Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck was well established in the 13th century and in 1430 it became the capital of Austria.  In the late1400s, Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire moved the imperial court here.

The region became part of Bavaria due to the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s but it was again part of Austria by 1814.

Today, with 121,000 people, Innsbruck is Austria's 5th-largest city and the provincial capital of Tyrol.  Innsbruck is in the Austrian Alps and is known for winter sports.  There are lots of ski resorts in the area. The city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976.  In 2012, it also hosted the first Winter Youth Olympics.

Innsbruck's most well-known landmark is the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof).  It was built in the early 15th century, for Emperor Maximilian I, with over 2,700 gold-plated copper tiles.  The emperor used it as a royal box when watching tournaments in the square below.  Luckily we got to see it because renovations just finished. 

The Hofkirche is pretty dang cool and we just kind of stumbled upon it.  Way to go Nat!  Anyway, it holds the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I.  There are also some large bronze statues showing people from different dynasties.

On Maria-Theresien-Straße is the St. Anna Column.  It was made out of Tyrolean marble in 1706 to commemorate the withdrawal of Bavarian troops.

The Triumphal Arch was built in 1765 to commemorate the marriage of archduke Leopold and the Spanish princess Maria Ludovica.

The Baroque St. Jakob cathedral was originally built from 1717 - 1724.  It became a cathedral in 1964.  The outside is kind of plain but the inside is really nice.

The Bergiselschanze is the ski jump that was built in 2001.  Due to its design and prominent location it too is considered a new city landmark by many people.

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