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Cultural Landscape of "Innsbruck-Nordkette/Karwendel"

Date of Submission: 23/01/2002
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
State, Province or Region:
Ref.: 19
Cultural landscapes

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Innsbruck, which was founded at the junction of several important trade routes, was the residence of dukes, German kings and emperors since the Late Middle Ages who have left their traces in the form of sumptuous buildings.

In the old part, in the arcaded Herzog-Friedrich-StraRe, there is a spectacular balcony with a gilded copper roof built by emperor Maximilian c.1500, the world famous 'Goldene Dachl". He also commissioned the magnificent sculptures called the "Schwarze Mander, or black figures, designed to be his cort(age (28 bronze statues larger than life were competed, the first in 1502, representing ancestors, relatives and political examples to the emperor- they were made after models by such significant contemporary artists as Albrecht DUrer), a never finished feat eventually set up in the Court church (1 553-1563 built to accommodate the tomb) around the empty cenotaph.

Archduke Ferdinand 11 had Castle Ambres south of Innsbruck expanded to become a princely renaissance residence housing one of the largest universal collections compiled by a prince of the 16th century.

In addition to the cathedral, numerous abbeys and convents around the old town bear witness to Innsbruck's spiritual life. The former Franciscan monastery built to see after the court church, now houses the Tirolean Folk Art Museum, one of the most important collections of folk art and crafts in Europe. The Hofburg, a castle of the Habsburg sovereigns dating back to the Middle Ages, was refashioned under Maria Theresa to become a monumental baroque residence.

Innsbruck is among the few big European cities to boast high-alpine inhabited zones. It seems as if the rough and most of the year snow-covered mountains of the Nordkefte rise just behind the ,Goldene Dachl". A further peculiarity is that the district of Innsbruck also occupies an important part of the Karwendel Alpine Park, a natural and unspoilt region has been preserved to such a degree, which covers a total of eleven protected areas with different protection criteria. The Organisation of the protected areas widely corresponds to the one of a National Park (highest legal standard in terms of nature protection in the Tyrol) with a core area in the centre and a buffer zone at the outer region.

The mountains encircling Innsbruck have become tourist attractions, and thus, represent an important economic resource for the city. In former times, or at least since the Late Middle Ages every part of Innsbruck that lay at an averagy mountain height possesses alpine pastures (like for example the Hdftinger Alm alpine pasture) were cultivation and work was carried out in cooperation, An important part of the citizenry's food needs could be satisfied that way. The Karwendel Alpine Park supplied the city with drinking water since at least 1486. The unique combination of city life and mountain scenery makes Innsbruck so outstanding even today.