Travelling Turtle

Innsbruck – The capital of Tyrol

Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, is surrounded by imposing peaks and framed by spectacular mountain landscapes. The city is crossed by the Inn River, which contributes to its picturesque character. Furthermore, Innsbruck is famous for having been home to two editions of the Winter Olympic Games, in 1964 and 1976, underlining its reputation as a world-class mountain destination.

The history of the city

Innsbruck has its roots in the late Middle Ages, when it was founded in 1180 by Leopold IV, Duke of Bavaria. The name “Innsbruck” derives from the strategic position of the city, located near the intersection of the Inn River and an important commercial route. This position made it an important center of trade and contributed to its economic growth.

Over the next few centuries, Innsbruck became a focal point for the Dukes of Austria, who extended their rule over the region. The city was transformed into an imperial residence and became the capital of Tyrol. This period saw the construction of numerous architectural works, many of which are still visible today.

Innsbruck Tower

In the 18th century, the Habsburgs, one of Europe’s most influential dynasties, further enriched Innsbruck with their cultural and artistic patronage. Empress Maria Theresa, one of the most important figures of this period, contributed to the development of the city, commissioning the construction of important buildings and monuments.

What to see in Innsbruck?

The golden roof

The most iconic symbol of Innsbruck is the “Goldenes Dachl” or Golden Roof. This Gothic structure with its gilded copper-covered roof was built in the 15th century by Emperor Maximilian I to commemorate his marriage.

The Castle of Ambras

Located on a hill above Innsbruck, Ambras Castle offers spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountains. The castle houses a vast collection of works of art, weapons and curiosities collected by Archduke Ferdinand II.

St. James’s Cathedral

This majestic cathedral, with its Baroque façade, is an important place of worship and an architectural spectacle. Inside, the frescoes and altars contribute to creating an atmosphere of great beauty.

The Hofburg

Innsbruck Hofburg

Royal Palace, also known as the Hofburg, was built in the 15th century under the impetus of Archduke Frederick IV, also known as Frederick the Peaceful. The original building was a modest residence, but over the centuries, it was expanded and renovated by various rulers, including Empress Maria Theresa.

The Royal Palace was the center of Habsburg court life in Innsbruck. Its rooms witnessed royal events, sumptuous balls and court ceremonies. Empress Maria Theresa, during her reign, contributed significantly to the furnishings of the palace, adding touches of luxury and refinement

What to do nearby?

Innsbruck is surrounded by renowned ski resorts, making it an ideal destination for lovers of skiing and winter sports. The surrounding mountains offer breathtaking slopes and spectacular views.

For those who love nature, this city offers numerous excursion possibilities. From mountain trails to walks along the Inn River, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Tyrolean cuisine

You cannot leave Innsbruck without tasting the delicacies of Tyrolean cuisine. Here are some typical dishes that you can enjoy:

  • Dumplings (Knödel): These large dumplings, made of bread, milk and eggs, are an iconic dish. They can be prepared with cheese, speck (smoked ham) or spinach, offering a variety of flavors in every bite. They are often served in broth or with rich sauces.
  • Goulash Suppe: A spicy meat soup, inspired by nearby Eastern Europe. Tyrolean goulash combines beef, potatoes and spices, creating a flavorful and satisfying soup.
  • Wiener Schnitzel: Although originally from Austria, Wiener Schnitzel is also a popular dish in Tyrolean cuisine. It is breaded and fried veal, often accompanied by French fries or potato salad.
  • Gröstl: A rustic dish consisting of beef or pork, potatoes and onions, often seasoned with herbs. It’s pan-cooked until golden brown, making for a comforting, hearty dish.
  • Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel): A classic dessert, whose filling of apples, raisins and cinnamon is wrapped in a thin layer of dough. Often served with a generous dusting of icing sugar.
  • Kaiserschmarrn: A sort of Austrian pancake that has also conquered the heart of Tyrolean cuisine. It is often served with jam or fruit compote.
  • Craft Beer: The Tyrol region boasts craft breweries that produce high-quality beers. Tyrolean beers range from light and fruity to dark and robust, offering a range of options for beer lovers.

In conclusion, Innsbruck enchants with its combination of natural beauty, historical heritage and Alpine atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in skiing, culture or the simple beauty of the mountains, Innsbruck offers an unforgettable experience in every season.