The Austrian town of Hall in Tirol is everything you'd expect from a former medieval economic center. Narrow cobbled streets, a castle, beautiful old churches next to the marketplaces and an impressive defense tower make up Tyrol's largest historic town. The well-preserved town centre, medieval Hasegg Castle (Burg Hasegg) and the mint where the world's first thaler (of whichdollaris the anglicized form) was pressed to make the Hall in Tirol a worthy candidate to become a World Heritage Site.
Hall in Tirol's long history
The earliest reference to Hall in Tirol (locals never add the "in Tirol" part) dates back to 1232. Its rich salt mines made it an important economic center and also where it got its name. At the time, the German word for salt mine or salt source was "hal".
See more information:Why not consider oneDay trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt, Austria's other famous salt mining town?
Hall's riches increased after the regional mint moved here in 1477. The Guldengroschen, the world's first high-quality silver coin, was minted in 1486 from silver mined in nearby Schwaz. The gold coin, as it became known, was copied by other states and soon came to be called a thaler. This remained Europe's main currency until the 19th century.ºcentury. Later currencies such as the dollar, tolar, tallero and daalder were all modeled after the thaler.
You can still see the only surviving fully functional coin stamping machine inThe Coin Museum. The museum contains an impressive collection of coins as well as the largest silver medal in the world, which weighs over 20 kilos.
The coin tower was strategically important for the city's defense in the Middle Ages due to its location near the Inn River. If you have the energy to climb the 186 steps to the top, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of Hall in Tirol and the Inn Valley. The tower and the museum are part of the Hasegg Castle complex, which can be dated back to the 16th century.
The well-preserved old town
The cobbled streets and squares of the old town of Hall in Tirol almost make you forget about the busy modern traffic outside its borders. The buildings represent different time periods, from Roman and Gothic to Baroque. Even parts of the medieval defensive wall are visible along the northern border.
Many activities in Hall in Tirol revolve around the town's upper square, which is dominated by the parish church of St Nicholas. You can also admire the 600-year-old town hall, where couples are still married today.
The monastery square (Stiftsplatz) lies east of the upper town square and is flanked by the Sacred Heart Monastery on one side. You can sometimes see and hear nuns praying and singing inside. (Now you know where to go if you've never seen a real nun. We once had a guest who got really happy to see one of these ladies in her penguin outfits 😀 )
The lower town square is not as distinguished as the upper one. It is located in a highly trafficked area between the grounds of Hasegg Castle and the city centre. Still, it's still attractive. There is a large fountain with benches at one end, where both locals and tourists soak up the sun and eat ice cream in the spring and summer. This is also where you often find M and I after your drum lessons.
Tip:To sleep and eat in a traditional old town,Golden Engl Hoteland its restaurant, Augustiner Bräu (yes, the same one in Munich), is near the lower town square.
Highlights from events and festivals
One of the reasons we love the Hall so much is because of the many festivals and children's markets that are held in the square and streets. The upper town square is transformed into a farmer's market every Saturday morning. Everything from farm-fresh vegetables, honey and eggs to home-made cheeses, bread, bacon and jam is for sale.
On the last Saturday in April, the town is awash with radishes for the annual Radish Festival. Local brass bands provide entertainment and children perform traditional dances. Festival-goers wash down plates of Tiroler Gröstl (a dish of potatoes and meat) with liters of beer. Occasionally carts filled with bunches of radishes are sold for €1 each.
The festivities are not as intense during Easter, but the Easter market on Stiftsplatz is always worth a visit. The Easter Egg Art Exhibition, held in the magnificent Baroque Town Hall, is not to be missed.Christmas marketit is much smaller than Innsbruck, but therein lies its charm. This is where we have a "quiet" glühwein around a campfire when all the bigger markets are overrun with tourists.
watchsummer activity calendarfrom the Hall-Watten Tourist Association for details of guided tours and other activities in the area. The best part is that most of it is free if you live in the area. So why not check some outSteder at bo i Hall in Tirol?
where you can eat and drink
coffee station- For the best cappuccino, tea, cakes and friendly service, Café Post is at the top of my list. It is close to the lower town square on Haller Straße. Find the stationery shop Libro on the corner and continue past the bus stop before you see Café Post on the left.
