BAd ©Agentur WIR
26 April 2022
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

"Wellness" - bringing body, mind and soul into harmony - how beautiful! A trend of our time? Not quite: already in the 16th century (and long before) people knew how to harmonize body care and well-being. At least the upper class was already quite progressive in this area. The themed tour "Wellness à la Philippine Welser", which takes place from 09.04. to 15.06.2022 at Ambras Castle Innsbruck takes you on a journey into the past. You will get to know the former wellness rituals and you will also learn a lot about the medicine of that time. Believe me, after this tour you will appreciate our health care system even more and a visit to the dentist won't seem so bad anymore. Of course, there is also something for the heart, because what would be a guided tour in Ambras Castle Innsbruck, if you would not also learn something about Ferdinand II and his Philippine.

A Cinderella love story

It was a love story like something out of a fairy tale: An archduke followed his feelings, defied all norms and the will of his family and married a commoner. A forbidden love, that almost sounds a bit like Romeo and Juliet, but in the case of Archduke Ferdinand II and his Philippine Welser, things turned out better, thank God. The two married. Even Ferdinand's father finally accepted the union - under strict conditions, such as absolute secrecy, but even this was later lifted and the two lived happily together.

A royal love nest

In order to ensure that Philippine was well provided for, Ferdinand bequeathed Ambras Castle to his wife, along with extensive estates, for her lifetime. He had the palace magnificently expanded and in the course of this, bathing rooms were created that are comparable to today's spa landscape: a sweat bath, a bathing room with a large tub, changing rooms and relaxation rooms - everything was available that was good for body and soul. Today, Philippine Welser's bath is known as the oldest preserved Renaissance bath.

The first museum in the world

At Ambras Castle, Philippine was thus the "mistress," Ferdinand the welcome guest. After her death, Ferdinand bought the castle back from his sons and made it the center of his passion for collecting. All sorts of wondrous and beautiful things found a place there, so that Schloss Ambras Innsbruck became virtually the world's first museum. Just one of many good reasons for a visit! The Spanish Hall, the armories, the wonderful castle park and also the peacocks living in it are absolute highlights.

The healing art of Philippine Welser

Philippine Welser was a special woman, not only because she managed to land herself an archduke, but she was also very popular with the population. "She occupied herself a great deal with the art of healing, had a herb garden planted, mixed medicines together with her personal physician and her apothecary, and was a very helpful woman. Perhaps it was because she was a commoner herself, but she was always there for her people," explains our guide Jutta Birnegger. Philippine Welser was probably a very progressive woman who took care of herself and her well-being. Even the pharmacopoeia written by her mother Anna Welser recommended a wide variety of treatments to bring body and mind into harmony. Among them were cosmetic ones, such as instructions for facial care using rose water and camphor, which should be done explicitly after the steam bath.

I was able to learn so many new things during this tour and was really amazed at what people knew about the body even back then. On the other hand, there was still a great superstition. Some medical treatments would be more than questionable by today's standards, rather negligent. Other times! If you want to know more about it - and believe me, it is really interesting - I can warmly recommend the themed tour "Wellness à la Philippine Welser". It is worth it!

Diving deeper into the subject matter - thanks to the cooperation partners

As part of the "Wellness à la Philippine Welser" theme tour, Schloss Ambras Innsbruck has teamed up with outstanding regional partners. Sleep like Philippine Welser - that's what you can do in the specially developed collection from the company Tyrler 1825. In addition to beautiful pillows with Philippine's portrait and original motifs from the castle, the collection also includes bath towels and organic bath soap made from olive and laurel oil.

Bookworms take note! For the first time, numerous books and games from Wagner'schen Buchhandlung are available in the museum store in keeping with the theme of wellness. "We have maintained good contacts with the castle for years. We are of course particularly pleased to be able to deepen these contacts," says Markus Renk, owner of Wagner'schen Buchhandlung.

Another partner is the professional group of health care companies of the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce.

Wellness in the here and now

Even though Philippine Welser's bath is unfortunately no longer available to us for bathing today, and we can't relax in her relaxation room either, we don't have to do without wellness. A good tip in the middle of Innsbruck is the Indoor swimming pool in Amraser Street. It was already opened in the 1920s and also looks back on a long tradition of wellness. Today you can work out in the sports pool or at various sports courses and then relax in the panorama sauna with a view of the Nordkette. Speaking of panorama saunas - one can also find one in the Telfer bathwhich is also a good place to unwind. For those who not only want to leave their everyday life behind for a few hours, but also want to really relax, a vacation on the beautiful Mieminger Plateau is just the right thing. A true Wellbeing oasis is for instance the Alpine resort Black in Mieming.

By the way: eating well also includes good food and you can get that for example in the restaurant Greenvieh, which is located right next to the Alpenresort Schwarz. More information and further tips for gourmets can be found here.

Be sure to check out Monica, who has summarized the best wellness tips in and around Innsbruck.


Schloss Ambras Innsbruck
Address: Schlossstraße 20, A-6020 Innsbruck
Phone: +43 1 525 24 - 4802

Themed tour "Wellness à la Philippine Welser"
When: Fridays, Sundays and public holidays until 15.06.2022 at 2.30 pm each day.
Additional dates on request.

Children's tour: "Splash!" on Saturday, May 28, and Saturday, June 11, each at 2:30 p.m.
1-hour tour, ages 7 and up

TYRLER since 1825
Address: Marktgraben 1, A-6020 Innsbruck

Wagner'sche Universitätsbuchhandlung
Address: Museumstraße 4, A-6020 Innsbruck

Cover picture: ©Agency WIR

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