BRIXEN (Ital. Bressanone), a small city in the Austrian province of Tirol, and the chief town of the administrative district of Brixen. Pop. (1900) 5767. It is situated in the valley of the Eisack, at the confluence of that stream with the Rienz, and is a station on the Brenner railway, being 34 m. south-east of that pass, and 24 m. north-east of Botzen. The aspect of the city is very ecclesiastical; it is still the see of a bishop, and contains an 18th-century cathedral church, an episcopal palace and seminary, twelve churches and five monasteries. The see was founded at the end of the 8th century (possibly of the 6th century) at Säben on the rocky heights above the town of Klausen (some way to the south of Brixen), but in 992 was transferred to Brixen, which, perhaps a Roman station, became later a royal estate, under the name of Prichsna, and in 901 was given by Louis the Child to the bishop. In 1027 the bishop received from the emperor Conrad II. very extensive temporal powers, which he only lost to Austria in 1803. The town was surrounded in 1030 by walls. In 1525 it was the scene of the first outbreak of the great peasants' revolt. About 5 m. north of Brixen is the great fortress of Franzensfeste, built 1833-1838, to guard the route over the Brenner and the way to the east up the Pusterthal.
(W. A. B. C.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)