Innsbruck is the old provincial capital of Tirol. The City lies in the vast Inn Valley at the intersection of two essential traffic routes between Germany and Italy and between Vienna and Switzerland. From all over the City, there are vistas of the ring of mountains which rear up above the gentler terraces of lower ground on which it lies. You will have to go through Innsbruck if you want to cross Tyrol. This made the City a vital marketplace in the Middle Ages, and many traces of that time can be found in the alleys of Innsbruck’s old town. More recently, the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics made the City famous. The sports facilities are still used today, the most impressive of which is the ski jump on Bergisel.
The City still preserves its medieval core, the historic old town with its narrow, twisting streets and tall houses in Late Gothic style, many of them with beautiful oriel windows and elegant doorways. There are also many examples of old Tirolese architecture, in which southern influence is detectable.
Under Emperor Maximilian I, Innsbruck became an administrative capital and a focal point of art and culture.
Today Innsbruck is primarily a student city. For every 120,000 inhabitants, there are 25,000 students from all over the world. They make the city a multicultural metropolis and populate the numerous cafés in the picturesque arcades of the old town and the bars until late at night.