Old Town, Innsbruck
Located in the TIROLER VOLKSKUNSTMUSEUM is the Tyrolean Folk Art displays of traditional dress and arts and crafts, nativity sets and historic panelled rooms.
I loved the display of the 'GOSPEL IN MINIATURE,' a display of various Nativity scenes.
Nativity scenes play a big part at Christmas time in the Tyrol, in the past and the present. The Nativity scenes on display were made from anything really - wood, clay, cardboard....
Each told one of the traditional stories of the nativity, like the birth of Jesus, the adoration of the shepherds, the coming of the Magi and many more. These all came with little sculptures of people, buildings, trees etc all done too scale. I really admire the sculptors who created these wonderful pieces!
The first nativity scenes were set up in churches, starting with the Jesuit Church in Innsbruck in 1608.
Annasäule (Anne's column) isn't a plague column but actually a Marian column. On 26 July 1703, on the feast day of St. Anna, the last of the defeated Bavarian troops left the Tyrol. In gratitude of this event, a promise was made to build this "thank you Column," this didn't take place until 1706. The monument was built out of red Tyrolean marble and created by Italian sculptor Cristoforo Benedetti.
Above the Corinthian marble pillar with four putti, stands the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, a replica, as since 1958 the original is in the collegiate church Fiecht.
On the bases are the statues of four saints, which I think are worth having a closer look at.
There is Anna, facing north (mother of Mary), Kassian to the west, George to the south and probably one of the best known - depicted here with dragon and lance and Vigilius in the East, one of the first bishops of Trent, beaten with sticks and a shoe of Heiden.
Since 1704, an annual procession of the former St. Jacob's parish church proceed to the Anna column for St. Anne's Day.
Today the north-mounted lantern is lit (under St. Anna) every Saturday night, which goes back to the vow of 1704.
The Old City Hall is the building painted red that surrounds the tower. It was originally built in 1358, but in 1691, after earthquake and fire damage to the building, it was re-built by Johann Martin Gumpp the Elder.
In 1897, it became known as "old city hall," as the Mayor and City Council relocated to new city hall in Maria Theresia Street. The Vice-Mayor and some offices are still here though!
On the old City Hall façade is a stone relief of an angel holding the coat of arms, flanked by an Innsbruck couple dressed in 16th century style. Included are the figures of 1239 and 1939, a reminder of the confirmation of the municipal law.
If you have read any of my reviews on Innsbruck, you may have found the name "Gumpp" being mentioned more than once, as the family "Gummp" were famous Barouque architects who designed many buildings in the city.
One of importance is located near the famous Golden Roof, known as Café Munding and run by the Munding family since 1803. At Christmas time, Tyrolean Christmas stories are told about Maria Anna Gumpp, a historic figure who lived in Innsbruck 300 years ago. As its a cafe and one of the oldest in Innsbruck, Christmas specialities produced by the Munding family are available.
Back to the historic buildings façade and here I find quite a large fresco of St. Christopher. Another mural shows a copy of the famous Mariahilf image of Lucas Cranach the Elder.
This Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit Hospital OR the Spitalskirche was painted pink - yuk is what I thought!
This Basilica dates back to the 14th century, where in 1326, the building was transformed into a hospital while also serving as a church.
This church is a newer one that was built in 1700. It has two portals and intricately carved doors. I was able to see the rich stucco, the frescoes that have been repainted after air raids of World War II and the many beautiful Altars, especially the high altar that has a Gothic crucifix from 1705.
The Tiroler Landestheater, is the state theatre in Innsbruck. The building is large and impressive with its four Corinthian pillars at the main entrance.
Archduke Ferdinand Karl had the court theatre built here in 1655, later it was converted to Classical style. The building has a bronze relief and mosaics in the foyer . It was modernized in the 1960's.
Come here to see Plays, operas, operettas, musicals and dance theatre.
Tickets are available from the theatre box office and from the Innsbruck Information Office
Box Office Telephone +43/512/52 0 744
Located across the road from Hofburg Palace, is a really nice equestrian statue of a rearing horse being ridden by Archduke Leopold V, ruler of Tirol from 1619 to 1632. As a symbol of his political claim to power, Archduke Leopold V had this well built.
He is presented as a quiet and dignified person in period clothing. On the narrow sides of the fountain are the statues of Neptune and Triton and in the centre are four boys holding a shell-like vessel that is filled with water coming from lions heads.
The statue happens to be the oldest surviving depiction of a rearing horse north of the Alps.
Where the Stiftskeller is located once was part of the Emperor's Palace.
There has been quite a few name changes over the years. Beginning in 1465, the house was known as "Harnaschhaus," then as 'Wappenhaus' (''House of coats of arms''). Important people including Duke Siegmund der Münzreiche, Emperor Maximillian I, Erzherzog Ferdinand II. and Empress Maria Theresia used to frequent this house.
