Situated at the edge of Innsbruck’s lovely Old Town, the Court Church was built from 1553 to 1563 to house the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I who died in 1519. The Gothic church is one of Europe’s finest royal court churches. Emperor Maximilian's ornate black marble tomb, intended to glorify the Holy Roman Empire, is a fine example of artisan craftsmanship and is considered Innsbruck’s “most notable work of art.” The Court Church, also called “Schwarzmanderkirche“ (literally “Black Men Church”), is famous for its namesake “Black Men” – 28 over-life-sized Renaissance bronze statues of important historical figures that flank the marble tomb of Emperor Maximilian I. The larger-than-life-size figures of Maximilian’s family members and forefathers that guard the empty sarcophagus are considered masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture.
Standing in a gilded cage, the marble tomb lies in the center of the church and remains empty because the Holy Roman Emperor’s remains are interred in the Castle of Wiener Neustadt near Vienna. Strongly recommended: Visit the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum next door, it contains the most important collection of cultural artefacts from Tirol.
Innsbruck's most famous landmark shines in the heart of the historic old town. The splendid alcove balcony gets its name from the 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles that adorn the roof. The building has reigned over medieval houses and shady arcades for over 500 years. It was built by Emperor Maximilian who very much enjoyed the view: from there he would look down over the colourful hustle and bustle of his city, watch jousting tournaments and be revered from below.
The shining golden roof can be seen on entering the historic old town but it is also well worth taking a look up close. The structure below the roof is richly adorned with a wide variety of figures and images, including many curiosities.
The palace complex – one of the largest in the world – is particularly interesting, as its major buildings reflect more than 700 years of architectural history. In fact, nearly every Austrian ruler since 1275 ordered additions or alterations to it, leaving a distinct architectural legacy.
As a result, the Hofburg shows many different architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque to Rococo, and a smattering of Classicism thrown in for good measure. The oldest part of the complex, the Royal Chapel (Burgkapelle) dates from the 13th century and can still be visited. It's most notable as the home of the famed Vienna Boys' Choir, who can be seen in action during Sunday mass services.
"One of the great things about Innsbruck is that almost every corner you turn affords spectacular views of lofty Nordkette Range, the city’s natural skyscrapers. Walking, skiing, rock climbing or just enjoying the view—urban meets outdoors in Tirol’s capital, where the Alpine playground of Nordkette, Seegrube and Hafelekar begins where the sidewalks end. Standing guard over Innsbruck, the Nordkette Mountain Range offers skiing, hiking, fabulous views and more. Getting up is easy – a 20-minute ride speeds you from the heart of town up to the southern rim of lofty Karwendel Range. Stage one is Zaha Hadid’s space-age Nordkette funicular, a short ride to the Hungerburg station. Change at Hungerburg for the cable car to Seegrube, 1,905 meters above sea level. But don’t stop there. The next cable car continues to the top of Hafelekar: at 2,256 meters, the vistas are the sort enjoyed by mountaineers. Watching a continuous reel of premiere showings starring Innsbruck and Inntal Valley below will leave you breathless. If that’s not enough to slack your jaw, the Stubai and Zillertal Alps and Wipptal Valley as well as Karwendel Mountain Range will most certainly captivate you. When you have had your fill of one of Europe’s grandest panoramas, return to the city.
At all times of year, Nordkette is a popular Alpine playground for Innsbruck locals and visitors alike. In the summer months, you can see courageous downhill mountain bikers taking on the infamous Nordkette Singletrail, considered the most difficult trail of its kind in Europe, while rock climbers scale the area’s craggy faces and cliffs. In the winter, Hafelekar Gully rakes in hard-core honours for being one of Europe’s steepest trails. This is a no-fear zone for expert skiers and boarders only."
Historical buildings, an eventful history, and musical virtuosos - this is what the Altstadt (Old Town) of Salzburg is known for all over the world. But the center of the cultural metropolis has much more to offer. Special features to discover.
Hidden places that radiate extraordinary flair, off the beaten track. People who perfect craftsmanship, art, and services with passion. We highlight these hidden treasures of the Altstadt and bring the special side of Salzburg closer to you. For Salzburg residents and visitors alike.
In the year 1077, archbishop Gebhard had the fortress built. In the years which followed, his successors drove ongoing development of the fortress architecture. The complex acquired the appearance we recognize today under archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach in 1500.
The original purpose of the fortress was to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attacks. In all of these years, it has never been captured by foreign troops.
Follow the sound of music to the iconic Mirabell Palace and Gardens, where Fräulein Maria and the von Trapp children delightfully sang "Do-Re-Mi."
Mirabell has become a dream destination for marriage ceremonies, boasting what some call the most beautiful wedding hall in the world. Of course, you don't have to tie the knot to enjoy this elegant slice of Salzburg: Stroll through the gardens and admire the charming flower beds, statues of Roman gods, hedge theater, Pegasus fountain, and garden of baroque marble dwarfs.
Of its numerous churches, the cathedral is Salzburg's most important sacred building. With its mighty dome and two towers, it leaves its own distinctive, and absolutely impressive stamp on the city skyline.
A closer look at the cathedral reveals many surprising and exciting details.
Since St. Peter's was founded in the 7th century, the church and abbey have been the spiritual heart of the city of Salzburg.
Aside from its striking Christian architecture, the cemetery and the so called catacombs are also a must-see for fans of "The Sound of Music".