile. Indeed, Empress Zita spent the last few months of her life in Zizers in the canton of Graubünden. This is where she died at the age of 96 on March 14 1989.

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