The cities of South Tyrol
Bozen – the capital
The regional capital has some 100,000 inhabitants, the most famous being Ötzi, the man from the ice, who can be seen in the Museum of Archaeology. Bozen is famed for its picturesque arcades with their numerous small shops and bars. The city contains some 7 museums and 4 castles and palaces, as well as a large exhibition area that plays host to numerous trade fairs.
Meran – the spa town
Grapes and other fruits blossom early in the warm Meran valley bowl. Its warm winter climate saw the city develop as a health resort at the beginning of the 19th century. Meran became famous in 1870, when the Austrian Empress Sissi spent two winters staying up at Trauttmansdorff Castle. Many buildings and promenades are preserved from the city’s heyday, and Meran still retains its charm today.
Brixen – the city of the bishops
The thousand-year old city of Brixen, with some 20,000 inhabitants, was until 1972 the bishop’s seat and contains many cultural highlights. Surrounded by the modern, the old town with its arcades, cathedral square and Hofburg castle has a mystical atmosphere. Brixen is a university town, the seat of the philosophical-theological college at the seminary for priests, founded in 1607, as well as (since 2001) the Faculty for Educational Sciences of the Free University of Bozen. Brixen has numerous other educational institutions and, with its modern structures, has emerged as a major cultural and congress centre.
Klausen – the artists’ town
Klausen, with some 4,600 inhabitants, lies in the heart of the Eisack Valley at the foot of the mountain on which perches the Säben Monastery, a former bishop’s seat and one of the oldest places of pilgrimage in Tyrol. Several artists, among others Albrecht Dürer, stopped here on their journey over the Brenner Pass and further on south. Klausen has been recognised as having one of the 200 most beautiful old towns in Italy.