Innsbruck also brings you back in time with many attractions and historically buildings that show you the importance of Innsbruck in former times. One of the most important building in the town is the city’s landmark: The golden roof.
The first settlements in Innsbruck go back to 3.000 years ago when settlements were found around the center of Innsbruck. The romans arrived at about 15 before christ to make there a military station against invaders. It was only destroyed then in the 7th century. The main church of Tirol was located at Brixen in South Tyrol which used to be part of Tyrol until the first World war when the southern part of Tyrol (including most parts of the Dolomites) became Italy and the area of Tyrol was separated. Innsbruck itself has the first proofed settlement at the beginning of the 12th century when also the first bridge over the Inn River was established in Innsbruck, therefore also the name of the bridge over the Inn. Since the 13th century the city right has been given to Innsbruck and soon the connection to the Habsburg family was given. This meant for the city a very strategically position since everybody that passed over the Brenner from Italy, or that needed to go to Italy had to pass the bridge at Innsbruck and tolls were the biggest income for the city. Therefore already in the 15th century the golden roof has been constructed to show also the richness of the city.
This meant also that in the 16th century the biggest military base in Austria has been established to prevent foreign armies to invade the area. Also by that time the beginning of the postal system has been established together with the family Tassis from Italy to send letter and announces into the Habsburg empire by horse riders and knights. Members of the family Tassis married then into the german house of Thurn and became then the inventors of the postal system as we know it nowadays.
Since the 19th century the railway through the Inn valley is operating and connect Woergl, Kufstein, Innsbruck with Germany and since the end of the 19th century also over the Brenner pass and the Arlberg mountain to Switzerland.
The 20th century leaded to drastically changes in Innsbruck: After the first world war Tyrol was divided in North tyrol, South Tyrol and led to a lot of people that fled from south tyrol to Innsbruck where they found new places to stay. After the second world war Innsbruck was under the rule of the Americans that helped to rebuild the city, the university and the airport. Already in 1948 the first helicopter for search and rescue was placed in Innsbruck and it is until nowadays the most important station of these helicopters within the alps.
In 1964 and 1976 Innsbruck was the place where the olympic winter games have taken place. Still nowadays some stadiums and locations can be found, even if adapted to nowadays times. The winter sport plays still the most important role in the area. Skiing areas are very close by and all famous skiing or snowboard brands are sold in the locations. Another very famous company in this area is Swarovski in the nearby Wattens where also a museum can give more inside about the factory, history and products.