(photo by Moe_)
When you visit Innsbruck, one of the most well known and recognized buildings is The Golden Roof, a centuries old building in the Old Town Pedestrian Zone. Built in 1420, initially it was simply a balcony used by the emperor to watch goings on and celebrations below. The roof was added in 1500, and it's made up of 2737 copper tiles that shimmer and shine like gold. Today, the Golden Roof is a shining example of 15th century architecture and opulence.
The glimmering roof isn't the only thing you'll notice as you snap pictures of this beautiful balcony. On the first floor, you'll see a balustrade decorated with hand-carved coats of arms of Austria-Hungary and the double-headed eagle of the Empire, along with coats of arms of Burgundy, Milan, Styria and Tirol. Alongside are murals depicting two standard-bearers with the flags of the Empire and Tirol.
Be sure to take your camera when you visit The Golden Roof, it's probably one of the most photographed spots in Innsbruck, and even if you're traveling alone, it's such a popular tourist spot you're sure to find someone to shoot a picture of you and the famous roof. Many visitors recommend viewing the roof at night, because it's bathed with light every night of the year, and it's a beautiful sight to behold. During the holiday season, a nearby Christmas tree only adds to the stunning image.
(photo by Jill Z)
Inside the Golden Roof building is the Innsbruck Olympia Museum, a museum dedicated to the e Winter Olympics of 1964 and 1976. You can view videos of some of the most amazing events, and see items portraying Olympic winners, along with a nice collection of postage stamps issued to honor the Games.
While you visit the Golden Roof, don't miss some of the other lovely attractions in Old Town. Right across from The Golden Roof is the Helblinghaus, a Baroque-style building remodeled in the early 1700s. It has a lovely stucco façade including acanthus leaves, cherubs, and other ornate decorations. In fact, everywhere you turn you'll see the remnants of Medieval Innsbruck just as they looked centuries ago. Enjoy a walking tour of the area, enjoy a meal or coffee in one of the many cafes, and return at night for photos of the Golden Roof and you'll have spent a charming afternoon in Old Innsbruck.
If you would like to visit The Golden Roof, it's open daily from May through September from 10.00a.m. to 6.00p.m., and from October through April from 10.00a.m. to 5.00p.m.