Saturday, October 17, 2009

May 22, 2009 - Innsbruck, Austria

With its 120,000 inhabitants, Innsbruck is the capital of the Austrian federal state of Tyrol and the fifth largest city in Austria. The river Inn runs through town, hence the name Innsbruck, bruck being the German word for bridge. The city's seal and coat of arms show a bird's-eye view of the Inn bridge, a design used since 1267.
From 1420 to 1665, the town was the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns who left the legacy of a well-preserved gothic Old Town, the Hofburg Palace and the Court Church with the grave monument of Emperor Maximilian I. The Innsbruck University was founded in 1669.
In 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in the Anschluss and, be
tween 1943 and April 1945, the city was the target of twenty-one bomb attacks and suffered heavy damage. During the war the Germans located the KZ Innsbruck-Reichenau concentration camp in the city.
More recently, Innsbruck hosted the Olympic Winter Games in both 1964 and again in 1976 - twice in an unprecedented twelve year period. This quirk occurred after the IOC, in 1970, selected Denver to host the 1976 Winter Games. The independent Colorado voters had other ideas however, and, in 1972, rejected a bond referendum to finance the Denver sports fest causing the committee to impose on Innsbruck a second time. To look around town, click here.

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