My brother and I drove from deep southern Bavaria to Innsbruck for a day out and to have a spot of lunch with a friend, at the popular ski resort of Innsbruck in #Austria. It was late summer, so we also got to enjoy the city’s other attractions on offer.
I was surprised at just how much character this picturesque capital of Tyrol had, nestled deep in an Alpen valley. My favourite attraction was the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), in the old town. The photo below doesn’t quite do it justice. It has over 2000 gilded copper tiles and was built in 1500 to commemorate Emperor Maxmilian the First’s, marriage to Bianca Sforza (Italian noblewoman and daughter of the Duke of Milan). There are wall murals and impressive reliefs line the bottom edges. It’s pretty extraordinary and each tile glowed radiantly as a sunbeam caught it, shining out from behind a cloud. We walked around the Old town and got soaked in its medieval charm.
I loved visiting the Jesuit church, which was built in the mid 1600s and is decorated with paintings and memorials dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. It’s also a part of the working University for Jesuit teaching. I remember my uncle, who is a Jesuit himself, telling me about his visit to Innsbruck over fifty years ago when he was there as a student. It felt a little uncanny walking around the church, knowing that my uncle had once spent a brief time living there himself. If you find yourself at this church, there’s a chapel inside dedicated to the ‘Lightbringer of the Far East’ or St. Francis Xavier, a well-known name in Goa.
We took the funicular or ‘Hungerburgbahn’ to visit the Bergiselschanze ski jumping facility, which goes upto 860metres above ground, rising above the valley and providing stunning views across Innsbruck city against the background of the surrounding Alps. There’s a beer garden on the top, where you can relax with a Weissbeer (white beer) and take in the views in a relaxed atmosphere. Just don’t attempt this if you’ve got vertigo! An additional reason to go up is to see late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid’s fabulous UFO-like station halfway up the mountain. It’s typical of her well-executed style entered around organic curves.
We couldn’t walk past ‘Cafe Kroll’ without grabbing a strudel (okay, two) and it is honestly the best strudel I’ve had to date. I ordered the ‘Plaume und Mohn’ which is German for Plum and Poppyseed. We also split a rather staid and traditional Apple strudel with coffee. Heaven!
#innsbruck #austria #cafekroll #zahahadid #apfelstrudel
Visited in 2011