Innsbruck, «the capital of the Alps»
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Two things made a big impression on us from the very start in Innsbruck: the beauty and the richness of the heart of its city, and its very pleasant atmosphere. It is a young and dynamic university town. The quality of life is undeniable, which makes it a very popular destination summer and winter alike.
Museums and churches rival each other with splendor and historical value. The town is surrounded by Alpine peaks more than 2500 meters above sea level, so you can see mountains in the background wherever you are. The Inn River which crosses it adds to its attraction.
For all those reasons, town planning, nature and culture live together there in perfect harmony.
The richness of its heritage and its architecture is remarkable. With Medieval, Baroque and Classical styles, its diversity is very significant, highlighted by beautiful frontages with extremely varied colors. Adornments with reliefs highlight oriels on tall and narrow houses. Many wrought-iron signs decorate streets lined with vaulted arcades. Cafés and restaurants are numerous and high quality. Terraces are placed side by side, which leads to a natural conviviality, increased by the nearness of passers-by who take the time to live and to immerse themselves in that unique atmosphere.
The Gothic Hofburg Imperial Castle enjoys a lavish interior decoration. The unavoidable Goldenes Dachl (the Golden Roof) is the emblem of the city and the first Habsburgs' residence. It owes its name to its gilded copper tiles roof. However, it would be a pity not to admire its beautiful oriel as well, with its sculpted coats of arms and its sandstone reliefs that depict historical scenes. Nearby, you will be ecstatic over the splendid Rococo stuccowork embellishments of Helblinghaus (photo), residential home in Gothic and Baroque styles.
Maria-Theresien Strasse is a must-see. Numerous houses in different styles and from different ages are dotted all along that wide street. On your way, you will find the beautiful Saint-Anne’s Column.
- Hofburg (Imperial Castle)
- Goldenes Dachl
- Maria-Theresien Strasse and Annasäule (Saint-Anne’s Column)
- Goldener Adler Inn, the oldest in town
- Hofkirche, Franciscan Church
- Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum
Wilten, Pradl & Schloss Ambras
The bells smelting-works, 400 years old, combined with a museum (Glockenmuseum), is really worth seeing. The old Arsenal Museum (Museum im Zeughas) now houses the Late Gothic style Ethnology and Nature Museum. It has valuable historic collections.
You will be impressed by the magnificent white and gold stucco-work decoration and the outstanding frescoes on the ceiling in the Wilten Basilica, most important Rococo style church in Tyrol.
Finally, feel free to walk away from the center to join the Ambras Renaissance Castle (Schloss Ambras), set in a beautiful park with waterfalls and duck ponds. Built on two levels (lower Castle and upper Castle), it has a wide garden and numerous rooms, which most noticeable is the Spanish Room, former reception room where classical music concerts now take place.
- Basilika Wilten
- Stiftskirche Wilten
- Anatomisches Museum
- Radio Museum
- Museum im Zeughas
- Schloss Ambras
On the other side of the Inn River
If you feel like moving away from the nice crowd and the small streets full of charm of the center to get more space, you just have to cross one of the bridge over the river to enjoy a completely different look of the city. Architecture is less polished and not as much filled with wonderful details. Nevertheless, you will be attracted to those houses with colored frontages along the banks, those churches with an unadorned style but beautiful in spite of it all.
The Alpine Zoo (Alpenzoo) is the highest in Europe, which allows it to offer a breathtaking panorama. There you will admire the whole diversity of Alpine fauna. The Botanical Garden (Botanischer Garten) is also located on the heights, more specifically in the Hötting Area.
You will come back enchanted from that walk in the other side of the Inn River, and will immerse yourself again with happiness in the sumptuous heart of the city and its gentle way of life.
- Botanischer Garten
- Hungerburg Funicular