In 1929 the brewery Zipf took over part of the building and turned it into a restaurant. I didn't go inside, but read there is a fresco in the knights room and part of the old town wall, which runs right through the middle of the restaurant.
Daily 10 am - 12 pm Also open on Sundays and public holidays
Lunch from 11am to 10pm
Dinner from 10pm to 10:45pm
Otto Castle is located at no 1, Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse in the Altstadt, Innsbruck.
I was quite surprised it was once a Castle as to me it didn't look like one!
The Castle was erected by decree of Maximilian I in the 15th century as a late gothic residential tower. It is believed, Duke Otto II of Andechs , who was considered a founder of the city of Innsbruck, is said to have resided here in his "Ottburg".
It is now used a Restaurant and Wine bar. On their website it shows the interior, which I think looks very nice.
Outside are two statues depicting a father and son, in commemoration of defeat against the French army under Napoleon in 1809.
OPEN Tuesday - Sunday 11 - 2.30PM & 6PM - MIDNIGHT
Deutschordenshaus / German Religious House / House of the Teutonic Order are all the same building!
I came across this house as I walked along the Hofgasse of the old city. I saw the wall plaque, so new it was an important building, but what for - the sign was written in German.
Since being at home, I have information about the German Order, how it was first established in 1190 during the 3rd Crusade in the Holy Land by German merchants as Hospitaller Order. In 1198, it was converted into a spiritual order of Knights.
Around 1530, the house at 3 Hofgasse was built with bay windows. The first and second floor has rich decorations, including a representation of the Order cartridge. The tone-on-tone painting, -mostly gray-on-gray painting shows Renaissance motifs. The German religious house in the Hofgasse served as a kind of hostel for the members.
Located on an exterior wall of the Golden roof is where I found this old Space Fountain.
The space fountain used to be made of wood as were many of the buildings in the Altstadt. It was only after the last major fire in Innsbruck in 1390, buildings were re-built in stone & brick and the arcades of the old town were built. The 15th century fountain which supplied almost 5,000 people with fresh spring water was a marble fountain until 1870. Now, this Gothic cast iron fountain is located on the pillar in-front of the Golden Roof.
The "Weinhaus Happ," built in 1484, was another delightful building with beautiful frescoes.
Over the years it changed hands many times, eventually in 1874, Franz Happ bought the building, hence its name.
Once Franz Happ had the house, he decided to renovate, so he moved everybody out but for the Tailor living on the 4th floor. You wouldn't believe this could happen, but it did, the house collapsed during the night, injuring his wife, but not himself. He landed on a pile of debri alongside his sewing machine and his pet Canary!
Happ was famous for his wines, his food and service and a therapeutic bath in the mountains.
There is no Franz Happ here now, but still the Happ name swings in the air, and you can come and stay in his house, and enjoy a meal and a wine!
The Goldener Adler is now a Best Western Hotel. Located opposite Otto Castle, this Hotel has been around since 1390. At the entrances is a marble plaque with famous names, including Mozart, King Ludwig, Goethe, the Austrian Emperor Josef II, and Austrian freedom fighter hero Andreas Hofer who are a few of the many who have stayed here.
The façade is covered in frescoes and there is a beautiful wrought iron sign hanging from the building.
When we returned at mid-day, the outside eating area under the umbrellas was very busy!
The Katzunghaus is another interesting building on Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse. Once again, the building is a gothic mansion that was built in the 15th century. It's located on a corner, and its on the corner wall where the bay reliefs from 1530 are located.
On the 1st and 2nd floor reliefs are of tournament scenes, on the 3rd floor are minstrels and dancers and the fourth floor of Gothic tracery. The reliefs show what used to go on in medieval times in the Altstadt square.
Palace Claudiana is next to the Ottoburg.
The building was named Palace Claudiana after Claudia de Medici had the building reconstructed in the 17th century. This attractive building was home to the Tyrolean government, so now-days is referred to as "Old Government House."
Once, there were five buildings standing here, four are still standing, the 5th was demolished in 1888. The walls are a nearly unbelievable 1.7 metres thick, giving the impression that this building may have been used by the Military.
The building fell into disrepair after a severe earthquake in 1689, so Johann Martin Gumpp carried out the reconstruction in the Baroque style, indeed he has done an excellent job!
Take time to look at the decoration of this building.
The Old Government building consists of four wings, the two exposed sides of the facades are alike. The rich baroque decoration of the façade is only done on the top two floors, that is all! Above the 2nd floor windows are decorations of a shield surrounded by scrolls and acanthus leaves. Inside, is a Gothic chapel on the second floor which had some old paintings exposed in 1956.
The 3rd floor windows have the heads of Habsburg princes and princesses, then at the very top of the Palace façade, are the heads of men, strung together with leaf and fruit wreaths. Each second head has an engraving from the 18th century.
Located in the centre of the main façade is a lovely wrought balcony and at ground level are arcades. The left portal leads into the entrance hall, right into the courtyard.
You can view the interior during office hours
This building has a brown information board attached to the façade with details about the building.