One of the busiest streets in the city of Innsbruck and certainly worth a visit is Maria Theresa Street (German: Maria-Theresien-Strasse). Named for Empress Maria Theresa, this bustling street is home to a number of shops and stretches from the Triumphal Arch to the Old Town (Altstadt). During the summer of 2009, a section of the street was renovated completely and designed to reflect a pedestrian street concept. The north end of the street is today fully-pedestrianized.
While this street is today one of the most well known in the city, it holds great historical significance. It is along this very street that the resistance fighter Andreas Hofer marched during the first battle of Innsbruck as the Bavarian-French forces were defeated just before reaching the Golden Roof. In 1945, resistance fighters once again marched along the street following the defeat of the final Nazi troops. Innsbruck was actually the only major city that was part of the Third Reich that was locally opposed and surrendered to the Allied forces without a fight.
More than 700 years ago, this street was comprised of only a few farmhouses. The Old Town remained enclosed by a circular wall that was well fortified and could only be entered through the St. Jörgen gateway. Before long, the aristocracy began to construct homes along this street in the New Town. Many such homes were remodeled during the Baroque period and become opulent palaces.
There are also many other impressive monuments that allude to the history of Innsbruck along this street, including St. Anne’s Column, the Triumphal Arch, and the Chapel of St. George. Combined with an array of outdoor restaurants, cafes, boutiques and shops, Maria-Theresien-Strasse is the ideal place to shop, stroll, sight see and soak up the history of Innsbruck.
Above Images Credit: Böhringer friedrich | This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.