Telling the history of a city in an interesting, lively, exciting, and most importantly non-boring manner without getting bogged down in too many numbers and dates can be a difficult undertaking. How else can you explain that Kufstein was first mentioned in historical documents in the year 788? It was verifiably mentioned in the "Indiculus Arnonis", a directory of endowments and donations by Bavarian dukes and other noblemen to the diocese of the churches and monasteries belonging to today's Archdiocese of Salzburg since the beginning of the 8th century.
If you read records, you will see that there is a church with land ownership and monks' quarters known as "ad cuafstein". When visiting the district of Zell with its "Zeller Kirche" church, which is dedicated to St. Martin, you will come across architectural testaments to the past, which were uncovered during excavations in 1984. Politically, Kufstein was an imperial fiefdom at the time in the ownership of the bishops of Regensburg. In the 10th century, Kufstein was still referred to as a village around the year 1050 and because it was a vassal of the Regensburg noble clan, Regensburg transferred control of Kufstein to the Rapotonen noble family, who had control of the Inntal. In 1133, Kufstein became a fiefdom of the dukes of Bavaria. In the 12th century, there was an interesting entry in the land registry of the Falkenstein countship in the Bavarian Flintsbach on the Inn that recorded Sigihart von Kuofstain, Engelprecht von Chuifstain, and Eberhart von Ebbs as "chamberlains of Chufstain".
These names probably lead to the unproven belief in there being a noble family behind the creation of Kufstein. The fortress was first mentioned in 1205. In 1257, Kufstein was referred to as a "forum" or market town. The settlement of Kufstein played an increasingly important role, which led to it being designated as a "stat" (earlier form of "Stadt" or city) in 1339. The county of Unterinntal, which was ruled by a count, was divided into 3 district courts and handed over to the dukes of Austria with the county of Tyrol in 1363. There was the peace treaty of Schärding between the House of Habsburg and House of Wittelsbach in which Duke Albrecht III and Duke Leopold III relinquished their claims to Bavaria, which in turn had been relinquished to them by Margarethe von Tirol-Görz (better known as "Maultasch"). Only after this treaty in 1369 did the towns of Rattenberg, Kufstein, and Kitzbühel become parts of the territories of the Wittelsbach dynasty of Upper Bavaria-Munich (until 1392) then Upper Bavaria-Igolstadt (1392-1447) and finally Lower Bavaria-Landshut (1448-1503). The 3 district courts remained Bavarian until Kufstein was taken over by King Maximilian I. A historically important year is 1393 when Duke Stefan III bestowed Kufstein the title of city. Over 100 years later in 1504, Maximilian I conquered the fortress and city. The Imperial Diet of Cologne finally awarded Kufstein to Austria in 1505 after Maximilian won the battle of Wenzenberg in 1504. This battle involved the territory of the extinct Landhut family, and an agreement was reached that if Maximilian became involved in the dispute, he would receive the Bavarian part of the Tyrol's Inntal.
It was once again a Bavarian prince-elector that conquered the city and fortress during his military campaign of 1703. As a result, a fire destroyed not only parts of today's Unterer Stadtplatz and fortress but also many documents and records that were of historical significance for the city. A year later, Kufstein was officially recognized as belonging to Austria in the Treaty of Ilbesheim. "Strongly feuded for, fiercely hard-fought for" (from the Austrian national anthem) was the theme of the years 1805 to 1809 during the War of the Third Coalition against Napoleon and Tyrol's struggle for liberation in 1809 against the Bavarian occupation of the Kufstein Fortress. It was 1814 when Tyrol along with Kufstein once again became part of Austria. Industry, railway, water, and light became a dominant factor in Kufstein between 1842 and 1898 before the First and Second World War brought their atrocities with them.
From 1938 to 1945, Kufstein was the county seat of the Tyrol-Vorarlberg district through the connection of Austria to the German Reich. After the period of occupation by the French and Americans, Kufstein advanced to Tyrol’s 2nd largest city with a district encompassing around 3,944 hectares and today’s population of ca. 20,000 inhabitants.