The Golden Roof of Innsbruck, Austria

Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash

Innsbruck is the capital of Tyrol, a state in western Austria, and the fifth-largest city in Austria. The name Innsbruck means “bridge over the Inn”. The most famous landmark of Innsbruck which is located in the heart of the old town is the Golden Roof “Goldenes Dachl”. The shining roof will welcome you as you approach the old town of Innsbruck.

Innsbruck's Old Town during the new year of January 2020

Let me share with you a trivia: Did you know that the Golden Roof was not made of gold? It was made of approximately 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles which makes it looks like gold. Sounds interesting right? This building was also used to reign over medieval houses for over 500 years. The Golden Roof was built in honor of Maximilian's marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan, where both of them could watch over the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy festivals, and tournaments. Another interesting story from the Golden Roof is about the structures around it. It is decorated with a man and two women: Emperor Maximilian, next to his wife Bianca Maria Sforza, and his first wife Maria von Burgund which looks out from the relief.

Since January 2003, the Golden Roof houses the International Alpine Convention's Office which has a goal for sustainable development in the European Alps.

During the New Year’s Day of January 2020, I was able to visit Innsbruck before the pandemic started thru Rakso Travel's Glimpse of Europe package. There was a huge Christmas tree in the area and the Christmas markets were still open so I was able to buy some sweets from the stalls. Indeed, it was my lucky day since most Christmas markets are normally closed during this season. 


People in line on one of the stalls / Coconut Roll with Rum, English Fudge, and Torrone

As you walk along with the stalls at the Christmas market, you will see some shops selling heart-shaped biscuits with colorful icing and messages called Lebkuchen. Although this biscuit originated from Germany, it is also an important part of Christmas in Austria since it marks the start of the festive Christmas season. Traditionally, this biscuit uses a lot of honey and spices and is almost similar to gingerbread. To give you a little background, here are some of the myths where Lebkuchen came from: The word “Lebkuchen” comes from the Old High German “leb” which means healing or medicinal remedy since this biscuit contains several spices, and it was believed that it has healing properties. Another myth is that “leb”/”Leben” means German for “life”, and some myths say that it came from the Latin word “Libum” (small cake, offering). The Lebkuchen is approximately EUR 4.00 (USD 4.00) depending on the size and design. If you are traveling to Innsbruck during the holiday season, do not miss out to check the colorful Lebkuchen biscuits and take one as a gift for yourself or your loved ones.

Along the old town, you can also watch an artist that is painting using spray paints on the spot where you'll be amazed by his artworks.

If you would like to see the charming and historical old town of Innsbruck, you may book our Priceless Europe or Glimpse of Europe tour package and experience traveling back in time strolling the old town. 

What are you waiting for? Plan your Austria trip and fly with us soon.

Blog Contributed by: Abigail Teves

Photos by: Abigail Teves


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