Palazzo Vescovile was the palace where the princes bishops lived from 1250. It was home of the bishops until 1964.
The construction of this building begun in 960. It was enlarged and restored various times; especially in the 1700.
This palace has three stories built around a very large courtyard. It houses around 70 rooms. Here you can see the bishops' rooms, the imperial rooms, a church, a sacred art museum and a large collections of ancient cribs. There are lots of beautiful ancient stoves, paintings, furniture, porcelain and more.
The museum and the imperial and bishops' rooms with the church are open from march 15 to october 31. I think this is due to the cost of heating. I suppose. The palace is huge. The collection of cribs is open from december 1 to january 31.
The dom ( cathedral ) dominates old town Bressanone, but the spire of the older kirche ( church ) of sk. Michael is also visible from a great distance. Construction of sk. Michael kirche began about 1100 years ago. In stark contrast to the dom, the architecture of sk. Michael is strictly Romanesque and early Gothic. The multi toned tile roof is the only colorful part of the exterior.
The church interior is more interesting. The ceilings are completely covered by magnificent frescoes. The artists are not known to me. As with most of the ancient structures in this region, the craftsmanship is excellent. The altars are Gothic masterpieces.
You can find lots of old mural paintings in Bressanone/Brixen. Some very interesting ones in the arcades next to the cathedral, but also many on houses in the town.The earliest paintings are from the 14th century. Most of them have religious themes. Mx favourite one is the painting of a horse with an elephant's trunk.I don't know if the people in 15th century had never seen an elephant before and so imagined it must have been some kind of strange horse.
There is a large swimming center in Bressanone/Brixen, in which you can swim, use the sauna, get wellness treatment. When I was there, their parking lot was so overcrowded on a normal weekday, one hour after opening time, that they needed assistants to direct the parking. I decided to do another hike instead. It seems to be very popular.
There are good hiking trails, starting right in the center of the town. The tourist information has leaflets and information brochures about the length and difficulty of the trails. They start from easy hiking to more strenuous ones, but close to Bressanone/Brixen there is no real mountain climbing.I did some of the trails and enjoyed the great view.
The palace is located directly across the domplatz from the dom. The early Renaissance palace has a fascinating 3 story arcaded loggia. Many of the rooms are decorated with well preserved furnishings and artwork ranging from 300 to 600 years old.
During the winter months the ground floor houses a rare collection of about 100 carved nativity scenes. Many of the carvings date back to the Gothic era. The display is open daily from 1400 to 1700 hours, December through February.
Shown in the photo is part of beautifully landscaped courtyard and gardens of the palace. Admission to the garden is free of charge, and it is an excellent place to stroll and relax. The loggia shown in the background contain a series of interesting memorials. The WWI memorial shown on the Bressanone intro. page is the one on the left.
Bressanone's dom ( cathedral ) is located at the domplatz ( duomo piazza ) in the very center of altstadt. As is typical of central European cathedrals, it is unbelievably large and took about 600 years to complete. Construction was started more than 900 years ago, and the twin campaniles ( bell towers ) were completed about 300 years ago. To appreciate the vast size of the dom, notice how small the woman in the photo looks in comparison.
The architecture of the cathedral is much more typical of Tirol than of the Trentino Alto Adige region. The architecture is a harmonious blend of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and neo classical. The octagonal upper sections and domed roofs of the campaniles and the " witches hat " capitals are a Tirolean trademarks.
The 13th. century cloisters with their extensive cycle of frescoes, are a self contained museum of Tyrolean Gothic art. The interior architecture is arched Gothic at its best. The Romanesque chapel of Sk. Johann is the original chapel. It's walls are completely covered with 13th. century frescoes.
The duomo is open much of the time but photography is not allowed.
The city of Bressanone / Brixen has one of the most fascinating and beautiful central squares on the continent. Shown in the center of the photo is the Gothic / Renaissance city hall. The brilliantly gilded copper roof is more interesting than the famous roof over Maximillian's balcony in nearby Innsbruck, but without the tourists. In Germany and Austria, a city hall is called a rathaus. Even though German is spoken almost exclusively in this part of Italy, a compromise was needed on the term for city or town halls. Therefore, it is called " Rathaus Municipo ". The two languages and cultures exist mainly in harmony throughout this most beautiful region of Italy. Tourists have an unfortunate phobia of Bressanone. They are seldom seen there.
The rook of a 13th. century Trentino Alto Adige fortress is visible behind the rathaus. The ancient architectural styles of Tirol and Trentino also exist in harmony in Bressanone. The floral landscaping in the center of the square adds the perfect touch to citta centro.
This is a small and rather little visited area in the Geisler group but just east of itabove the Würzjoch is the popular Peitlerkofel/Sass Putia which is easily reached and offers a great view. I shall climb it in a few weeks when my sister will come to visit me.
The Plose is a mountain southeast of Brixen. A road goes up to about 2000 m . From there several ski lifts open skiing opportunities up to the more than 2500 m high top. The highlight is the nice view of the Geisler mountains, the northernmost group of the Dolomites. There is also a road going along these mountains up to the Würzjoch and down to Campill and the Ladin speaking Val Badia.
Located in the centre of Bressanone, Acquarena is a complex that includes pools, sauna, turkish bath, and also a restaurant. It is very modern, well organized and clean.
I really enjoyed it !
Note that you can't enter the sauna dressed but you can use a towel. Most hotels offer free entrance to pools during the length of your stay. You have to pay a little extra if you want to use sauna and turkish bath that usually are not included in the free entrance.( I paid 5.20 euro ).
Maybe it's because I am used to Verona swimming pools... but I truly recommend it !
It really is a pleasure to walk through the small alleys of Bressanone. Just take a look at the pics!
Bressanone/Brixen is the oldest town in the area,South Tirol, and it used to be Bishop's town. So there are beautiful churches to be seen, especially the cathedral right in the center of the town.