The Golden Roof in the city centre is widely known as Innsbruck's landmark. Besides the gleaming shingles, the masterful frescoes underneath are also worth a close look.
The Golden Roof, a magnificent oriel in the heart of the old town, is Innsbruck's landmark with its glistening shingles and one of our top 10 sights of Innsbruck. The Goldenes Dachl is located in the heart of the city in the bend of Herzog Friedrich Straße and is visible from far away, especially on sunny days.
It owes its radiant shine to 2657 fire-gilded shingles, which made it famous far beyond the borders of Tyrol shortly after it was built. Each of these shingles is worth an estimated 1,500 euros today.
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Origin of the Golden Roof
The 16-metre-high oriel was commissioned by the German king and later emperor Maximilian I. To celebrate the turn of the century in 1500, he had Niclas Türing the Elder transform an ordinary house oriel into the magnificent late Gothic oriel.
The reason for this could also have been his marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan. From here, the ruler enjoyed the view of the hustle and bustle of his city. When he got bored, he would call for a jousting tournament on the forecourt.
Frescoes, reliefs and a mysterious inscription band
The reliefs directly under the roof and on the upper and lower balconies show, in addition to plant ornaments, the emperor with his two wives Maria of Burgundy and Bianca Maria Sforza surrounded by moriscene dancers, the imperial court jester Kunz von der Rosen and a series of coats of arms.
The originals of the reliefs are protected from wind and weather in the Tyrolean Regional Museum. The ornate paintings that decorate the Golden Roof were created by Jörg Kölderer, the court painter of Emperor Maximilian I at the time.
The decipherment of the script behind the Moriscan dancers still puzzles historians today. According to speculation, the saying is: "Make the most of every moment, never miss a dance in life, you can't take anything with you" - a life motto that would fit Maximilian I perfectly. The meaning of other clues and symbols under the sparkling landmark is also still in the dark.
The building behind the Dachl
The building on which the magnificent oriel is located was erected in 1420 as the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns Frederick IV and Sigmund the Minty. With this fixed government authority, Emperor Maximilian I revolutionised the administrative system of the time.
Today, the house behind the Golden Roof houses a museum that provides information about the famous Habsburg ruler and the late medieval world of Tyrol.
International Golden Roof Challenge
Since 2005, a pole vault and long jump athletics competition has been held every year directly in front of the Golden Roof. In 2012, the largest mobile athletics facility in the world was constructed for the International Golden Roof Challenge. The landmark of Innsbruck gave its name to this sports event.
Other cities, such as Munich, Cologne or Salzburg, have meanwhile adopted the concept and hold similar competitions with Jump & Fly, the Buderus Cologne Rhine Jump and the Salzburg City Jump.