Old Town, Innsbruck
visitors are attracted by the historical environment of the Old Town with the renowned Golden Roof as focal point. The Habsburg kings held court in Innsbruck and you will find many historic sights, the most important one being the Ambras castle with its good art collection. Everywhere around Innsbruck's heritage of two "golden ages" can still be found: the first around 1500 under the Emperor Maxmilan I, the second in the mid-1700's under Empress Maria Thérèsia.
We arrived at Innsbruck early afternoon,about four o'clock,and then we started a nice walked tour in the old town and other parts of the city with a local guide.Our first stop was here,at Triumphal Arch,that is located at end of Maria Theresienstrasse.
This beautiful arch was built by Emprees Maria Theresien for commemorate the marriage of her son,Leopold II with Maria Ludovica from Spain.
My first impression of the city was very good,because Innsbruck has some beautiful landscapes of old town with the nice Alps mountains behind,as you can see on my picture,you'll find lots of snow at top of the mountains.
Innsbruck's Old Town is a reminder of the way the medieval town once flourished with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings.
An important point of the Old Town is the broad strip of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, which eventually opens out into a central plaza lined with arcades.
Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse is one the most beautiful roads of the Altstadt (old town) of Innsbruck. It crosses the whole historical center and it is flanked with beautiful buildings with porticos, houses with the decorated loggiatis and with beautiful insignias in beaten iron. Very interesting is the Gasthof weisses Kreuz, a house of the fifteenth century where Mozart lived.
The Hofgasse is the street that connects the Goldenes Dachl to the Rennweg. Along this street you can see the Deutschordenshaus (House of the Teutonic order) built in 1533. Another nice building is the Riesenhaus with Late-Gothic decorations.
The beautiful Cathedral of Innsbruk is called St. James (St. Jakob) and it was rebuilt between 1.717 and 1724. it is on Ghotic style and is another very interesting place to visit in the city.This picture was taken from my hotel's window,is not a very good one because it was late afternoon and it is a little bit dark,but I had a great view of the city from my window,whit this beautiful cathedral just in front!.
The Landhaus is the palace of the region and is reunited with the beautiful Palais Fugger-Taxis. The building was built by G.A.Gumpp between 1679 and 1690. The facade has allegorical plasters made by F.Serena in 1728. You can visit some rooms of the palace among which the staircase of honor and the room of the regional council with frescos of C.D.Asam.
This house was built in the late XV century.The facade reliefs are made by the workshop of Gregor Tuering and represent musicians, stage artists and various types of tournaments. The reliefs are here to remind us that, once upon the time , the old city square was hosting Knights tournaments and battles.
In the ground floor is located a exquisite coffee , probably the most frequented place in the old town. If time permits it , go for it! Make sure to visit the toilets as well, they are worth it - huge mirror glass in baroque frame and other cool stuff,same as the look through the window and the furniture in the upper floor.
Servitenkirche was built by G.Sperandio betweeen 1614 and 1621 for wish of Anna Caterina Gonzaga, duchess of Mantua, second wife of the archduke Ferdinand II. Inside the church you can see the shovel of the main altar made by Polak in 1628.
The old town of Innsbruck is one of the few places where no cars are allowed. You need to travel by foot or by these really cute trams. To discover the place,just take a few hours off and walk around,look into the shops,stop by at a local cafe and enjoy some amazing coffee.
Thats how I discovered Giant Street.The museum at the Medical University found specimen bones of 2 really large persons who are believed to have lived in Austria 1000's of years ago. Thats how the street was named Giant Street. Large giants have been placed outside the building and its very easy to miss the street if you dont keep your eyes open.Trust me,my aunt has been living in Innsbruck since the past 20 years and she didnt know the street existed till I told her about it!
Another street similar to this exists called the Fairy tale street where outside each building a figure hangs from the window like Rapunzel or the Big Bad wolf,Hensel And Gretel. Takes you back to your childhood days..the magical world of storytales. Its a must visit.
On the left of Herzog-Friedrich-Straße there is the interesting Gasthof Goldener Adler (golden eagle) with a beautiful painted facade: it is held to be the most ancient inn in Austria. In front of the Gasthof you can see the Altes Regierungsgebaude. It is the ancient building of the government which was built in the fifteenth century and modified in 1689 by J.M.Gumpp.
Innsbruck has a “curiosity” shop of sorts on Stiftgasse this is “the smallest shop” that earns this distinction because only one customer can enter the tiny Speckschwemme at a time.
Behind the counter is a smiling shopkeeper who stocks sausages in all shapes and sizes, along with “speck” - a preserved meat that looks like like thinly sliced ham of the prosciutto variety.
Pfarrgasse is the short street that connects Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse with the cathedral square. Along the street you can see interesting medieval buildings like the Prechthaus with beautiful reliefs or the Ettlhaus built in 1500 with a Neo-Gothic facade.
Altstadt Innsbruck is filled with fascinating original ( not restorations ) of Renaissance and Gothic architecture. Shown in the photo are excellent examples of the Tirolean Renaissance buildings completed during the time period that Emporer Maximilian reigned. These and other similar buildings are found on the road linking Maria Theresian Strasse with the palace, Goldenes Dachl, and square of Maximilian.
next to the famous Helblinghaus you may see a lot of other nice buildings with beautifully decorated traditional facades. You will hardly find anything about them in any of the guidebokks about Innsbruck, and still I think they are really worth a second look.