Innsbruck: The only big city in the Alps


The only big city in the Alps

The capital of Tyrol is located in the Inn Valley at the junction of the north-south route connecting Germany to Italy with the east-west route between Switzerland and Vienna. The only major city in the Alps has a medieval city center with narrow alleys and numerous examples of Gothic architecture, the most famous of which is the house with the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl). The city, which has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964, 1976), is famous for its scenic setting amid soaring Alpine peaks such as the Karwendel mountain range in the north and the Lanser heads as well as the Patscherkofel – a popular skiing terrain – in the south-east, where a cable car leads to the summit also during the summer months.

Austria Round Trips Innsbruck

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Attractions Innsbruck

Ambras Castle

Art museum in former fortified castle

The castle, visible from afar, is enthroned on a hill on the south-eastern city border of Innsbruck. Once it was the castle of the counts of Dießen-Andechs, whose ancestors already resided here in the tenth century. In 1133 the castle was destroyed by attacks led by Henry the Proud, then Duke of Bavaria. Only 150 years later, the plant was rebuilt. Today the massive building houses a museum with art from the private collection of Archduke Ferdinand II.

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Around the Patscherkofel

Sun terrace with glacier view

The circular hike around the Patscherkofel offers magnificent views of the Viggartal, the Viggarspitze and the Glungezer. The first section leads from the mountain station of the Kofelbahn along the Zirbenweg past the Boschebenhütte to the Hochmahdalm. Here you can stop for refreshments on the sun terrace with a fantastic view of the Stubai Glacier. (return: 5.5 kilometers, 2 hours, up and down: 250 meters)

Golden Roof

Former residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns

The late Gothic bay window is located in the old town of Innsbruck and bears its name because of the 2,657 fire-gilded copper shingles on the roof. The magnificent house was built in 1420 as the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns. However, the magnificent dungeon was only added 80 years later on behalf of the then German King Maximilian I.. In 1536 the leader of the Tyrolean Anabaptist movement, Jakob Hutter, was burned alive on the square in front of the Golden Roof. Many of his followers then emigrated to America and founded several communities in Pennsylvania, where they are still called Hutterer today and live a traditional, pre-industrial lifestyle. Today the Golden Roof houses a museum.

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Rare plants on Innsbruck's local mountain

Innsbruck's local mountain stands only a few kilometers south of the city in the Tuxer Alps. The 2,246 meter high summit is barren and offers a beautiful view across the city and the Inn valley. From Iglis, a district of Innsbruck, a cable car leads up to the striking mountain. Not far from the mountain station is the highest botanical garden in Austria, the Patscherkofel Alpine Garden. More than 400 different plant species grow on two hectares of mountainous land, including very rare ones that are under strict conservation.

Tyrolean Folk Art Museum

Collection on the cultural history of Tyrol

As early as 1888, the Tyrolean Trade Association had decided to open a “Trade Museum”. The traditional Tyrolean craftsmanship was threatened by industrialisation at that time. The collection initially concentrated on handicrafts. Over the years, the collection was expanded to include other themes, before the Tyrol state took over the museum from the Tyrolean Trade Association in 1926. Since its reopening in 1929, the museum has been inspiring countless locals and visitors.

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