Exclusive shops and boutiques, beautifully ornate facades and a view of the Golden Roof against the backdrop of the majestic Nordkette mountain range: This has always been the magnificent setting for Innsbruck’s main boulevard, Maria-Theresien-Strasse. The northern section of this street in which car traffic had been kept to a minimum already during the past became a fully pedestrianised zone under a redesign effort by architectural group ’Alles wird gut’ in 2009. Since the completion of the southern section in 2011 the entire Maria-Theresien-Strasse has been sparkling in simple elegance, thus expanding Innsbruck’s medieval old town and creating an area in which to stroll, shop and of course enjoy the wonderful culinary treats the city has on offer, all of which is much appreciated by visitor and locals alike.
The new look of Maria-Theresien-Strasse was achieved by adjusting the ground level, tasteful granite paving and polished brass panels and placing elegant urban furniture and fixtures (benches, lighting, bicycle racks) made of wood and brass which are warmly embraced by the public . Coffee shops, al fresco dining spaces and a variety of events invite you to enjoy the urban atmosphere of this famous Innsbruck boulevard.
The numerous shops along the street offer a wide variety of designer fashion, leather goods, jewellery, and sports equipment, as well as books, perfumes and confectionary, adding to the street’s urban flair. In March 2010 the new Kaufhaus Tyrol, redesigned by David Chipperfield, was inaugurated – a very popular shopper’s heaven with bright architecture, attractive shops and a good selection of catering. The northern end provides access to the Sparkassenplatz square and the Rathausgalerien shopping centre. Having been redesigned in the framework of the construction of the adjacent new Kaufhaus Tyrol, the Sparkassenplatz with its variety of shops, summer events and an ice rink during the winter months is a hub of activity – and a much frequented connection between Maria-Theresien-Strasse and the BTV Stadtforum. The Rathausgalerien is a bright, indoor arcade area designed by French architect Dominique Perrault and alive with cafes, shops, Innsbruck’s first design hotel ‘The Penz’ and – last but not least – the ‘Campanile’, offering a magnificent view across the city centre and the surrounding mountains from a lofty height of 37 metres.
The southern section of the Maria-Theresien-Strasse hosts the exposition houses Galerie im Taxispalais and Kunstraum Innsbruck, both focusing on contemporary art, while the courtyard of the Palais Trapp and the Arkadenhof await visitors with some peaceful urban zones with cafés and little shops. A passage leads to the Landhausplatz which was re-designed in 2011. Although at first glance this square may appear rather paltry, on closer inspection it turns out to be an organically shaped multipurpose space and a popular meeting place for youngsters, skateboarders and cyclists alike. But also those looking for some relaxing moments and longing for a sunny sit-down after strolling the shops of Innsbruck’s city centre get their money’s worth.
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