Goldenes Dachl, Innsbruck
Innsbruck is a delightful town, there is no denying that. On the other hand, to pretend that the the 'golden roof' is one of the great architectural wonders of Europe is somewhat over-egging the pudding.
The balcony was apparantly built by Maximillian I (boy, if ever there was an alpha male name) to celebrate the marriage to his second wife. As far as I can work out the frescos around the roof include drawings of both the old wife and the new one. Quite how does that work ? all sound a bit kinky to me.
To get back to the tiles. Granted, you are not going to be able to buy a job lot of gold-plated copper tiles in you local branch of Tiles 'r' us or Topp Tiles, but it really doesn't justify all the fuss. The building the golden roof it attached to is a very unremarkable 19th century affair. If it wasn't for the roof, you wouldn't give it a second glance. The square below the balcony will be filled with the usual selection of gawping and gormless tourists wearing silly shorts and various 'street entertainers' trying to relieve them of their cash.
This is the famous part of Innsbruck : The golden roof. It really looks beautiful! Hahaha, yes, I am calling this a tourist trap. In a way it is a trap, because it is used to get the tourists to Innsbruck.
History of the 'Golden Roof' that I copies from http://www.tiscover.at :
It is built by Archduke Friedrich IV in the early 15th century as the residence of the Tirolean sovereigns (earlier also known as 'Neuhof' – New Court). Emperor Maximilian I had the original oriel rebuilt by Nikolaus Türing the Elder from 1494 to 1496. He added a loggia over the window, from which the imperial court could observe festivals and tournaments mounted on the square below. The two-storey oriel is 16 meters wide; the roof is 3.7 m high and covered with some 2,600 fire-gilt copper tiles – giving the 'Golden Roof' its name, though they are actually made of copper. The steep roof shows ornamentations of wrought iron at the crests. The balustrades of the oriel are adorned with reliefs of coats of arms and with famous freestone reliefs, representing the imperial court. Among them the Emperor together with his two wives, Maria Bianca Sforza and Maria of Burgundy, and groups of dancers and jugglers. The balustrade on the first floor is adorned with carved coats of arms, representing Austria, Hungary, the double-headed eagle of the Empire, the single-headed eagle of the kingdom of Germany, Burgundy and Milan, as well as the Tirol and Styria. The fresco paintings by Joerg Koelderer show two standard-bearers with the flags of the Empire and the province of Tirol. The original reliefs are on display at the ‘Ferdinandeum’ museum.
The famous Golden Roof in the centre of Innsbruck is not really made of gold. With its content of 100 g or so of the precious substance it should be in fact called 'guilded roof' instead.