A precondition for the emergence of a settlement with a water customs station on the Salzach river was a castle whose prominence and expansion over the centuries would have a decisive influence on the development of Burghausen. After the dismissal of Duke Tassilo III (in 788), the castle becomes the sovereign possession of the Carolingians.
First mentioned in the official records as an imperial property (1025). Later, Emperor Konrad II appoints the Counts of Burghausen to administer the fiscal assets (1027). Duke Henry the Lion takes possession of the castle and valley settlement, which already had an urban character (1164).
First the castle (in 1180) and then the town (in 1229) become the property of the Wittelsbachs; it is presumed that the town charter was conferred shortly afterwards. From 1255, after the first partition of Bavaria, the town experiences the beginnings of a political and economic upturn as the second residence of the Dukes of Lower Bavaria. The trading of salt from Hallein in particular is the lifeblood of the town.
Conferral of important privileges is granted to the town by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian (1336 and 1343). Expansion of the town to the north and south (Zaglau and Spitalvorstadt). Town fire in 1353. Administrative centre as a sovereign tax authority and “Viztumamt” (seat of governmental power and financial administration) from 1392.
The town flourishes and experiences its hey-day under the last three Dukes of Lower Bavaria, Henry, Ludwig and George, known as “the Rich” (1393-1503). Devastating town fire (in 1504). After the Landshut War of Succession, the town is the seat of one of the four tax authorities in the newly partitioned Bavaria (1505) with 15 administrative and judicial districts. Assignment of the magistrate’s office (1581). Loss of the main source of income from the salt trade with the establishment of the ducal salt monopoly (in 1594). Beginning of a period of administrative and economic decline lasting for several centuries.
17th/ 18th c.:
Heavy casualties and strains during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and during the Wars of Succession (1701-1714 and 1740-1745). Burghausen becomes a border town with the surrender of the Inn quarter and the subsequent loss of the economically ideal hinterland (Peace of Teschen follows the Bavarian War of Succession from 1778-1779).
The town appears to be under a curse: the hardships of the Napoleonic Wars and the dissolution of the government (1802), the town is stripped of the title of “capital” bestowed in 1688 (1807), the loss of river navigation and the withdrawal of the garrison (1891) result in the decline to an insignificant small town.
Economic upturn after the establishment of the Wacker plants (1915). The new town emerges. The unique, self-contained character of the old town is preserved. Restoration of the old town begins with the construction of a flood-control dyke and quay (1969-1971).
The founding of the Wacker Chemie plants not only marked the start of a new chapter in Burghausen's history, but also saw the creation of the new town. As the chemical industry flourished, more and more people came to live near the plant. The development of the new town was turbulent. Shops and commercial enterprises settled there, some "fleeing" from the flooding in the old town, others newly established.
Facing another turning point in its history, the town embarked on a "second career", which remains successful to this day.
While the 1970s and 1980s were dominated by the restoration of the old town, the new town became the focus of attention again in the 1990s, with First Mayor Hans Steindl the driving force.
The first visible outcome was the multifunctional community centre, facing the attractive Bürgerplatz square. At the start of the new millennium, the shopping streets were to become even more attractive; the town added new, modern, customer-friendly highlights to make Burghausen an even more outstanding shopping town.
With ideal facilities ranging from a small conference room and medium-sized lecture halls to a large multipurpose hall, Burghausen went on to become an attractive conference and congress location.