The Hofgarten in Innsbruck

Imperial flair and cool shady spots make the centrally-located Hofgarten an extremely popular peaceful retreat at the heart of the Tyrolean city of Innsbruck.

Innsbruck’s Imperial Gardens have existed since the early 15th century. Back then, however, only rulers and members of the court were allowed to visit the park. The story goes that even the monarch Maria Theresa once worked here as a gardener.

Duke Friedrich IV had acquired plots of land near the Innsbruck Imperial Palace as early as the beginning of the 15th century in order to lay out kitchen gardens and ornamental gardens for the court.

During the reign of Archduke Ferdinand II, a magnificent garden complex with a palace and other buildings was laid out, incorporating the old kitchen gardens and ornamental gardens. Following the example of Italian Renaissance gardens, individual garden areas were created with fountains, arcades, pleasure houses, a maze and a pheasant garden.

© Innsbruck Tourismus | Bernhard Aichner
The Imperial Gardens in Innsbruck
© Innsbruck Tourismus | Bernhard Aichner

The current gardens reflect the tastes of the mid-19th century, when the street which divides the Hofgarten from the Imperial Palace was constructed and the gardens were remodelled. The Palm House was built in 1964 and houses part of the Botanical Collection of the Austrian Federal Gardens.

Nowadays, the Hofgarten is open to everyone. Most people visit it to relax on a bench under shady trees. The oldest, the Maria Theresa spruce, is a remarkable 260 years old.

Visitors to the the court gardens should make a detour to the music pavilion. The renovation of the former “Imperial Summer House” was only completed last year and it now appears in renewed splendour. It is used for concerts and other smaller events.

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