Innsbruck monuments

Imperial Palace at Innsbruck

Imperial Palace at Innsbruck

The Imperial Palace at Innsbruck - the Capital of the Alps - once was seat of the Tyrolean sovereigns...

The Imperial Palace was erected by Archduke Siegmund the Rich in late Gothic style around 1460. It was rebuilt in the Baroque style (but with rococo detailing) between 1754 and 1773 on orders of Empress Maria Theresa. The Palace, flanked by a set of domed towers, is a fine example of Baroque secular architecture. The structure has four wings and a splendid two-story Riesensaal (Giant´s Hall), painted in white and gold and filled with portraits of the Habsburgs.

The Imperial Apartments consist of 25 state apartments dating from the 18th and 19th century and the Giants´ Hall (the Alps most lavish banqueting hall). The Gothic Cellar can be rented for special events. Don´t miss a visit to the adjoining "Sacher" Café of Innsbruck.

 

Imperial church – Kenotaph Emperor Maximilian I.

Imperial church – Kenotaph Emperor Maximilian I.

The Hofkirche (Imperial Church) in Innsbruck with its memorial for Emperor Maximilian I is the most prominent tomb memorial for an emperor in Europe. Furthermore it provides evidence of European court art for which the best artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Vischer the older and Alexander Colin were employed.

Emperor Maximilian's basic idea was to construct a political memorial for the Roman-German imperial rule, which was based on the tradition of the House of Hapsburg, and was supposed to develop into a European imperial rule through Maximilian's political targets.

The completion of the memorial in its present form took more than 80 years. It was during the time of Ferdinand II that the 1584 casting of the kneeling emperor, the four virtues and the iron grille were finished and installed in the tomb.

The extensive memorial consists of a cenotaph with the figure of the kneeling emperor and 24 reliefs depicting his deeds on the sarcophagus in the middle of the nave and 28 of the planned 40 larger than life statues of his ancestors between the pillars of the nave and the beginning of the chancel.

The Renaissance organ on the right hand side of the choir wall by Jörg Ebert from Ravensburg counts as one of the five most famous organs in the world and is in addition the largest nearly undamaged organ from the Renaissance in Austria.

 

Ambras castle

Ambras castle

The Castle was built by Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria (1529-1595), Count of Tirol, in the 16th century. It´s divided into a lower and an upper castle set in the remains of a medieval fortress. This was Ferdinand´s favorite residence and the center of his court´s cultural life.

The lower castle was planned and constructed by the Archduke as a museum for his various collections, including arms and armor, art, and books, all of which can be seen today. The Wunderkammer (Gallery of Wonders) contains a display of exotic objects like coral, ivory, a rhinoceros´ horn and other artifacts brought back to Europe by the early explorers. The upper part of the palace houses the Habsburg´s Portrait Gallery, an awe-inspiring collection of works by the likes of Lukas Cranach, Anton Mor, Tizian, Van Dyck and Diego Velásquez. The Castle´s most striking and precious feature is the George´s Altar of Emperor Maximilian I.

 

Cathedral St. Jacob

Cathedral St. Jacob

The huge two-towered front of the Parish Cathedral St. Jacob dominates the Cathedral square at the northwestern side of the Royal Court.

Based on designs by the Baroque architect Johann Jakob Herkommer, this church was rebuilt between 1717 and 1724 on the site of an earlier Gothic church. It is roofed with domes and has a lavish baroque interior, part of which was executed by the Asam brothers. One of its chief treasurers is a precious Madonna and Child on the main altar, painted by German master Lucas Cranach the Elder. The elaborate Innsbruck carillon sounds for peace. In the north aisle, look for a 1620 monument honoring Archduke Maximilian III, who died in 1618. The most recent renovation works date from the years 1992 and 1993.

 

Basilika Wilten

Basilika Wilten

Wilten´s Parish and Pilgrimage Church, the Wilten Basilica, is one of the most splendid houses of worship in Tirol. As legend has it, even Roman Legionnaires were attracted to it by the fame of a Madonna Painting. This place of pilgrimage was taken over by the Premonstratensian Order in 1140. The first church on the site was erected around 1259 and was visited by large numbers of people. When the original church was in a dilapidated state it was removed and rebuilt between 1751 and 1756 in a rich rococo style with twin towers. The design of the new church was entrusted to Josef Stapf, one of the most eminent church architects of his generation. The interior of the church is a kaleidoscope of soft colors, mixed with glorious gold and lavish rococo plasterwork by Franz Xaver Feichtmayr and Anton Gigl. The elaborate ceiling murals are by Matthaus Gunther and depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The sandstone figure depicting Our Lady Under the Four Columns on the high altar had been the subject of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages.

 

The new Bergisel Ski jump

The new Bergisel Ski jump

Towering high above Innsbruck on the wooded Bergisel Hill, the brand-new Bergisel Ski Jump is a sight to behold.

The hill itself is a historic site, scene of the 1809 battles in which Andreas Hofer led some Tyrolean peasants against French and Bavarian forces in the Tyrolean War of Independence. The first ski jump was erected here in the year 1925. And in 1964 and 1976, the Innsbruck Ski Jump was venue of the Olympic Ski Jumping competitions.

Reconstruction plans have been discussed widely. Finally, Iraqi-born and London-based star architect Zaha Hadid won the related architectural competition and designed the spectacular new ski jump. Construction works began in 2001 and have been completed in September 2002. Zaha Hadid designed what is already considered a tourist attraction that should be on the itinerary of every visitor to Innsbruck.

The Tower stands 47 meters tall and provides spectacular views. The new facilities now can hold 28,000 spectators. Each year, the refurbished Bergisel Stadium plays host to the annual Four Hills Tournament in January and to a Summer Grand Prix Jumping Event. All Bergisel Stadium facilities, including gondola, elevator, panoramic café, and vantage spot on the jumping platform are open to visitors. From the stylish Restaurant there are uninterrupted panoramic views of the lofty surrounding peaks of Patscherkofel, Nordkette, Hohe Munde and Serles.

As of May 2003, the visit to Innsbruck’s newest architectonic attraction is free with the „All Inclusive Innsbruck Card“.

 

Pilgrimage church of St. Peter´s and St. Paul´s

The church with its lavish murals and ornate plasterwork is a superb example of 18th century Rococo style architecture. The church's perfect acoustics draws much appreciative comment from visitors and is often proved within concerts. The parish church is the final resting place of martyr and parish priest Otto Neururer.

 

Mill Hinterloch

Mill Hinterloch

The mill is situated at the end of the long drawn village of Ellboegen in Innerellboegen. Apparantly the first mill was established here in the 16th century.

On one of the mills wheels one can find the date 1738 stating that part of the mill was restored in that year. The mill was in full function until 1951 so one can guess that the original mill was at least 200 years older than the part which was repaired in 1738, although no written testamonies can verify the exact date.

The mill belongs to 11 farms (Schneider, Truieler, Fuchs, Adamer, Kastner, Schrötner, Lener, Hinterlarcher, Singer, Käfer und Walzer), whose owners elect within a certain period one among them, who is for that period of time in charge and responsible for the function of the mill.

At the moment Franz Peer (Fuchsbauer) is the "Lord of the Mill" who, with the help of 2 local artisans  Josef Eller (Wagnermeister)  and blacksmith Ludwig Hölzl restored the mill in 1995/96, so the mill is now open to visitors.

A 30 minutes walk takes you from the village Ellboegen to the mill in and back via Oberelloegen. From May until the end of September the mill is in function from 2 pm until 5 pm for visitors, where the farmers show how the corn is grinded to flour. The farmer's wives will offer you in homemade food and drinks.