On the initiative of Kommerzialrat Alfons Moser, mayor of Alpbach from 1945 to 1979, the council issued a local planning bylaw in 1953, which made the traditional style of architecture in Alpbach mandatory for all new buildings. In August 1983 Alpbach was elected "Austria's Most Beautiful Village" in a television competition held by the ORF due to its homogeneous wooden style and flower arrangements.
The features of the Alpine building style are immediately visible to all. Only the ground floor of a house is stonework, from the first floor up walls must be clad in wood. There are several other specifications regarding roof inclination, roof tiles, building height and so on!
The only exception to these building regulations is the Congress Center Alpbach - a masterpiece that blends design, ambiance and functionality and sophisticated conference technology. So as to fit in with the homogenous architectural style the building was built into the slope. A glass spiral gives daylight to the buildings interior. The view from the terrace towards the village and the surrounding valley is unique.
1150 is the date of the earliest written record of the name Alpbach, although human settlement there is known to have begun before and around the year 1000 by the Bavarii. At the beginning of the 15th century, deposits of copper and silver were discovered on the Gratlspitz and Schatzberg and in the Luegergraben. At the time, the Fugger family, a merchant family from Augsburg, had control over mining operations in Schwaz and Kitzbühel, and they extended their activities to include the Alpbach Valley. The Böglerhof housed the Fugger offices and was also the seat of the Mining Court. In those days Alpbach already had two inns, the Böglerhof and also the Jakober Inn, where the men went to drink spirits. By the middle of the 19th century, productivity at the mines had declined to the stage where they had to be closed.The road leading up the valley to Alpbach was not built until 1926 and the isolated location of the village led to the development of a distinctive style of architecture and furnishings and also enabled the local folk traditions to be preserved for much longer than in most of the valleys of the Tyrol.
The first tourists arrived in Alpbach at the turn of the century, and by 1938 the resort had accommodation for 110 visitors. In the meantime the figure has increased to about 3,300 for an annual total of 360,000 bed nights. Tourism is the main source of income for today’s local residents, but there are still 100 working farms in Alpbach, about the same number as a hundred years ago.