Capital of the Austrian state of Tyrol, Innsbruck is Austria’s fifth largest city. Crossed by the river Inn, the city lies at the foot of the Alps, making it one of the most interesting Austrian destinations for ski lovers. In fact, it takes about twenty minutes to reach the great Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck from the old town, where the Bergisel ski jump is made by the archistar Zaha Hadid and has become one of the symbols of the city.
MONUMENT FUNEBRE OF MASSIMILIANO D’ASBURGO (1459-1519).
This monument is located in the Court Church (Hofkirche) in Universitätsstraße but it is not a real tomb, but a cenotaph, a funeral monument in which the corpse is not present.
In the central nave of the church stands the monument erected in honor of the emperor of what was the Holy Roman Empire. It is a huge sarcophagus decorated with 24 marble reliefs that recall the most significant moments of the emperor’s life. What is striking, however, are the twenty-eight statues on either side of the monument, which seem to watch over the sovereign. They are known as the “Black Men” because of the dark color that bronze has taken over the centuries. In the metal the members of the Habsburg family were portrayed, as well as other famous personalities including the legendary King Arthur, Theodoric king of the Ostrogoths or Goffredo di Buglione. Among the figures most revered by the public certainly stands the archduke Sigismondo, patriarch of the dynasty. The characters are portrayed to a magnitude greater than the real, which, combined with the dark color of the statues, makes them imposing and vaguely threatening. Some of these works bear the name of famous artists, such as Albrecht Durer who designed the sketches of three of the twenty-eight statues.
After crossing the two wings of guards “unscathed”, at the end of the aisle, take a look at the organ to the left of the altar. This is the Ebert organ, dating back over 450 years, making it the oldest organ in Austria.
THE IMPERIAL PALACE (HOFBURG)
It’s true, we always talk about Sissi, now a character who seems to have come out of a Disney movie rather than the history books. Yet it is surprising to admire the grace and elegance with which the rooms of the Hofburg were furnished to host it. Actually, Elisabetta di Baviera (aka “Sissi”) did not stay in Innsbruck for a long time but it was enough to leave us a legacy furniture in which pink silks embrace chandeliers and gilded mirrors
A very important part from the historical point of view is the chapel of the Imperial Palace that the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (1717-1780) used as a mortuary to remember the late emperor. The sovereign died in fact in that room while he was celebrating the marriage of his son Leopold with the Spanish princess Maria Ludovica. It was 1765.
Another pearl of the Hofburg is surely the “Room of the Giants”. Used as a party room, the large hall is embellished by the ceiling frescoed with the Triumph of the Habsburg-Lorraine Dynasty, painted in 1775 by the German Fran Anton Maupertsch. The walls of the hall instead host the portraits of the Habsburg-Lorraine, among which you can also recognize that of a young Marie Antoinette.
After having filled up with history, traveling through the centuries, you just have to warm up with a walk in the old town of Innsbruck, which preserves intact the charm of the ancient medieval village. The must-see stage of this walk is Herzog-Friedrich-Straße where, on the façade of the Neuer Hof, the former palace of the Counts of Tyrol, you find the famous “golden roof” built at the end of the 16th century by Maximilian of Hapsburg. The roof, shining in the sunlight, is covered by 2,657 shingles in gilded copper with a total weight of 13 kilos. Over the centuries it has become one of the symbols of Innsbruck. With a two-minute walk you can admire another symbol of Innsbruck, in the Cathedral of St. James. It is about Our Lady Help of Christians, a wonderful painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1520). It is a work that you will often find portrayed in some parts of the city. Before leaving the church stop to admire the Mausoleum of Archduke Maximilian III of Austria, a work of art of great value. And now it is time to stop and have a coffee or tea. In the Maria-Theresien-Straße, on the top floor of the shopping center you will find the 360 ° Bar. We advise you to go outside to admire a wonderful panorama of the Alps, at 360 °.