The starting point of this tour is Hotel Stadt Kufstein – your home away from home. The Realgymnasium (a federal math and science-oriented secondary school) is located one street over to the south on Schillerstraße 2. This school was founded in 1907. The magnificent building from the turn of the century was built in a “Munich Heimatstil” or Domestic Revival style. The building and auditorium are protected as historical monuments.
The town villa, “Villa Maria”, which was renovated right down to the last detail, is located on the other side of the street on Josef-Egger-Straße 4. Following the street to the east, you will see the “Kufstein villa quarter”, which continues along the Pienzenauer-Straße and ends in the park area with a small Kneipp facility. We will pass this again at a later time, but for the time being, we will remain on the route that continues from the secondary school.
Located not far away is the building of the Bezirkshauptmannschaft Kufstein (district commission) on Bozner-Platz 1. Viennese architect Philipp von Mitzka was the building planner. Based on the style of a Baroque manor, this building was erected in only 1 year and was opened in 1914. Portals and oriels are distinguishing characteristics of the building. A sewing museum is dedicated to Josef Madersperger, master tailor and inventor of the sewing machine, at his birthplace on Kinkstraße 16. The museum is open to visitors. On the opposite side of the street, the view reaches to the Volksschule Kufstein Stadt, the elementary school. It was built according to plans by architect Willy Graf and completed in 1912. The building structure with its distinct facade gives it a wonderful overall impression. On the north side of the property on Josef-Egger-Straße 2 is an impressive entrance portal that can be reached by a staircase.
Located on the other side of the street on Josef -Egger-Straße 3 is the “Egger-Villa”, which is preserved as a historical monument. It was previously the residence of the mayor of that time. Our tour now leads to the west right to the city center at Oberer Stadtplatz 15. The yellow building that was formerly the elementary school, later the administrative building of the local municipal works, and today the office building of tax advisors and auditors in the healthcare sector is striking. Archways and decorative embellishments reaching below the roof add a special significance to this building.
On the way into the city center, you will pass by the monument for Anton Kink (1820–1868), founder of the Austrian cement industry and mayor of Kufstein. Kramsach sculptor Peter Schneider is responsible for today’s design of the monument. In 1963, it was erected in place of the older monument in the same spot.
Next is the ascent via the Augustinian bastion to the parish church of St. Vitus and Church of the Holy Trinity. By military intervention, the once Gothic spire was replaced by the Baroque onion dome, because it hindered the field of fire of the artillery. We highly recommend taking a look inside this Gothic building, which was completed in 1420, converted to a Baroque style in 1660/1661, and presented as a 3-aisled hall church with chancel. We also recommend a visit to the Church of the Holy Trinity situated on the Pfarrplatz with crypt, richly adorned with relief frescoes on the outer wall, which connects the rectory to the sacristan’s house. The Roman Catholic church belongs to the Kufstein church district in archdiocese of Salzburg. Walking around the church, you will come to the “Paramentenstöckl” including an eagle’s-eye view of the Oberer Stadtplatz.
Here, you will find another access point to the city hall and a memorial stone that commemorates the establishment of a sister-city partnership between Frauenfeld and Kufstein on June 4, 1988. The city hall is located on Oberer Stadtplatz 17. It is the most important public building. Its history extends back to much earlier times. It was first mentioned in historical documents in 1502. Used as a self-governing house of the citizens and school building and having often undergone renovations, this building never strayed away from its initial purpose. Originally with an M-roof and trough gutter and thus reflecting the architecture of the downtown area, the building including the “Bildsteinhaus”, which is steeped in history, showed off its new look after renovations in 2011 according to plans by architects Köberl / Giner / Wucherer. It is now adapted to the needs of today’s times and encompasses the concept of the pedestrian zone of the Unterer Stadtplatz. The former Hotel Egger with its built-on hall of mirrors and façade that is historically preserved is a magnificent building situated on the Oberer Stadtplatz. Along with the city hall and the dominating bank building, it has become one of the most prestigious and impressive buildings. Originally a brewery and village home with guesthouse, a neoclassical building with tented roof and rustication on the ground-level floor emerged during the 2nd half of the 19th century. The outdoor stairway in the front was equipped with a spacious terrace including an artistically designed stone balustrade. The hotel’s new construction was completed in 1909. With its 75 rooms and modern amenities, the hotel was an essential aspect of the hotel business in Kufstein. All significant events and the signing of important documents took place in the Empire-style, 150-seat hall, whose walls were embellished with marble and pear wood. As a theater hall and later a cinema, the building was frequented by the residents of Kufstein as well as visitors and guests of the city. Today, it serves as a residential building and business premises with small shops and restaurants, and the “hall of mirrors” with glass ceiling is definitely worthy of a visit.
