Almost two centuries after this classic piece of tourist industry PR appeared in the travel journal of the great German prince of poets, the regional capital of Tyrol has become an administrative and economic centre, home to a university and a thriving conference and culture scene, as well as being a leading light in sport and tourism.
St. Anna’s Column
In the middle of Maria-Theresien-Strasse, this monument was erected to celebrate the withdrawal, on St Anne´s day (July 26) in 1703, of invading Bavarian armies during the War of the Spanish Succession.
The Golden Roof
This building was erected by Archduke Friedrich IV in the early 15th century. Emperor Maximilian I commissioned Nikolaus Türing the Elder to rebuild the original oriel window between 1494 and 1496. The two-storey oriel window is 16 m wide and the roof itself 3.7 m high and decorated with 2,600 fire-gilded copper tiles that give it its name.
Ambras Castle was extended by Archduke Ferdinand II to become a Renaissance castle and museum. It is located in the middle of an English park. The Archduke had a museum constructed in the lower part of the castle to house the extensive collection of portraits, armour, artworks, natural produce and minerals. Ambras Castle is therefore the birthplace of all modern museums.
The highest zoo in Europe provides a magnificent overview of Alpine animals past and present, with more than 2,000 animals from over 150 species. The only cold water aquarium of its kind in the world is home to rare native fish species.