Visiting Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck, Austria is a city with a charmingly colorful Old Town, tucked in the Inn Valley and surrounded by soaring mountains – it’s a rather dramatic setting which is would certainly be heightened in the winter by snow and winter lights.
I visited Innsbruck in the summer, finding a richly colored historical center packed with tourists. The Inn River runs through the valley and provides a few bridges, such as the Old Inn Bridge from which you can get views of Amsterdam-like rows of houses (only these are painted in jolly colors).
The first and main sight is the Goldenes Dachl, or Golden Roof. The Golden Roof sits on one end of a small plaza, which is ringed with equally interesting buildings. The Golden Roof was built for Maximilian to mark his wedding and completed in 1500. From that ornate balcony, Maximilian would watch festivities below. Also on this small plaza is the ornately decorated, 18th century Helblinghaus (white building on the corner) which looks like a wedding cake. Note the details of the painted facades, statues on corners, fountains, and the scrolling iron shop signs.
From the Golden Roof you can see the City Tower (Stadtturm), completed in 1450 as part of the Old Town Hall. Guards kept watch over the town from that tower for almost 450 years! Now you can climb up the tower to 31 meters where the viewing platform lies and see 360 degrees. The panoramic views are wonderful! With that birds eye view you can see the landscape of the city.
While you wander around the Old Town, it’s likely you’ll hear music and spot groups in traditional dress. This would be one of over 300 local brass bands in the region that play year-round. These bands have been a tradition for over 200 years and you’ll notice the age range of those band members, allowing for generations to play together. So keep an ear out for a musical note.