Innsbruck Travel Blog› entry 8 of 11 › view all entries
Due to its location between high mountains, Innsbruck serves as an ideal place for skiing in winter, and mountaineering in summer. There are several ski resorts around Innsbruck with the Nordkette served by a cable car and additional chair lifts further up. Other ski resorts nearby include Axamer Lizum, Igls, Seefeld, Tulfes and Stubai Valley. The glaciated terrain in the latter makes skiing possible even in summer months.
The Olympic Winter Games were held in Innsbruck twice, first in 1964, then again in 1976, when the Denver, Colorado voters rejected a bond referendum to finance the games. Along with St. Moritz, Switzerland and Lake Placid, New York in the United States, it is one of three places which have twice hosted the Winter Games. It also hosted the 1984 and 1988 Winter Paralympics.
Other notable events held in Innsbruck include the Air & Style Snowboard Contest from 1994 to 1999 and the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2005.
Innsbruck is the capital city of the federal state of Tyrol in western Austria. It is located in the Inn Valley at the junction with the Wipptal (Sill River), which provides access to the Brenner Pass, some 30 km south of Innsbruck. Located in the broad valley between high mountains, the Nordkette (Hafelekar, 2,334 m) in the north, Patscherkofel (2,246 m) and Serles (2,718 m) in the south, it is an internationally renowned winter sports centre, and hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. The word bruck comes from the German word Brücke meaning "bridge" which leads to "the bridge over the Inn".
Earliest traces suggest initial inhabitation in the early Stone Age.
The first mention of Innsbruck dates back to 1187 (Oeni Pontum or oeni pons which is Latin for bridge (pons) over the Inn (Oenus), which was an important crossing point over the river Inn. The city's seal and coat of arms show a bird's-eye view of the Inn bridge, a design used since 1267. The route over the Brenner Pass was then a major transport and communications link between the north and the south, and the easiest route across the Alps. The revenues generated by serving as a transit station enabled the city to flourish.
Innsbruck became the capital of all Tyrol in 1429 and in the fifteenth century the city became a centre of European politics and culture as emperor Maximilian I moved the imperial court to Innsbruck in the 1490s.
During the Napoleonic wars Tyrol was ceded to Bavaria, ally of France. Andreas Hofer led a Tyrolean peasant army to victory on the Berg Isel against the combined Bavarian and French forces, and then made Innsbruck the centre of his administration. The combined army later overran the Tyrolean militia army and until 1814 Innsbruck was part of Bavaria. After the Vienna Congress Austrian rule was restored. The Tyrolean hero Andreas Hofer was executed in Mantua; his remains were returned to Innsbruck in 1823 and interred in the Franciscan church.
In 1938 Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in the Anschluss. Between 1943 and April 1945, Innsbruck experienced twenty-one bomb attacks and suffered heavy damage. The KZ Innsbruck-Reichenau concentration camp was located here.
In 1929, here in Innsbruck the first official Austrian Chess Championship was held.
A majority of Innsbruck's people are of Tyrolean ancestry.
However, as with many European cities, there are small yet thriving minorities that co-exist with the European majority. These include Turkish, North Africans, Indians, Roma, and even Chinese and Nepali. Many of aspects of their culture can be found throughout the city, such as markets, restaurants, and shops; some even still speak their traditional language in everyday life. They, too, have had a lasting effect on the city of Innsbruck.
Due to its altitude and position in Central Europe, far from the coast, Innsbruck has an hemiboreal climate (Köppen classification : Dfb).
Spring is brief; days start to get warm, often over 15°C, but nights remain cool or even freezing.
Summer is highly variable and unpredictable. Days can be cool (17°C) and rainy, or sunny and extremely hot, sometimes hitting 34°C. In summer, as expected from an alpine climate, the diurnal temperature variation is often very high as nights always remain cool (12°C on average, but sometimes dipping as low as 6°C).
* Golden Roof
* Kaiserliche Hofburg (Imperial Court)
* Hofkirche (Imperial Church) with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
* Altes Landhaus (old federal state parliament)
* Altstadt (Old Town)
* Maria-Theresien-Straße (Main Street)
* Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck (Theatre)
* Bergiselschanze, designed by Zaha Hadid.
* New Hungerburgbahn, designed by Zaha Hadid.
* Schloss Ambras (A Castle)
* Tiroler Landesmuseum
* Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum
* Tiroler Museumsbahnen
* Dom zu St.
* Stift Wilten
* Wiltener basilika
* Jesuit Church
Parks and gardens
* Alpenzoo (Alpine Zoo)
* Botanischer Garten der Universität Innsbruck, the University of Innsbruck's botanical garden
* Schlosspark Ambras
As a very popular tourist destination, Innsbruck organizes the following events every year:
* Vierschanzentournee (Four Hills Tournament)
* Innsbrucker tanzsommer
* Bergsilvester (New Years Eve)
* Festwochen der Alten Musik (Weeks of Classic Music)
* Christkindlmarkt (Christmas fair)
Due to its location between high mountains, Innsbruck serves as an ideal place for skiing in winter, and mountaineering in summer.
The Olympic Winter Games were held in Innsbruck twice, first in 1964, then again in 1976, when the Denver, Colorado voters rejected a bond referendum to finance the games. Along with St. Moritz, Switzerland and Lake Placid, New York in the United States, it is one of three places which have twice hosted the Winter Games. It also hosted the 1984 and 1988 Winter Paralympics. It is now bidding for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.
Other notable events held in Innsbruck include the Air & Style Snowboard Contest from 1994 to 1999 and 2008 and the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2005. Together with the city of Seefeld, Innsbruck organized the Winter Universiade in 2005.
Innsbruck is home to the football club FC Wacker Innsbruck, which will play in the Austrian Football First League (second tier) in 2008-09. FC Wacker Innsbruck's stadium, Tivoli Neu, is one of eight stadiums hosting Euro 2008 which is taking place in Switzerland and Austria in June 2008.
Tourism is the most important source of income for the city authority, largely because of Innsbruck's beautiful town centre with its historic buildings, the friendly ambience and the extensive sport facilities both in winter and in summer.
Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided.
* The international headquarters of SOS Children's Villages, one of the world's largest charities, is located in Innsbruck.
* Innsbruck has two universities, the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck and the Innsbruck Medical University. The Innsbruck Medical University has one of Europe's premier ski injury clinics.
* Douglas Adams claimed that he got his idea for the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy during a visit to Innsbruck in 1971, lying drunk in a field looking up at the stars.
* Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, an international fellowship programme for visual and new media arts, is located in Innsbruck.
* The international headquarters of MED-EL, one of the largest producers of cochlear implants, is located in Innsbruck.
* Innsbruck boasts two large lakes, Baggersee and Lansersee. These lakes are popular hangouts for locals during the spring and summer.
* In the TV series Friends, (Season 1, "The One With the Stoned Guy") Chandler claims that he had waited tables during the Olympic Games in Innsbruck 1976. (Although he would have