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Sit down in one of the many bustling cafés or restaurants that line the outside of Old Town’s central plaza, and your eye is drawn to the fabulous sheen of Innsbruck’s most famous landmark. The Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl) is perfectly framed by the neat, white, Tyrolese buildings and the peaks of the Alps beyond. The outside of the building makes for a stunning photograph, while inside you’ll get insight into the area’s rich history.
The Golden Roof is the name of a building that was constructed at the turn of the 16th century to commemorate the second marriage of the Emperor Maximilian I. The 2,657 gold-plated copper tiles that cover the 52-foot (16-meter) wide roof were used in an attempt to quash rumors of financial hard times.
Look beneath the fringe of the roof to see reliefs depicting scenes of Maximilian’s life. The image in which he stands between his two wives is the most prominent. This was a deliberate attempt not to offend any old allies gained by his first marriage.
A well-appointed museum, organized into six different areas, goes into detail about the history of the building. The museum has interactive displays on what life would have been like at the time of the Golden Roof’s construction. Use the audio guide, included in the admission price, for detailed explanations of the museum’s displays. Pause when you get to the bay window as the views back across the square are a highlight.
A dedicated children’s area has a series of interactive displays about life in ancient times.
If you’re looking to get the perfect photograph of the Golden Roof then come around mid morning, when the light is usually at its best.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, with a small charge for entry. It is located in the center of the Old Town, within walking distance of many major hotels and attractions. Alternatively, catch a bus to Museumstrasse and walk from there.
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