Spotlight on the Austrian Tyrol


            The Austrian Villages of the Tyrol are world famous for skiing and are also significant because of their lovely setting, nestled among the Austrian Alps.

            Innsbruck, Austria has long been recognized as one of the premier skiing venues in Europe, but this beautiful town is attractive and worth visiting at any time of the year.  The Old Town has some striking architecture (check out the Golden Roof and the Heilbing House) and numerous shops offering a multitude of items. Another interesting sight is the Hofkirche, which contains the elaborately decorated mausoleum of Maximilian I, flanked by 28 bronze, life-size statues representing his real and legendary ancestors. His Imperial Palace, the Hofburg can also be visited.

            Some other towns that merit a visit while in Western Austria include the following:

            Igls, just south of Innsbruck, is very popular with skiers and was used extensively during the 1964 and 1976 Olympics for Alpine events.          Mutters is another picturesque village a short distance from Innsbruck.  Solden, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Innsbruck, has a cable car to the top of Geislachkogel for great views and is also the beginning of the Ortzal Glacier Road, a panoramic alpine scenic drive. St Anton am Ahlberg is one of the best ski areas in the Alps and is extremely popular, even with the rich and famous. Seefeld was the setting for the Nordic events during the 1964 and 1976 Olympics. It is an extremely popular resort area and even boasts a theme park, Play Castle Seefeld, which is set in Medieval times. Zell am Ziller lies 60 kilometers (36 miles) east of Innsbruck, in the Ziller Valley, one of the prettiest in Austria. Kitzbuhel, besides its winter and summer recreational activities, has an adorable town just made for walking. Hall im Tyrol is another quaint village, just east of Innsbruck, which is great for walking. Visit Hasegg Castle and the Parish Church. Lienz is farther a field, in East Tyrol, on the northern side of the Dolomites from Italy.  In the Hauptplatz, the main square, check out the Liebburg Palace.


            Gary’s Gem: 

                        The view from St Anne’s Column, in Innsbruck, looking back toward the Golden Roof is positively spectacular. 


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