The sights of Innsbruck
The unique combination of culture and sport makes Innsbruck a popular holiday destination and place to visit. In the Old Town countless sights and attractions line up one after the other, the most famous of which must be Innsbruck’s stunning landmark – the Golden Roof. 2,657 gold-plated copper shingles perch on the balcony above the former residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns. The building itself houses a museum in which you can follow in the tracks of Emperor Maximilian 1.
Just a few steps away you find the historic town hall, the Rathaus, with its magnificent citytower. Today, the 57 meter high watch tower provides a wonderful view across the inner city. Other architectural features include the late Gothic Helbinghaus and the Zeughaus armoury. The Hofburg Imperial Palace, built according to plans by Empress Maria Theresa, bears witness to the splendour of times gone by while the Hofkirche, or Court Church, impresses with 28 large bronze statues that flank the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I.
Innsbruck’s main artery is the road known as Maria Theresien Straße, with the Annasäule (St. Anna’s Column) standing proud in the middle against a spectacular mountain backdrop. Just outside the city you will find Ambras Castle and the Bergisel ski jump. The latter is an example of Innsbruck’s interest in modern architecture and, alongside the Hungerburg cable car stations, represents the second creation from top international architect Zaha Hadid.
Of all the churches in the city, Dom zu St. Jakob (Cathedral of St. James) certainly deserves a mention; a splendid baroque structure with unique pulpit and exceptional vaulted ceilings. Among the equally numerous theatre buildings is the State Theatre, which was built in the style of a late-classical temple. You will also still find genuine family tradition in Tyrol: the Grassmayr Bell Foundry has been a family business for 400 years and is famous around the world for its bells.
Of all the sights and attractions in Innsbruck, there is surely one that should not be forgotten: the Innsbruck Alpine Zoo. So close to the city and yet so immersed in nature, the carefully-designed zoo presents the wildlife of the Tyrolean Alps. Besides bears, rabbits and eagles, you might also come across some more exotic looking characters – the first elk were actually a gift to the zoo from the Swedish royal family.