Wels is the second largest city in Upper Austria. The area around Wels has been settled since the Neolithic Age. Under the Romans, Wels developed into a city called Ovilava. Later, it became the capital of Ufernoricum, the province between the Danube and the main Alpine ridge, which arose from the division of Noricum by Emperor Diocletian.
In the course of the great migration, Wels was devastated strongly and gained some importance under the Bavarians in the 6th century.
The Habsburgs followed the Babenberger and under Maximilian I. Wels came into the center of imperial interest, because Maximilian maintained a hunting lodge in the Welser heath. Maximilian died in the castle of Wels in 1519.
Today Wels is primarily known as a trade-fair city.
The most beautiful house in Wels is the house of Salmone Alt, also called Hoffmannsches Freihaus. Salmone Alt was the mistress of the Prince-Bishop of Salzburg, Wolf Dietrich of Raitenau, and gave birth to 15 or 16 children. He built her the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg.
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