Innsbruck's old town

Posted in Historical centres

Innsbruck's old town - dolomite rock used as a component of the Höttinger breccia


ACCESSIBILITY: freely accessible
GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES: 47.268505, 11.393336
PROVINCE: North Tyrol

DIRECTIONS: To reach Innsbruck's old part, it is advisable to avoid using the car and arrive either by bus or by train. The old town is just two kilometres away from the central station which makes it for a pleasant walk on foot.


The Triumphal Arch is located at the southern end of present-day's Maria-Theresien-Straße and represents, historically speaking, the south entrance to the city.The Triumphal Arch is located at the southern end of present-day's Maria-Theresien-Straße and represents, historically speaking, the south entrance to the city.

A stroll through Innsbruck's old town immediately brings to attention the reddish elements on the facades, bases and ornaments of the Innsbruck Cathedral which defines the cityscape. The same is true for the Triumphal Arch and many other residential and business buildings. This rock's characteristic reddish colouring would not seem to suggest at first glance that, in a broader sense, the ashlar is also dolomite. In this case, the dolomite rock is simply part of a natural stone called "Höttinger breccia." This type of rock is comes from the debris deposits from the interglacial period, located on the southern slope of the Nordkette (the north mountain chain) and is composed of sandstone, limestone and dolomite. The individual components have edges and corners and are enveloped in rock flour (grated carbonate rock and red sandstone) whose colouring could range from grey-yellowish to reddish. The fine rock flour binds the different components and renders the stone sturdy. Due to its excellent workability, its beauty and its relatively high resistance to adverse weather conditions, the "Höttinger Breccia" grew to be Innsbruck's predominant ashlar.

The old town of Hall in Tirol

Posted in Historical centres

The old town of Hall in Tirol - The Höttinger breccia conquers Tyrol


ACCESSIBILITY: freely accessible
ADDRESS: Upper Town Square
GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES: 47.281692, 11.507533
PROVINCE: North Tyrol

DIRECTIONS: To get to the historic center of Hall, take the A12 Inntal motorway until you reach the Hall Mitte exit. There are parking facilities near the old town - Haller Parkgarage (P1) and Garage Untere Stadt (P2).


A door frame in Höttinger BrecciaA door frame in Höttinger Breccia

One of the most beautiful cities in Tyrol - Hall in Tirol - lies ten kilometres from Innsbruck down the river Inn. The tasteful buildings dispersed throughout the medieval old town bear witness to the city's prosperity in the past. Upon closer inspection of the historic city centre, one is bound to encounter an old friend from Innsbruck, namely the "Höttinger Breccia". As in Innsbruck, it is the predominant material in Hall as well. It was the material of choice for window jambs, porch frames and other architectural elements. The properties of the "Höttinger breccia", including, but not limited to its high workability and resistance to climatic factors, were appreciated in Hall, too. For this reason, the "Höttinger breccia" has been transported down the river since the twelfth century. It was only with the arrival of the nineteenth century that it became increasingly redundant with the introduction of modern construction materials. The resistance of the "Höttinger breccia" is highlighted by the fact that the occurring weathering damage is due mainly to superficial impurities and their consequent discolouration.



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