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Wels (vĕls) [key], city (1991 pop. 52,594), Upper Austria province, W Austria, on the Traun River. It is an industrial and rail center and an agricultural market. Manufactures include agricultural machinery, building materials, food products, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. Nearby are natural gas wells. A town in Roman times, Wels later became a stronghold against the Avars and the Magyars. Noteworthy buildings include the parish church and the castle where Emperor Maximilian I died in 1519.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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