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Domkirche zu St. Jakob

Domkirche zu St. Jakob (Cathedral of St. James), Innsbruck, Austria

This 18th century baroque cathedral has name-dropping pedigree, as it was designed by starchitect Johann Jakob Herkommer and Munich’s Asam brothers. The current structure with two bell towers was built between 1717-24 on the site of a prior Gothic church. Look up at the fresco showing the life of Jakob, the holy patron of the […]

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Imperial Court, Innsbruck, Austria

Really, Imperial Palace 2.0. In 1460, Archduke Siegmund the Rich constructed a grand Gothic-style palace that was subsequently enlarged to an even grander status by Maximilian I. When Empress Maria Theresa came along, though, all she saw was a tear-down. From 1754-73, the palace was rebuilt in Maria Theresa’s preferred Baroque style to include four […]

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Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum

Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art), Innsbruck, Austria

For a crash course on Tyrol life, visit the Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum. Part of it is like a life-sized dollhouse where visitors can pop into typical sparse but functional farmhouse kitchen/dining/living areas, view an array of furniture and tools and stand next to figures wearing traditional celebratory costumes. There is also an entire gallery of intricate […]

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Goldenes Dachl

Goldenes Dachl, Innsbruck, Austria

  The Golden Roof is actually copper, and was built in the 1490’s to shade the imperial court’s balcony, which has a full view of the square below. The balcony is adorned with replicas of Moorish dancers performing for (of course) Maximilian I, who apparently got into a hot tub time machine to include both […]

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Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian's Starter Wife

Innsbruck Hofkirche and Cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian

  We should all have such a shrine as Maximilian I (1459-1519) whose empty tomb is housed here. He built his own grand monument and surrounded it with 28 oversized bronze statues of family and friends. The original plan was a bit more ambitious and called for 40 statues, 100 statuettes and 32 Roman emperor […]

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Rain clouds Alps

Innsbruck, Austria

The aftermath of a puny Austrian thunderstorm seems criminal as I watch the television coverage of the U.S. preparing for Hurricane Irene.

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Innsbruck Alps

3 Reasons to Visit Innsbruck, Austria

Explore the Winter Olympic-worthy (1964 & 1976) sky-high mountains. Wander the old city center, which contains historic churches, monuments and museums. Streudel, schnitzel, spaetzle

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Early Morning View of Innstrasse

View of Innstrasse, Innsbruck, Austria

Picturesque Innsbruck nestles at the bottom of the Nordkette mountain ridge and is Austria’s only city with the Alps close enough to touch. While most of the nightlife, museums and cathedrals are in the Gothic/Baroque Alstadt, the staggering mountains keep skiers, mountain bikers and hikers busy. Innsbruck is in the Tyrol region. Duke Leopold III […]

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