Austria is a nation with scenic views worth embracing wherein, Tyrol, its western capital is a serene mixture of alps, and nicked rock spires. So, we weren’t surprised when during our first visit, we were welcomed into the Innsbruck terrains in Tyrol, by vastly spread pastures, cowbell chimes, towering hillside, and insanely gorgeous mountainous landscapes. A sight worth beholding and reminiscing! Although, it’s when you begin to explore the city, is when you come across fascinating landmarks such as the baroque styled Innsbruck cathedral.
Built in the 17th-century era, on a 12th-century site, Innsbruck Cathedral is a Baroque church dedicated to Saint James. At first glance, the lavishly decorated interiors of this Romanesque church left us awestruck. The interiors, in particular, are enveloped by three arches extruding into a 3rd-dimension design, supported by dome ceilings ranging over the nave. Which, is what makes this cathedral one of the most significant landmarks of Innsbruck, and Austria.
The second important thing worth observing is the 15th-century masterpiece painting of Maria Hilf, by artist Lucas Cranach, above the main altar. They say this painting is symbolic of idolization of the Christian world. So, are the ponderous pillars with marble lesenes which, frame a succession of vastly laid triumphal arches that reach up to the painted wooden ceiling and span the interiors. As you can see in the pictures, the towering dome is embellishing the high altar, manifesting a special spacial unity, which was unique at the time of the construction of this cathedral.
The cathedral frescos add that extra glamour to the interiors, especially at the time when the sun rays touch its vibrant essence. Designed by Bavarian artist Cosmas Damian, these painted frescoes, turn into an optical illusion, every time the sun rays penetrates through the glass windows. Equally important, is the above picture of the painted-frescoes which showcases the four cycles of Saint James life. But from a personal perspective, we were astonished by the incredible geometric patterns, planted by architects Theodore Benedetti and Christoforo. Indeed, the finest in Austria and one of the finest in the whole world.
Despite being heavily-damaged by WWII and earthquakes, Innsbruck Cathedral was restored, to its original form in a matter of few years. Above all, this Cathedral is also home to Tyrol’s 2nd-largest historic bell which rings at 3 PM every Friday to note Jesus’s death. In totality, there are eight church bells, each dedicated to a Saint. However, in the late 19th-century, the peace carillon was installed near the North tower which contains 48 bells. In today’s times, this peace carillon designed by, the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry weighs 4100 Kg and happens to be Austria’s largest. To hear the bells, you must arrive at the cathedral at 12:10 PM.