Innsbruck : Charming City in the Austrian Alps

Surrounding Mountains, Innsbruck

16th – 17th July 2011. Written by Xin Li.
Innsbruck, Austria

A breathe-taking time-lapse video of Innsbruck by matreyia
BACKGROUND
The Austrian city of Innsbruck is located between the Italian and German border in West Austria. Situated along the Inn River and surrounded by the Stubai Alps to the southwest, Tux Alps to the southeast, Karwendel and Wetterstein Mountains to the north, it is not only the oldest city in Tyrol but probably one of the most beautiful.

Südtiroler Platz, Innsbruck

The Winter Olympics was held in Innsbruck twice (1964 and 1976) and it is slated to host the 1st Winter Youth Olympics in 2012. While it is a popular skiing destination during the winter season, Innsbruck is also unique from other skiing destinations because it also offers year-round skiing at the Stubai Glacier.

Maria Theresien Straß, Innsbruck

Despite its location, Innsbruck is well-connected by rail to Italy, Germany and other parts of Austria, which accounts for Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof as one of the busiest railway stations in Austria. By, air you could also fly to this charming university city from England or France without any issues on one of the many budget airlines available.

Inn River, Innsbruck

The area around Innsbruck have traces of human settlement since the early Stone Age but the city’s history probably dates back to the 11th century when the Inn Bridge was constructed in 1187 (a possible origin of the name “Innsbruck”).

Hofburg, Innsbruck

The city became the capital of Tyrol in 1429 and its university was founded in 1669, the third largest in Austria.

Meinhardstrasse, Innsbruck

I am glad I included Innsbruck in my itinerary as it provided a nice respite away from the huge cities like Amsterdam, London and Paris. The mountains and laid back café atmosphere of Innsbruck is a departure away from all that majestic urban jungles.

Goldenes Dachl, Innsbruck

GOLDENES DACHL
The Golden Roof is probably the most famous landmark in Innsbruck, located at the old town square at Herzog Friedrich-Strasse, the roof is covered with 2657 fire-glided copper (not gold) tiles. It was constructed for Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I in 1500.

Tiroler Landestheater, Innsbruck

TIROLER LANDESTHEATER
Is only a short walk away from the Goldenes Dachl, we saw a couple having their wedding shots taken there. The building was built in 1844-1846 by Giuseppe Segusini. Originally known as the K.k Nationaltheater, it was renamed the “Tiroler Landestheater” in 1945. [Website]

Hofgarten, Innsbruck

HOFGARTEN
Located just next to the Landestheater and the Hofburg is the Hofgarten, a garden at least 600 years old and covers an area of 10 hectares. This pleasant looking garden is the site for concerts as well as chess tournaments. Apparently, the garden houses several plants planted personally by Maria Theresa, the Empress Consort of the Habsburg Holy Roman Empire from 1740 to 1780.

Hofgarten, Innsbruck
Hofgarten, Innsbruck
Hofgarten, Innsbruck

JESUITENKIRCHE
Also located near the Tiroler Landestheater is the Jesuitenkirche also known as the University Church as it is the official church of Innsbruck University. This beautiful church was built between 1627 to 1640. Its towers however date back to the early 20th century. [Church's Website]

Jesuitenkirche, Innsbruck

The Roman Catholic church was constructed in Baroque style and its crypt was where Archduke Leopold V, the sovereign of Tyrol and its patron during its construction was buried along with his wife.

Jesuitenkirche, Innsbruck
Jesuitenkirche, Innsbruck

TRIUMPHPFORTE
At the southern end of the Maria-Theresien Street, you can find a monumental arch built to resemble the Triumphal Arches of ancient Rome, the arch, known simply as Triumphpforte was built in 1765 under the orders of Empress Maria Theresa to honor the marriage of her son and to mourn the death of her husband, Francis I Stephen of Lothringen who died during the wedding celebrations. The arch represents two contrasting emotions: joy and sorrow.

Triumphpforte, Innsbruck
Triumphpforte, Innsbruck

SOWI BUILDING, UNIVERSITY OF INNSBRUCK
Besides the works of Zaha Hadid, you could also spot some contemporary architecture as the Innsbruck University’s Social and Economic Science Faculty Building (SoWi) designed by Henke and Schreieck Architects.

SOWI Universität, Innsbruck

If you visit during the summer period (i.e July), there are free performances by Folk Bands as well as Symphony Orchestra which you could watch at the Hofburg, the Imperial Palace. It is quite a lively affair as these bands would parade down the old town square with music before their performance at the palace.

Folk Band, Innsbruck
Folk Band, Innsbruck
Folk Band, Innsbruck

The city seemed to be pretty well known for its marzipan products, watches as well as crystals.

Innsbruck, Austria

The famed Swarovski Company begun in Wattens which is located near Innsbruck in 1895 when it established a crystal cutting factory there.

Innsbruck

If you do visit Austria, Germany or Eastern Europe, do visit this scenic city!

Innsbruck
The official website for information on the city.
http://www.innsbruck.info/en/home.html

Tyrol
Innsbruck is located in the region known as Tyrol in Austria. The website provides information on Tyrol including Innsbruck.
http://www.tyrol.com/

Stubai Glacier
Located south of Innsbruck and a bus ride away, the Stubai Glacier offers year-round skiing even in summer.
http://www.stubaier-gletscher.com/en/winter/

Weisses Kreuz
The hotel we stayed in during our short visit to Innsbruck. A historic inn where Mozart once stayed in 1769.
http://www.weisseskreuz.at/en/index.php

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