Things to see and do - Ischgl
A Trip through History on the Roads of Tyrol :
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A Trip through History on the Roads of Tyrol
A Trip through History on the Roads of TyrolBy car, 151 km, 1 day
In winter the little resorts in North Tyrol occupy one of the prettiest ski areas in the country, whether they cater to locals or to the jet set. In summer this mountainous region is peaceful and pleasantly cool. Long fought over by Austria and Italy, Tyrol has inherited a double culture and a diverse Baroque patrimony, offering another way to explore a region that often evokes picturesque clichés.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
From the mountain terrace restaurant, splendid views extend southwards over the sheer Stammerspitze, Muttler and Piz Mundin peaks, to the south-east over the Otztaler Alps, and northwards over the ski slopes across the Swiss border, at the foot of the Bürkelkopf. Even more far-ranging panoramas, can be enjoyed from the Visnitzbahn and Mullerbahn chair-lifts.
The Church of St Katherine is an example of the southern German Baroque style. The ceiling and dome were decorated with trompe-l'oeil paintings by the Italian Giuseppe Gru from 1784. The Rococo statues and beautifully-gilded pulpit are of high quality.
Though the Cistercian Abbey of Stams was founded in 1273, the present majestic set of buildings, with twin onion-shaped towers at the front, is profoundly Baroque in style. This would have greatly surprised the early monks who belonged to an order that banned pompous decoration. The abbey church, whose Romanesque nave has no transept, was remodelled in 1732 and six side chapels replaced the aisles. Visitors entering the church** will notice the Rose Grille*, a wrought-iron masterpiece from 1716. In the nave, a balustrade decorated with coats of arms dominates the tomb of the Tyrolean princes, who are depicted by twelve naive gilded wood statues in arcaded recesses. Note the high altar*, from 1613, which has the most exceptional furnishings thanks to an altarpiece representing the Tree of Life. Its numerous interlacing branches carry 84 carved figures of saints surrounding the Virgin Mary. On either side of the altar, Adam et Eve symbolize the beginnings of natural life, while, at the crown, Christ on the cross represents the first manifestation of surpernatural life. This is the work of Bartholomäus Steinle. In the monastery itself, visitors can access the St Bernard Hall via a grand oval staircase, with fine wrought-iron banisters. This ceremonial hall, which opens in the centre onto a balustraded gallery, is adorned with paintings (1722) recalling outstanding episodes in the saint's life. If you have time, it is worth seeing the museum displaying a selection of precious items.
The south door tympanum recalls the story of the miraculous host for which this church was begun in 1384. Inside, the typical late-Gothic network vaulting has salient ribs with adornments (beaks and creepers). In the chancel, the 15C wall paintings recount the legend of St Oswald and St Mary Magdalene. On the right, a painting from 1500 depicts the miracle of the host.