| Situated in the heart
of the Alpine region, Tirol is the most mountainous province, with
forests, hamlets and alpine pastures, mountain lakes and beautiful
valleys. In summer it is a popular destination for hikers, in winter,
all winter sports are on offer. Traditional Tirolean architecture
is reflected in the villages, castles and churches.
The Tirolean capital, and twice home of the Winter
Olympics, is the centre of another internationally renowned
ski complex comprising 6 major resorts.
An 800-year-old university town, it has numerous fine buildings
dating from Austria’s cultural Renaissance in the 16th-18th
centuries, and a 12th-century castle. When Kaiser Maximilian
based the imperial court here in the 1490s, the city became a European
centre of culture and politics. For spectacular views over the town
and southern Alps, take the funicular to Hungerburg
and then the cable car to Hafelekar at 2334m (5928ft).
Do not miss the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), Helbling
House, the City Tower, the Hofburg with its Cenotaph of
Kaiser Maximiloan, and the Court Church, the parish
Church of St Jakob, Mount Isel,
the important Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum
and the Tiroler Volkkunstmuseum, the Landestheater,
a conference centre and the Seegrube.
Passion plays take place every five years in Erl
(next staging: 2007) and Thiersee (next staging: 2005). A sight
not to be missed is the Mint Tower at the Hasegg
Castle in Hall in Tirol.
In Rattenberg, a medieval atmosphere prevails from
the glass factories which date back to this period. A visit to the
Cathedral Chapter of Stams and its basilica is
recommended. 15km (9 miles) from Innsbruck lies Swarovski
Crystal Worlds, a museum/exhibition centre featuring unusual
displays of crystal.
as a 16th-century silver and copper mining town and is now an exclusive
resort with a lovely central area. Seefeld in Tirol
is an attractive year-round sports destination. The Schneewinkel
Area is excellent for all winter sports, St Johann
in Tirol in particular is an old market town offering a wide variety
of sports and fitness centres, with a good nightlife as well.