30 June 2023
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

For several years now, the Innsbruck City Archives/City Museum has been offering guided tours under the title of „Stadtarchiv findet Stadt“ Themed tours. This time, art historian and author Anton Prock took us on a tour of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse. Once the pulsating main traffic artery of Innsbruck, today the main shopping mile in the old town, it tells a lot about the city's history.


From the meeting point Stadtarchiv/Stadtmuseum we go straight to the northern entrance of Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. On the wall of the house opposite the Ottoburg there is a plaque commemorating the Inn Gate, which was demolished in 1790. In order to expand the market from the northern side of the Inn (in today's St. Nikolaus/Mariahilf), the Counts of Andechs exchanged possessions with the monastery of Wilten and received land south of the Inn, which they connected to the north bank by means of a bridge. The town was elevated between 1187 and 1204.


Five gates provided access to the city: the Inntor, the Georgs- or Vorstadttor towards today's Maria-Theresien-Straße, the Trenkertörl in the Badgasse, the Rumer- or Saggentor in the Hofgasse and the Frauen- or Pickentor towards the Innrain. in 1790 the moat was filled in. On the panel you can see the "Fleischbank" on the left side in front of the Inntor. Animals were slaughtered in this wooden building resting on piles. "Those parts that were not needed were immediately disposed of in the Inn," says Prock.

The Counts of Andechs resided in the building immediately adjacent to the gate. The Andechsburg served as a princely residence until Frederick IV, known to many as "Friedl with the empty pocket", had the seat moved to the "Neuhof". Its most striking element today is the Golden Roof.


We already return to the inner courtyard of the Palais Claudiana. Named after the provincial princess Claudia de Medici, the palace long served as the government building of the Tyrolean provincial government. Less well known: The portrait heads of princes and princesses on the building's façade served as "models" for the "Schwarzmander" on Maximilian I's to mb in the Imperial Court Church. A look upwards therefore pays off. Where today a relatively inconspicuous yellow building stands at the corner of Kiebachgasse and Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, there was once the "Ballhaus". Merchants stored their goods here and large balls were held on the second floor.

Golden eagle

The Goldener Adler inn has particularly many stories to tell. The painted tracery on the facade shows how high the building originally was: ground floor plus two floors, only later was it raised. Numerous famous names can be found on the marble guest list under the vault, Andreas Hofer resided in this house. His address to the people of Innsbruck is immortalized on a plaque, as well as on the outer wall is an image of St. George, patron saint of Tyrol until 1772 and, and, and ... Already we continue to the Golden Roof, with whose stories my blogger colleague Werner Kräutler has dealt in detail. Not to forget the Helblinghaus, which catches everyone's eye just because of its facade design.

Inn-Salzach construction

Prock refers to the building style of Innsbruck's old town, which is indebted to the Inn-Salzach building style - found in particular between Innsbruck, Passau and Hallein. By means of false facades in front of the roof, several houses form an ensemble. Another central feature: a house front drawn upwards, which likes to hide the actual roof, making the building appear larger and more striking. Also characteristic are trench or trough roofs, in which the roof gables are not in the center of the house, but "shifted". Particularly striking, for example, is the stepped gable to the left of the city tower, in whose inner courtyard it is - still - pleasantly quiet.

Refreshing wet

The tower, which was remodeled several times, was the workplace and residence of the tower keeper. He kept watch day and night to warn the inhabitants of approaching storms and fires. In the courtyard there is also one of the eight drinking fountains of the old town. The Trautson f ountain in Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse is not only the most conspicuous, but also the only one still standing in its original place.

Like a look at the building facades, it is worthwhile to take a look at the ceilings of the arcades that run along the left and right of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse under the houses. At the entrance to a well-known American fast food chain, the quaternion eagle can be found. It was considered THE symbol of the unity of the Holy Roman Empire, its lands, estates and, of course, the Church.

Suburban gate

After a really entertaining 1.5 hour journey through the history of Innsbruck, we stand at the Vorstadttor (Spitalstor). Maria Theresa of Austria had it - together with the customs house - demolished in 1765. The immediate occasion was the wedding of her son Leopold, later Emperor Leopold II, and the Spanish princess Maria Ludovica. Stone blocks from the demolished suburban gate served as the foundation of the monumental triumphal gate erected to welcome the bride and groom. The Triumphal Gate was once located on the border of the grown Innsbruck to Wilten - another chapter of Innsbruck's city history that could be told during a walk along Maria Theresien Street.

City walks „Stadtarchiv findet statt“

Dates 2023:
September 16, Graffitis – von der „Schmiererei“ zur Kunstform, with Albi Dornauer

14. October, Innsbruck im Flugfieber – vor 111 Jahren in der Höttinger Au, with Tanja Chraust

11. November, Polizeiarchiv – Blitzlichter auf die Innsbrucker Polizeigeschichte, with Peter Hellensteiner

Registration is required for all events, event tickets available at the museum box office! Attention: limited number of participants!

All further information:
Stadtarchiv/Stadtmuseum Innsbruck
Badgasse 2
6020 Innsbruck
Tel. +43 512 5360 1400

Book tip: Anton Prock, Innsbrucker Stadtspaziergänge. Geschichte und Kunst hautnah erleben, Tyrolia Verlag, 2022

Photos, unless otherwise indicated: © Susanne Gurschler

Header image: © Innsbruck Tourismus/Markus Mair

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