Even though we only had an afternoon to explore Innsbruck with our Go Ahead Tour Group we were charmed by the Old Town. (click on the small photos for the full sized versions)These row houses reminded me so much of the ones in San Francisco. The colors and details made them beautiful to gaze at for awhile.
The elaborate wire signs were everywhere here too. This was my favorite one. I love all the flourishes and flowers in heavy gold and then the delicate black ironwork around them.
The old and new clash at times but they at least tried to fit the garish McDonalds sign in with the beautiful painted walls of the Wein Haus. The effect helps to mask the modern signs using the traditional details.
The Golden Roof. Placed at one end of the Old Town area this is a very symbolic roof. The Golden Roof actually is the three-story balcony on the central plaza at the heart of the Old Town. It was constructed for Emperor Maximilian I to serve as a royal box where he could sit in state and enjoy tournaments in the square below. It was built in honor of Maximilian's second marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan.If you could see the sky through the tall buildings in Old Town then you could see the Alps. The effect makes you feel like you are totally surrounded by them. Their beauty is breathtaking. I particularly loved this spire because, well, it's Pink! The gargoyles are great too! We did learn that the reason there are gold balls on the top of churches there is because the church plans are encased in the metal ball. The theory is that if the church was to burn down the ball would survive and they could rebuild using the plans inside!
Shopping these narrow streets was very nice. However the shops were all very small and very crowded with merchandise. We tried to stay away from the "tourist" shops and shop in the little boutiques instead. The people were wonderful to us.
It was a quiet morning which led to serene scenes like this one. Just a charming courtyard leading to the shops.Let us not pass over the bakery! Each village we walked had amazing fresh baked goodies in the windows of at least one of the shops. As we expected, the pretzels were simply divine!
And here is my favorite building in Old Town Innsbruck. I believe the design is referred to as "wedding cake" because there is just SO much of it layered on. Swirls and curves and subtle color make up this amazing building.
Finally it was time to leave. We had visited the Swarovski Crystal store and bought gifts for those at home...Swarovski comes from Innsbruck so we knew we had to visit there. We had eaten fresh baked goods, bought ourselves treats to take home and share with our family and left wishing we'd had another day, at least, to keep exploring all the little courtyards and shops in Old Town.
This weekend we will begin our visit to Munich! Hope you can join us!