From the standpoint of the administration in Vienna, the Arlberg defined visually the horizon of the Hapsburg possessions to the West. Anything that lay further to the West was "before the Arlberg," that is, part of anterior Austria. Nothing changes in this perspective up to the 19th century. It is only with the construction of the railways that East is united again with West.The Rhaetian territory, under the influence of the Bishop of Chur, was in a relation of a loose alliance along with some cities on Lake Constance at the end of the Middle Ages. Some of these, Thurgau for example, were conquered by the members of the Swiss Alliance. Others, such as Constance, were unsuccessfully attacked by the Swiss Confederates and turned to other alliances for aid. Constance fell to the Hapsburgs in 1548. Given the common alpine culture, customs and language, one would have expected closer cooperation between the Rhaetian regions and those of Vorarlberg/Tyrol.