Coat of Arms & Name

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Leoben coat of arms

Leoben has had its own coat of arms bearing the ostrich since the Middle Ages. It was first attested on a document seal – “Civitas de Liuben” – dated 18 September 1298.

A legendary bird

According to medieval legends, the ostrich was an animal capable of eating and digesting iron. As the town of Leoben had already been actively connected with the iron industry at the time, the legendary bird became the heraldic animal of the town. For a better understanding of its meaning and significance, the bird was also attributed with two horseshoes.

Thus, the heraldic bird of Leoben began to serve as a symbol of quality and was applied to the pig iron from Leoben.

The coat of arms shows the bird against a red field, with one horseshoe in its beak and one in its claw.

You can still find the Leoben coat of arms on numerous historical buildings in town, such as:

Old City Hall (Leoben Congress) with the coat of arms on its façade

Old City Hall (Leoben Congress) with the coat of arms on its façade; photo: Leoben Congress

  • Altes Rathaus on the main square
  • Bergmannsbrunnen on the main square
  • Volksschule Leoben Stadt
  • Schwammerlturm

Origin of the name

Where the name “Leoben” is from

It is likely that the name “Leoben” contains the Slavic word root “ljub”, meaning “dear” or “beautiful”. This root is found in many personal names and place names.

The following names and name changes are known to date:

Liupinatal (“Liupina valley”) (904, 925)
Settlement names: Liubina (890, 982, 984, 1054, 1057), Leuben (approx. 1130), Löben (approx. 1140), Liuben (approx. 1145), Luben (approx. 1150), Luibene (approx. 1171), Leuben (1210), Liuben (1237), Leuben (1297), Lubna (1313), Leubna (1330), Leuben, Leobm (1485)

Sources (in German):

  • Günther Jontes, Leoben, Ein Führer durch Einst und Heute. Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, Leoben 1995

  • Susanne Leitner-Böchzelt, Reinhard Mittersteiner, Schienen in die Vergangenheit, Katalog zum MuseumsCenter Leoben, Leoben 2004

  • Günther Jontes, Leoben. Aus: Österreichisches Städtebuch, Bd. 6, Die Städte der Steiermark, Teil III, Wien 1990 (Hrsg. von Othmar Pickl)

  • Maja Loehr, Leoben, Werden und Wesen einer Stadt, aus den Quellen und Befunden untersucht und dargestellt, Baden bei Wien 1984

  • Josef Freudenthaler, Eisen auf immerdar! Geschichte der Stadt und des Bezirkes Leoben, Leoben 1954