(photo by Hlynur og Erna)
The Schloss Ambras is an extremely beautiful Renaissance castle and one of the most important sights of Innsbruck. If you visit the capital city of Tyrol, it is a must to spend several interesting hours in Ambras Castle. The place is located south-east from the historic city centre and not far from the main railway station. It is easily accessible using tram line 6 or bus line K. Tram line 3 will also bring you close to the castle. Guided tours are available in English too but should be booked in advance. The entrance ticket is usually cheaper during the winter season, as it is possible some parts of the castle to be closed for visitors.
(photo by roelipilami)
It can be said that the castle starts its history in 1564 when the Archduke Ferdinand II (second son of Emperor Ferdinand I) received, as a provincial sovereign of Tyrol, the existing on this site medieval fortress. The prince ordered two renown Italian architects to turn the gloomy fortress into a shining Renaissance palace, a residence for his not noble but beloved wife Philippine. The accent was put into the gorgeous Spaniche Saal (Spanish Hall). This long and spacious hall is adorned by marvelous wooden ceilings and amazing frescoes on the walls depicting Tyrolean nobles. The oldest part of the structure is the Upper Castles. It has a lovely courtyard where can be seen an exquisite grey relief, performed in the amazing Grisaille style. The Schloss Ambras hosts a large museum collection, divided in three main parts. The first section is the Armor exhibition showing 15th-century defending and parade weapons including the wedding armour of Prince Ferdinand. The second part is called the "Art and Wonders" and comprises some wondrous works, such as the Toedlein – a figure made of pear wood, depicting the hunting Death. The last third section of the Ambras collection is the Portrait Gallery exhibiting portraits of the Habsburg dynasty members and other European nobles. Here visitors can see the portrait of the whiskered Charles VIII, disguised as a peasant, or the shocking hair-style of Maria Anna of Spain. When you get bored by the numerous portraits you can take a rest in the wonderful castle gardens, an ideal place for a romantic picnic.