From the Oberer Stadtplatz, now a contemporary shared space, the tour leads along the city hall to the pedestrian zone of the Unterer Stadplatz. Here, you can see the west side of the city hall with its stepped gable, which was built in 1923 during renovations and remains untouched as striking feature. Here, you can’t miss the uphill path to the Kufstein Fortress with access to the “Heldenorgel” (Heroes‘ Organ) that plays daily at midday and the monument for Kufstein dean Matthäus Hörfarter. This man was a pioneer who tirelessly advocated for the town and its citizens. His most important initiatives include: he was the founder of the Kufstein branch of the Alpine Association; in 1876, he had the “Bad Kienbergklamm” constructed; he established Kufstein’s reputation as a health resort. He also boasted accomplishments regarding kindergarten education, clubs and associations, and the school system. In 1870, he founded the first kindergarten in Tyrol as well as the first kindergarten teacher training course. His years of effort finally lead to the establishment of a secondary school and elementary school building. He especially focused his endeavors on cultural life and community associations – music schools, singing clubs, and orchestra and theater associations. As chairman of the city beautification society – later an association for local history and its preservation that served as the beginnings of a tourist association, he laid the foundation for many activities in and around Kufstein. Along with the layout for the city square outside the city hall including the stairs leading to the church based on plans by Munich architect Otto Lasne, the city fathers at the time had the Hörfarter monument built in recognition of his achievements and unveiled in 1899 (it was re-erected after World War II in the 1950s).
Hörfarter’s monument was built according to a design by Kufstein-native Norbert Pfretzschner as a naturalistic bronze bust in a neoclassical style. The monument includes a wall fountain, gable motif on the rear wall, double pillars, as well as a monumental arch with a cartouche with coat of arms.
Lined up along the Unterer Stadtplatz are traditional attached townhouses, typical of the 14th and 15th century, with numerous oriels. The “Marienbrunnen” fountain from the 19th century is a charming and popular photo opportunity. A golden statue of the Madonna adorns the octagonal, cast-iron fountain. The statue of the Virgin Mary with child are protected by a four-column, spire-like, pinnacle-baldachin with a cusped gable that is richly adorned with crockets chiseled out of stone. You can reach the Kufstein Altstadt (historic district) via the Römerhofgasse, which was previously called the Rennhofgasse and Bindergasse. The houses decorated with crenellations give the impression of being in the Middle Ages. However, they originate from a later time. During that time, the Römerhofgasse was also home to a bathhouse with a practicing physician. Take a walk through the street consisting of two rows of houses with both gates and the remains of the city walls in the north and south from the former city fortifications from the late 15th century. Today, the Römerhofgasse is a popular destination for individual guests and guided groups. The Auracher Löchl and Batzenhäusl Schicketanz (the latter is currently not staffed) are the most prominent restaurants, and there are numerous shopping opportunities in a traditional and tourist style.
After crossing the bridge on the Inn, you will come to a statue of John of Nepomuk built in 2004. As a patron of rafters, millers, sailors, confessors, and bridges and as a martyr for the sanctity of the ritual of confession, he was chosen to protect the Kufstein “Innbrücke” bridge. Even before you reach the Kufstein train station (turning onto Jägergasse 2), you will come to a special kind of gem, the “Praxmarer-Villa” by the train station. This representative villa was built in 1896 according to strict models of historicism. Oriels and protruding structures as well as a mansard roof crowned with wrought-iron ornamental grilles characterize this building. Balustrades and balconies/loggias with fluted columns are tastefully affixed. On the way back over the Inn bridge, you will come to the Inn promenade, created in 1974, on the right. Our destination is the “Wasserbastei” made of rectangular stones consisting of tuff. This historic part of the wall has remained standing after the town moat was filled in and the city wall removed. Nothing stands in the way of the coalescence of historic old town and the suburbs.
Our walk now leads back to the Oberer Stadtplatz either crossing the Eppenstein passageway and uphill via the Unterer Stadtplatz or via the Marktgasse. The destination is 4-story bank building with tower and stepped gable that dominates the city square. It is an ornate structure with corner oriels and a specially designed balcony. The main entrance made of marble is adorned with high reliefs that depict representations of merchant barges and cement transportation. The building underwent basic interior renovations but has housed the Sparkasse Kufstein for over 100 years. We will then head north to the Franz-Josef-Platz. A visit to the Inntal-Center and Kufstein Galerien shopping centers isn’t on our agenda just yet. Instead we are focusing our sights on the landscaped area in the middle of the roundabout.
