Innsbruck Part 1

LINKS to other pages in the 'Christmas in Austria' site and to the Travelling Days series:

1 : Welcome to Austria
2 : Schloss Hotel Rosenegg
3 : Fieberbrunn
4 : Salzburg
5 : Innsbruck
6 : Kitzbühel
7 : Rattenburg
8 : Austrian Countryside etc.



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THE BERGISEL is a hill 746 metres high that lies to the south of Innsbruck in the area of Wilten where the Sill river (Wipptal) meets the Inn Valley. The name is derived from the Latin name burgusinus (mountain), which then became Bergisel in German. Its earlier uses were as a cremation site and as a living area during the Ice Age.

In 1809, Bergisel was the site of the four Battles of Bergisel with local forces under the command of freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. In 1892, the Andreas Hofer monument was erected in the park at the base of the hill to commemorate the battles.

Since 1952, Innsbruck has hosted one leg of the Four Hills Tournament. A Bergisel Ramp was built in concrete for the 1964 Winter Olympics to replace an older, smaller ramp. This was also used for the 1976 Winter Olympics. A new ramp (pictured to the right and below) was opened in 2003 as the old one no longer conformed to contemporary requirements of ski jumping. It was designed by the architect Zaha Hadid.

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The stadium at the base of the ski ramp (right)

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A view of Innsbruck from the top of the ski ramp. The cathedral, which is described on a later page, is at the bottom of the picture.

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The Triumphal Arch, built in the 18th century to commemorate the death of Empress Maria Theresien's husband and the marriage of her son is visible in the picture on the right. Beyond it is the historic pedestrian centre of the Altstadt (the "old town"). The Town Tower, dating from 1450, is visible at the top of the picture.

The valley on the western side of Innsbruck is seen in the picture below.

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The Valley of the Inn looking east (above)

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