Traces of the Habsburgs. Imperial Palace and Court Church.

The traces of the Habsburgs are to be found everywhere in Innsbruck. The Court Church, also known as the Schwarz-Mander-Kirche (Black Men Church) houses 28 larger than life bronze figures surrounding the empty tomb of Emperor Maximilian I. This is one of the greatest imperial tombs in Europe and is close to the “Hofburg” Imperial Palace, one of the three most important cultural buildings in Austria next to the Vienna Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palace. It was Empress Maria Theresia who commissioned the remodelling of the Baroque palace with state rooms (Giant Hall) and imperial apartments.

Ambras Castle. Renaissance dreams. 

Perched on a hill to the south of Innsbruck is Ambras Castle, built by the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand II as a demonstration of his love for Philippine Welser, his upper middle-class wife. The Chamber of Art and Curiosities is a source of endless wonder, revealing the Renaissance world with all sorts of strange, valuable and wonderful exhibits. The highlight of the castle is the magnificent Spanish Hall, which resounds in summer with the wonderful music of the Ambras Castle Concerts.

Maria Theresien Strasse. Where history comes alive.

The splendid avenue is lined with gorgeous Baroque and classical palaces. The Town Hall Galleries and Kaufhaus Tyrol are striking buildings in terms of their architecture and also delightful places to shop. The white and gold Anna Column rises majestically and, to the south, the Triumphal Arch marks the end of this impressive street, a living history book and place to enjoy spending a relaxed time strolling and looking around.

Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art. Embark on a journey through time!

The museum is home to an interesting and entertaining arrangement of historical costumes, a notable collection of nativity scenes, eerie and shimmering traditional figures and depictions of the harshness and poverty of what life used to be like in the mountains, taking you on an exciting journey back through time to previous centuries.

Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Magical glitter fireworks.

Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens (about 15 km east of Innsbruck) transports you into a magical realm. Glittering chambers of wonder designed by international artists unfold their magic, which continues outside in the gardens beneath the sparkling crystal cloud. Children love the play tower, playground and labyrinth. You can also find yourself surrounded by glitter fireworks in the flagship store in Innsbruck's Old Town.

City meets mountains. Innsbruck’s Nordkettenbahnen.

In no other European city of a comparable size are the hustle and bustle of the city and the quiet solitude of the high mountains so close together as they are in Innsbruck. You can enjoy a quick espresso in one of the street cafés in the Old Town and, 20 minutes later, you’re in the kingdom of the ibex and chamois at an altitude of 2,300 metres. You can marvel at the fantastic 360-degree panorama and enjoy an intimate experience of the alpine fauna and flora. Call in at the Seegrube, 400 metres below, for the Ride & Dine (every Friday) and, on your way, you can experience a journey through some architectural gems of the 20th and 21st centuries: Zaha Hadid’s Hungerburgbahn stations, Franz Baumann’s cable car stations from the 1920s and Snøhetta’s architectural creations on the Nordkette Panorama Trail.

Alpenzoo Innsbruck. Meet lynx, bear and eagle.

Bear and pygmy owl, golden eagle and pond turtle, ibex and otter. There’s no other zoo in the world where visitors can encounter such a complete collection of wild animals native to the Alpine region. It’s so exciting to observe wildlife in their natural surroundings.

Wilten Abbey. Giants’ fierce battle and boys’ tender voices.

The battle between two giants led to the abbey’s construction, and the legend of the founding of Wilten Abbey is represented in the Gothic statue of the giant Haymon. Otherwise, Baroque splendour, magnificent frescoes and wrought-iron grids dominate the interior of the Collegiate Church of Wilten. The tender and harmonious voices of the world-famous Wilten Boys Choir are frequently heard here.

Bergisel Innsbruck. Sky jumpers past and present.

Zaha Hadid's striking ski jump is the annual venue for a number of ski jumping events. The Giant Panoramic Painting, a realistic depiction of the 19th century battle painted on 1,000 m2 of canvas, is located in the Tirol Panorama museum. The Bergisel offers views of great architecture and the museum provides lots of interesting insights.

Stams Abbey. Baroque splendour surrounded by green meadows. 

Anyone approaching Innsbruck from the west will be amazed by the mighty onion domes: yellow and white Baroque splendour surrounded by green meadows. It houses a unique high altar designed as a tree of life with 84 carved figures, and the wrought-iron rose lattice has 80 flowers, each different from the other. It also has a royal tomb and the Holy Blood Chapel. Please don’t forget to visit the abbey shop!

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barbara.plattner@pro.media

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6020 Innsbruck
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p.unsinn@innsbruck.info

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