A Golden Roof

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by tartlette on September 12, 2009

All the books and guides say that the Goldenes Dachl is a must when visiting Innsbruck. And while I agree to some extent, you have to remember not to get too disappointed by the fact that for an attraction it is very small.

The house where the roof is situated was built in around 1420 by Archduke Fredrick IV. By the end of the 15th century the house was in the hands of the Emperor Maximilian I. In 1500 he ordered that the balcony, complete with golden roof, be constructed in honour of his second marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan. It was built by the court architect Niclas Turing From the balcony he could look out over the square below and watch dancing and tournaments. The 'gold' roof is actually 2657 copper tiles which have been guilded.

The Goldenes Dachel is a fairly easy landmark to find, just look for the crowds all looking up rather than looking where they are going! It is on the same square as the city tower, so this is a good landmark to look out for. It is right in the heart of the city, on a pedestrianised street. Everything to see in Innsbruck was pretty much within walking distance, but I did use the public transport to take me back to our campsite and it was very efficient and clean. It is located at: Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 15

In the summer the roof is open every day from 10-6 and in the winter it is closed Monday and open the rest of the week from 10-5. It costs 3.60 Euro for an adult and 1.80 Euro for concessions. It is also included on the Innsbruck card (28 Euro for 48 hours) which is well worth investing in and a bit of a bargain if you plan to see a couple of things.

You may now be wondering...'why do I have to pay to look at this thing?' Well obviously you don't, but you can go inside the building, which is where the cost comes in, and visit the small museum which is inside. The museum covers Maximilian I. There is an audioguide included in the price. Firstly you watch a short film about Maximilian and then you can look around at some artifacts from his life, including paintings. You can then go to the balcony, over which the golden roof lies. Unfortunately, but understandably, you cannot actually stand on the balcony, but you can look out over the square and you get a very good view of the decor on the balcony itself. The provide mirrors so that you can easily see the inside of the roof.

A few things to notice are the reliefs (on the outside), one shows Maximilian with his first and second wives (all about the politics in those days!) there are also various reliefs of the coats of arms of all of Maximilian's territories (far too many to mention!)

The Goldenes Dachl and the museum which lies behind it are very interesting and the entrance fee is not bad considering you get an audioguide chucked in. However, unless you have an interest in or want to learn about Maximiliam I wouldn't necessarily reccommend going in. I loved it but I'm a historian (and therefore biased!). If you have the Innsbruck card anyway then definately go in. If you only had a day in Innsbruck I think that the time could be better spent, perhaps at the Imperial Church where Maximilian's incredible (empty) tomb lies or the Imperial Palace. Even if you don't go in to the museum, make sure that you see it, preferably on a sunny day so that thetiles glint and if you're lucky enough to have musicians playing under the roof like I was then stay and listen for a while. Also, the best view of the roof comes when you climb the city tower (also included in the Innsbruck Card) so climb that if you have a head for heights!
Goldenes Dachl
Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 15
Innsbruck, Austria, 6020


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