Walking around and sightseeing in Innsbruck Alstadt.
Friday 29 July – Innsbruck
Innsbruck is the capital city of Tirol, a state in western Austria famous for its mountains and ski resorts, and hosted the winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. Innsbruck was home to Emperor Maximilian I of the Habsburg dynasty (Kaiser Max to the locals) who ruled over the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy nor Roman according to Voltaire).
We started the day with breakfast in the Hotel Neue Post restaurant (muesli, cornflakes, berry yogurt, ham, Swiss cheese, OJ, and coffee). After breakfast we walked a couple blocks over to the Altstadt (old city) to see the historic core of Innsbruck. We briefly stopped at the Spitalskirche (Hospital Church) which has a stunningly beautiful ornate baroque interior.
We wandered further down Maria-Theresien Straße until we reached the Goldenes Dachl, the Golden Roof, on the Emperor’s bldg, which covers a balcony from which Kaiser Max enjoyed watching the goings-on below – festivals, tournaments, and other events that took place in the square.
We made a left turn at the Golden Roof and walked through a narrow street over to the Ottoburg (late gothic residential tower) at the entrance to the Altstadt, which was built in 1180 the by the Andechs Counts as a defense tower. In 1588 Georg Reitter, a merchant from Venice, bought the castle then named “Ött” or “Ödburg”.
We proceeded out onto a bridge over the River Inn, with views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Back in the Altstadt, we wandered over to the Innsbruck Cathedral, Dom zu St. Jakob (St. James), but there was a major rennovation in progress in the nave with scaffolding obscuring everything so we continued on. The church is an eighteenth-century Baroque cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Innsbruck, dedicated to the apostle Saint James. Fun fact: Baroque architecture was originally introduced by the Catholic church to combat the Reformation and the Protestant church with a new architecture that inspired surprise and awe.
We walked back in to the Alstadt core near the Golden Roof for lunch at, of course, the Kaiser Max Cafe, where I had käsespatzle (kinda like mac & cheese).
After lunch we visited the Tiroler Landesmuseum for a couple hours and viewed Tyrolean historical art and artifacts, some going back thousands of years.
I was feeling tired so I went back to the hotel to nap (but couldn’t), and enjoyed a big thunderstorm and heavy rain from the comfort of our room. Allan on the other hand was out there somewhere – he ended up finding an umbrella and staying mostly dry, returning around 6:30-7pm. For dinner we walked a couple blocks down Maximilianstraße to Oishe Sushi Bar – I had salmon/avocado Maki and Pad Thai.
We returned to our room, and rain came down very heavy again around 10:30 as we were going to bed.