Innsbruck – The city in the heart of the Alps

The provincial capital of Tyrol, rich in history and former Imperial city during the Habsburg Empire, has long been a favoured destination for visitors from all over the world.

The unique location of the city, embedded in the broad Inntal, surrounded by high mountain chains, opens up a splendid panorama, which seems to unify architecture and nature in a brilliant work of art.

Culture and History

Roman City – Imperial City – Olympic City: Innsbruck has many faces. Back in Roman times legionaries raised settlements here in the heart of the Alps. During the Middle Ages the town, which now had city status, advanced to become a 5000 strong community and gained status as a centre of finance, a trading station and finally an Imperial city. The riches of this time in history can still be seen today in the famous buildings and structures such as the "Golden Roof" or the Imperial Court Church, known locally as the "Schwarzmanderkirche" housing the Cenotaph of Maximilian Ist , a work of art  of international standing, and the middle-age town centre, for the most part still retained. During the Napoleonic war the city became famous in the Alps as a bastion of resistance towards the conqueror Napoleon. The newly built Bergisel Museum, housing one of the five remaining historical panoramas of the world, enables the visitor to get a glimpse of the Tyrolean struggle.

In 1964 the first Olympic Games held here laid the foundations for the importance of Innsbruck as the capital city of sport. In 1976 Innsbruck became one of the few Olympic venues to host the Games twice. In 2012 Innsbruck will once again be Olympic: In January the first Winter Youth Olympic Games took place here in Innsbruck. Numerous sports sites and facilities contribute to Innsbruck's Olympic history and future, for example the Bergisel ski jump or Olympia World, which is situated directly opposite the Hotel Ramada Innsbruck Tivoli.

Architecture

In order to truly experience Innsbruck's history we recommend a leisurely but extended stroll in the town centre, just a few minutes' walk from the Hotel Ramada Innsbruck Tivoli. For the architecturally enthusiastic this offers you a cross section of many historic periods. The range extends from the Middle-age rows of houses along the Inn and in the old town to the houses from the Baroque period or "Jugendstil" time lining Maria-Theresien-Straße right up to the area known as Saggen with its sophisticated villa style houses dating back to the founding era.

The most important structure from this century has to be the Bergisel ski jump, newly-built in 2001 according to the plans drawn up by Zaha Hadid. The Iraqi star architect is also responsible for the design of the stations and the bridge belonging to the new Hungerburgbahn funicular railway.

The French architect Dominique Perrault planned the Innsbruck City Hall galleries and paved the way for new architectural directions in the historic centre. David Chipperfield too has put his architectural stamp on the city with the design of the new shopping centre, Kaufhaus Tyrol.

Shopping in Innsbruck

Classy boutiques line the Innsbruck road, Maria-Theresien-Straße. Tucked in between them you will find cosy cafés and restaurants, which will entice you away from shopping for a while with culinary delights. In the warmer seasons the re-designed pedestrian zone invites you to linger a while. In its centre you will find the shopping centre, Kaufhaus Tyrol, the most attractive and modern shopping centre in Europe. This title was awarded to the fully renovated traditional shopping centre in 2011 at the ICSC-European Conference in Paris.

A further highlight in the old town is the Swarovski store. The sparkling crystal world is a must on any shopping trip –  even if you just stop to enjoy the decoration and the special atmosphere in  the shop.