Tirol’s history spread over 13 museums
History of art, natural history, archaeology, Tirolean and international artists – all this and more is exhibited in many curated museums and exhibitions located in historic monuments, as well as new and historically interesting buildings. Discover Tirol’s history and find out more about the advancement of this beautiful, alpine country, its rulers and most important artists.
1. Tirolean State Museum Ferdinandeum
Ferdinandeum takes us on a journey from the Stone Age to the present day with many valuable and rare finds. The museum is particularly proud of its exquisite Dutch collection - including works by Rembrandt and Brueghel – beautiful Biedermeier exhibits and precious musical instruments. In the Modern Gallery, you will find works by Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Albin Egger-Lienz and Max Weiler.
2. Hofkirche – Court Church
The Court Church in Innsbruck, houses the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I and is one of Tirol’s most important monuments. Even though the tomb is empty – Maximilian was buried in Wiener Neustadt Castle – this is one of the grandest imperial tombs in Europe. The cenotaph is ringed by 28 larger than life bronze statues representing the Emperor’s ancestors and his heroes of antiquity.
3. Museum of Tirolean Regional Heritage
Situated immediately adjacent to the Court Church, the Museum of Tirolean Regional Heritage is home to an extensive collection that charts the history of Tirol. The exhibits include a wealth of objects ranging from utensils required to perform traditional handicraft, and domestic housework, as well as everyday chattels. The wood-panelled parlous are a particularly special feature, we well as the historic Tirolean costumes and carved nativity scenes, dating from the 18th Century to the present day.
4. Tirol Panorama
Tirol Panorama sheds light on the „Myth of Tirol" with its compelling and contradictory history. It also houses the largest work of art in Tirol: the Innsbruck Cyclorama. This breath-taking 360 degree panoramic painting portrays the Tirolean struggle for freedom on 13th August 1809 over some 1,000 square metres.
5. Zeughaus - Armoury
The former weapons depot of Emperor Maximilian I today houses a permanent exhibition on the cultural history of Tirol. In the historic ambience of this 500 year old building, you will find sections on local geology and mineralogy as well as mining, religion, the Napoleonic era of the 19th Century, emergence of tourism and the World Wars. Visitors will be amazed by the diverse exhibits, which is why the armoury is a great day trip destination for families.
6. Schloss Ambras Museum of Historical Art
Art lovers can look forward to viewing the magnificent Ambras Chamber of Art Curiosities, Chambers of Armour and Antiquarium at the idyllically situated Ambras Castle. Over 200 pictures are on display in the Habsburg Portrait Gallery, including works by renowned artists such as Lukas Cranach, Tizian, van Dyck or Diego Velásquez.
7. Museum der Völker Schwaz
During his travels to Asia and Africa, Gert Chesi, a photographer, journalist and author, has collected over 1,000 ethnological objects from around the world, providing the basis for a permanent exhibition at the Museum der Völker in Schwaz. Working in conjunction with European museums and private collectors ensures a wide variety of resources. Visitors can admire ethnographic collections and non-European contemporary art at regular special exhibitions.
8. Golden Roof Museum
The Golden Roof Museum tells the story of this extraordinary building and its architect, Maximilian I, under whose reign Innsbruck developed into a rich vibrant centre of Tirol and the entire kingdom. You can observe the comings and goings of Innsbruck Old Town from the „kaiserlichen Blick – imperial view“ balcony, as did the Emperor and his wife in their day.
9. Hall Mint Museum
At Hall’s city landmark, you will find the unique cylindrical coin stamping press, the valuable first Taler of the world and the world’s largest silver Taler which, weighing in at 20 kilos, dwarfs all other silver coins ever made. Hall Mint is the birthplace of the Taler and the modern day Dollar. Visitors are guided through half a century of monetary history when coins meant wealth, money still had a magical shine and currency was literally as hard as the material from which it was produced.
10. Schloss Bruck Museum
High above the town of Lienz, the medieval castle sits majestically on Castle Hill. The Schloss Bruck collection includes a compilation of artworks ranging from Gothic altar pieces, to sculptures and paintings by local, contemporary artists, a variety of objects from East Tirolean folklore, traditional arts and crafts as well as a natural history section, with stuffed wild animals and rare minerals. Schloss Bruck visitors should make a point of visiting the Egger-Lienz-Gallery with the largest collection of works by Austrian expressionist, Albin Egger-Lienz, open to the public.
11. Kitzbühel Museum
Museum Kitzbühel pays tribute to the Tirolean artist, Alfons Walde, and presents a selection of his works in the form of 60 paintings, over 100 illustrations, drawings, photographs and prints. The collection is housed in two of Kitzbühel’s most historically significant buildings, the former granary and the southwest tower of the town’s medieval fortifications – which are actually well worth visiting on their own!
12. Aguntum Museum
The Roman town of Aguntum near Dölsach in East Tirol was the only Roman town in Tirol. Aguntum Museum offers an impressive insight on the culture and civilisation during the Roman period in the Alps. Clothing, reliefs, ceramics, jewellery and coins are all on display. Views of the entire area can be enjoyed from the observation tower: the small stone dwellings of the simple „Aguntiner“ folk in the artisans’ quarter, the noble Atrium House, spa and the old 2.45 metre thick old town wall.
13. Galtür Alpinarium
The interesting and architecturally noteworthy Alpinarium in Galtür documents life in high alpine terrain and forms a central part of the 345 metre long defensive wall, built after the avalanche disaster of 1999.