Bäcker Ruetz- I also usually wait for Mattheus atBäcker Ruetzon the main town square. They have a wide selection of baked goods and their hot drinks aren't bad either. Remember that it is a self-service bakery. The big attraction is the free WiFi which allows me to work while I wait.
Iceworld Kasenbacher– You must have wondered where you can buy ice cream to eat next to the fountain in the lower square.Iceworld Kasenbacherit's right there. They make ice cream according to a secret family recipe since 1923. They are closed in winter.
Geisterburg- For family lunches or dinners I recommendGeisterburgon the northern boundary of Hall. The atmosphere in the century-old building is fantastic and the menu is varied – from a wide range of pizzas to burgers and traditional dishes. It is also one of the few restaurants in Tyrol with a playroom for children.
How to get to Hallen i Tyrol
I suggest you pick up a map and some leaflets from the tourist information center (marked) and start your visit to Hall in Tirol here. I have also marked the train station to help you find your way from there.
with car– Hall is easily accessible from the A12 motorway, taking the Hall Mitte exit. It is possible to park on the street (behind the blue lines) for periods of no more than 90 minutes. Every 30 minutes costs €0.50. If you cannot find street parking or plan to spend more time in the hall, there is a parking lot near the lower town square (first hour free) and another one further along near the northern border of the old town.
With bus– Bus lines 504 and 4123 run between Innsbruck Central Station and the Lower Town Square (Unterer Stadtplatz) in Hall. The journey takes around 22 minutes and the regular ticket costs €3.60 per adult.
By train– Several regional trains running from Innsbruck in the direction of Jenbach, Wörgl and Kufstein stop at Hall. From the train station, it is only a 10-minute walk to the center of the old town. Regular tickets also start at €3.60.
By bicycle- Due to its location near the Inn River, Hall is also easily accessible via the Inn Valley Bike Path. You can leave your bikes in the bike rack behind the Tourist Information Centre.
- Visitwww.ivb.atfor up-to-date bus and train schedules. Use Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof and Hall in Tirol Unterer Stadtplatz or Hall in Tirol Bahnhof as references.
- The Tourist Information Center is a good place to start your discovery of Hall in Tirol. Not only do they have lots of information leaflets, but they can fill your water bottles at the water dispenser. This is what they have to say about the water:
It takes ten years for precious water to travel from the surface of the alpine peaks of the Karwendel Nature Reserve through compact rocks to reach the water reservoir at Hall, some 850 meters underground. The result is high quality drinking water.
- There are public toilets at the corner of the old city park, behind the Rathaus (Old Town Hall). Bäcker Ruetz also has clean toilets on the ground floor.
- The Mint Museum and the Tower are included in the Innsbruck Card.
- Suitcases or heavy rucksacks can be stored in lockers behind the tourist information centre. There is also a bike rack and a pump.
- Street parking is free from 12.00 to 14.00 (lunch time is important in Tyrol!) and from 18.00 to 9.00. Saturdays from 12.00, Sundays and public holidays are also free.
See more information: MinTop 5 ting at se i Innsbruck Old Town
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What is Tirol famous to? ›
What is Tyrol famous for? The Austrian Tyrol is famous for a number of things, including Iceman Ötzi and Swarovski crystals. It is here in the Ötztal Alps on the border of Italy and Tyrol, where the glacier mummy who lived more than 5,000 years ago was found in 1991.What is the history of Tyrol? ›
From 1814 to 1919 Tyrol was part of the Habsburg Empire. Tyrol was separated into a northern and southern part in 1919, after WWI. North and East Tyrol was assigned to the Republic of Austria, which was invaded by the Wehrmacht in 1938. South Tyrol became part of Italy and is still today.Is Tyrol in Austria or Germany? ›
Tirol, also spelled Tyrol, Bundesland (federal state), western Austria, consisting of North Tirol (Nordtirol) and East Tirol (Osttirol). It is bounded by Germany on the north, by Bundesländer Salzburg and Kärnten (Carinthia) on the east, by Vorarlberg on the west, and by Italy on the south.Why visit Tirol? ›
Tirol attracts many visitors seeking to experience the best of two worlds: the urban sophistication of Innsbruck, its capital city, and the spectacular Alpine landscape surrounding it.