We tried to make the most of our one full day in Innsbruck. While the Imperial Apartments were taking the month off, we were able to have some other notable sights all to ourselves.
First stop was the Hofkirche, the church where Maximilan I wanted to be buried. The amazing sarcophagus is surrounded by 28 bronze statues of his ancestors, relatives, and heroes he wanted to be associated with in death. Everyone from King Arthur to Clovis to every ruler who was worthy of the name up to his death is represented here. (You are not to touch them, but many people seemed to ignored that rule when they passed by Kaiser Rudolph. Part of him is well-polished.) The only one missing in this massive memorial? Max himself. He is interred in the town where he died, as his unhappy creditors in Innsbruck refused to have him brought here. He really missed out on something special.
He came by his ego legitimately. One of his predecessors, Frederick III, had a modest motto that can be seen often once you start look for it. It’s catchy: “A, E, I, O, U.” This has various interpretations, but the gist of it is “Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan” or “All the world is subject to Austria.” They did have their glory days.
Adjacent to the church is the Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art, which has a splendid collection of Tyrolean interiors through the ages. Amazing what those folks could do with wood during the long cold winters.
Then there were the authentic Tyrolean costumes, of course. Some of them were displayed on mannequins themselves pieces of folk art – quite realistic art, but not particularly cheerful folk.
Quite a collection, which spoke to great skill and a consistent aesthetic. There was also a large display of antique nativity scenes, which were are all quite remarkable in their detail.
Our next destination was the “Hop On/Off” bus, which did offer a good overview of greater Innsbruck.
Our last few hours of walking around allowed us to marvel at the medieval buildings, the incredible mountain views, the Golden Roof in sunlight, and included a visit to St. James’ Cathedral, quite a baroque confection.
And, P.S. – Who knew that Swarovski is an Austrian (Innsbruck!) company? Not I. No wonder they are all around the town.
Don’s Food Corner
Okay, there’s one day left in the land of incomparable wiener schnitzel and goulash, so what do you expect? We had wiener schnitzel (Jo) and goulash (me). Jo’s grade on today’s version was “B” based on Austrian standards or “A+” on versions tasted anywhere else in the world she has visited. I’d vote about the same for my dish of goulash and spaetzle. But I’ve never been to nearby Hungary where the stuff was invented so I can’t tell if I’ve tasted the very best. Hungary might, therefore, be moving up on our list of must-visit places.
Any bets on what is ordered at our farewell Austrian meal tomorrow?