Im­pe­rial Inns­bruck A city of sur­prises

You’ll be charmed by this colour­ful, his­tor­i­cal Aus­trian town where old meets new, says Dorothy An­drews

My Weekly - - Contents -

Years ago I had a day trip to Inns­bruck and al­ways vowed to come back to this el­e­gant Aus­trian city nes­tled in the shadow of the Alps.

A bus out­side the air­port takes you to Cen­tral Sta­tion – about 20 min­utes, at 3 eu­ros one way. A few min­utes away was my ho­tel, Stage 12 – Ho­tel by Penz. Be­hind its tra­di­tional façade and el­e­gant walk­way is a stylish, mod­ern in­te­rior with a lively bar, sauna, steam room and a fit­ness room.

It’s in a great lo­ca­tion, min­utes from the main at­trac­tions. My bal­cony over­looked colour­ful rooftops with the baroque clock tower Spitalkirche dom­i­nat­ing the evening sky­line.

The first evening was spent din­ing at the fa­mous Café Sacher at the in­ner court­yard of the Im­pe­rial Palace. As well as tuck­ing in to the in­fa­mous Sacher torte (with cream) we were ser­e­naded by the prom­e­nade con­cert – it was the cherry on the cake.

Back at the ho­tel in a glo­ri­ous comfy bed I only man­aged to count one sheep; the next thing I knew it was morn­ing! It couldn’t have been the Gruner Velt­liner Aus­trian wine – I only had one glass…

Af­ter a de­light­ful break­fast, it was time to ex­plore. Buy a 24, 48 or 72-hour Inns­bruck Card (from 43 eu­ros) for free en­try to all at­trac­tions.

Im­pe­rial and mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture com­ple­ment each other on the colour­ful main street. The build­ings pos­i­tively glow. But the cen­tre of at­ten­tion is the Golden Roof with 2,657 cop­per tiles glis­ten­ing in the sun, com­mis­sioned by Em­peror Max­i­m­il­ian I (1459-1519).

You’ll get a fan­tas­tic view of the golden roof from the city tower; it will also help get your bear­ings for other land­marks. Be care­ful on the spi­ral stair­case; there is one up, one down which makes it eas­ier.

Catch the Hunger­burg fu­nic­u­lar and ca­ble cars will take you up the Nord­kette moun­tain range to Hafelekar – the views are in­cred­i­ble. The best way up the moun­tain if you don’t want to walk!

With so much to see in a short time I was rec­om­mended to visit the Ty­rolean Her­itage Mu­seum which has ex­hi­bi­tions look­ing at faith and magic.

The pre-show for The Court Church starts with a room full of paint­ings of Max­i­m­il­ian I. Then… you’ll have to go to see for your­self! The Court

Church houses the tomb of Max­i­m­il­ian I, guarded by 28 huge bronze statues.

Dat­ing from 1500, tours of the Im­pe­rial Palace in­clude the Gi­ant’s Hall with por­traits of the Hab­s­burg fam­ily and ceil­ing fres­coes.

Do taste a lo­cal Wiener Sch­nitzel (veal cut­let) and Kais­er­schmar­ren (pan­cake with plum com­pote) too!

Inns­bruck’s main walk­way Maria-There­sien-Strasse, shad­owed by the mag­nif­i­cent Nord­kette moun­tain

Gi­ant’s Hall in the Hof­burg Im­pe­rial Palace

Funky plant pots lead­ing to Stage 12 Ho­tel

Ber­gisel ski jump

Gi­ant panoramic paint­ing at the Tirol Panorama Mu­seum

Hunger­burg g Fu­nic­u­lar sta­tion

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