Alpine ski village – Innsbruck – stands aside of global warming.
A destination with continental climate it meets visitors with a full winter gear - days colder than those of most major European cities with temperatures reaching -12 degC. It is here its snow-capped mountains played host the 1964 Winter Olympics. Not many cities in this world are allowed to hold the honour twice, but 11 years later, the 1975 Olympics were held in Innsbruck again.
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Innsbruck owes its continental climate and ski resort reputation to its location in the Inn Valley sandwiched between mountain peaks. It is surrounded by tall mountains like Nordkette (Hafelekar, 2334m) in the north, Patscherkofel (2246m) and Serles (2403m) in the south. Annually, 140,000-strong population shares these snowy peaks with five million tourists mostly from North America who come for skiing and mountaineering.
However, Innsbruck is much broader than the sharp peaks the city occupies. It takes a stroll of the city to discover its magnificent core – ''two Golden Gates'' heritage. Innsbruck is built around the two Golden Gates, the first built by the Emperor Maxmilan I, while its brilliant counterpart dates back to the mid-1700's under Empress Maria Thérèsia, a representative of Habsburg dynasty. Attractions include;
- Alpine Zoo, the biggest zoo in Europe and a home to around 2000 different species
- Hofkirche, built in between 1553 and 1563 by Ferdinand I as a memorial to Maximilian I, grandfather of Ferdinand I
- Goldenes Dachl, a roof with 2657 fire-gilded copper tiles was constructed for the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I
- Triumphforte is a famous tourist attraction situated on the southern end of the Maria Theresien Strasse
This impressive architecture makes Innsbruck one of the most enchanting places to visit in Austria.
In fact, the bulk of its architecture was shaped in the period of Habsburg regency as Habsburg kings held court in Innsbruck. They converted Innsbruck into the cultural center of Western Austria, while a few years later it became a major economic hub thriving on tourist industry. Today, it is a destination of a million overnight stays.
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