A Day in Innsbruck

The view north from the 7th floor of what actually is the city hall, overlooking the historic district of Innsbruck.

If you have a chance to spend a few hours in Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria, here is what you can do: Have lunch overlooking the city (featurephoto) at the Lichtblick Restaurant . The food is awesome, locals eat here, and the view from the seventh floor of the building (that actually is the city hall) is spectacular, even if the clouds are low. If you look south, you can see the Bergisel ski jump.

The 360° Cafe next to the “Lichtblick” has an even better view, but smoking is allowed there, so I preferred to have lunch in the restaurant.

From there, it is just a short walk to the famous Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl), the symbol of the city of Innsbruck. It is tiled with 2,657 fire-gilded copper shingles. Currently, you can only admire it from the outside, since the museum is closed until Feb. 19, for preparations for the 500th anniversary of the death of Emperor Maximilian I.

Walk through the downtown area with it’s historic houses with beautiful ornaments. If you have another hour or two to spare, stop at the Museum of Tyrolean Heritage. It has interesting artifacts about life in Austria, and is much more than just your usual exhibition of old stuff. You can, for example, walk into many old parlors or “Stuben”, transfereds from their original location in Austrian villages to the museum, with tiled stove, wooden ceiling, and all. It can get a bit claustrophobic at times…

The Hofkirche or Court Church is also accessible from the museum. A multimedia show about the life and death of emperor Maximilian I is worth experiencing, as is walking around in the church. (You can also get a view from above from the museum.) The center of the church is the emperor’s graveside (with his statue on top of it) – it is empty, however, since he is buried in Vienna, next to his parents,

The church, famous in Europe for it’s art, is also called the “Black Men Church”, because of the statues to the left and right of the “grave”. However, many women are among these statues, that represent people Maximilian claimed to be his ancestors.

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