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Last updated : Nov 2009
Tirol
Tirol - TravelPuppy.com
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.

Innsbruck

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.

Excursions

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.

Kitzbühel rose 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.