We will take a closer look at the “David and Goliath” statue. It was created by priest, sculptor, and painter Josef Mühlbacher in 1922. David, a larger-than-life bronze statue, directs his gaze at Goliath’s decapitated head. These sculptures face the city park, which was opened in June 2020 along with the competition of the 3rd phase of construction of the Kufstein University of Applied Sciences. We will linger here before we stroll past the University of Applied Sciences building, which also houses an international school. On the right is the state music school building with Kufstein’s city archives on the Krankenhausgasse.
Your smartphone will now lead you to where the Krankenhausgasse and Andreas-Hofer-Straße streets cross. The key word here is “Andreas Hofer”. Right at this intersection, look straight ahead, and you will see the “Tyrol’s national heroes” monument, which towers over the city’s cemetery. Based on the design of Theodor Khuen in 1913, a cast was made in 1917 in the Selzer art foundry in Vienna. Originally intended as a monument for Vienna, it was gifted to the city of Kufstein and was unveiled on the Calvary hill on July 11, 1926. This statue of Andreas Hofer is a historically protected monument. We then follow the Andreas-Hofer-Straße in a northern direction. At house address no. 6, we see the historically-protected Johanneskirche church including the parsonage of the Protestant church. Via the Prof. Sinwel-Weg, which is named after the Kufstein teacher, author, and local historian, we will head to the Hochwand trail, which leads along the edge of the forest in a northern direction, to reach the “List monument”. In 1906, 60 years after the death of the economist, economic theorist, entrepreneur, diplomat, and railway pioneer Friedrich List, who deeply disappointed by life took his own life in Kufstein with his 7-inch pistol, the monument was erected in a semicircular colonnade made of white limestone. Within this colonnade, the portrait sculpture is seated on white marble. On the front of the pedestal is the inscription “FRIEDRICH LIST 1789 1846”, and on the back is a poem by Martin Greif. The statue was created by sculptor Norbert Pfretzschner, who signed the back side with his initials “NP”. The famous Valentino Casal is responsible for the other parts of the architecture.
Via the List-Straße and Hörfarter-Straße streets and passing the Calvary hill with a small memorial chapel, you will reach the Kienberg-Straße with a stream and the Kienberg or Kienbichl parts of town. The romantic street leads slightly uphill through the Kastanienallee past the municipal kindergarten and forest playground to the monument dedicated to Josef Madersperger, the master tailor and inventor of the sewing machine, who we have already learned about in the small museum on the Kinkstraße. The monument, which was unveiled on June 7, 1903, is a bronze portrait bust ornamented with oak leaves on a pedestal with an epigraph and was created by Austrian sculptor Theodor Khuen. It commemorates the inventor of the sewing machine Josef Madersperger. In 1992, the monument was moved from its original location and relocated close to where it can be found today.
Gasthof Kienbergklamm is only a few meters away as is Gasthaus Felsenkeller. The Spindler monument, the last attraction on our route, is also in sight. It is charmingly located in a small park with nature and quiet all around. Part of Kufstein’s villa quarter can be reachd on the Schützen-Straße. The Kufstein shooting association erected this monument in honor of Colonel Johann Josef Freiherr Spindler, “hero of Kalafat”, who was born in Kufstein and victoriously stormed the trenches against a group of Turks in the Romanian city in 1790. The memorial was unveiled on September 25, 1904 in the presence of Archduke Eugen of Austria of the Habsburg dynasty. The entire work was created by Kufstein locals – stonemason Härting and metalsmith Kruckenhauser. The obelisk with artistic ornamentation rises up on a high pedestal and is crowned with a bronze griffin with outstretched wings.
The sight of Hotel Stadt Kufstein now eagerly signals the return journey of our city tour.
We will now head to the motor skills park with a Kneipp facility. This park is known as the “lungs of the city” and merges into the local mountain. It is a place to rest and recharge your batteries. Along the Pienzenauer-Straße, you will come to the Engelhart-Straße on the left, at the end of which is a truly grand mansion called the “Oberst Villa”. Today, it is privately owned but definitely worth seeing. It was designed by Stuttgart architect Willy Graf and built in 1912. What is striking is the curved gabled roof. The two oriels highlight the villa’s symmetry. Ornamentation adorns the façade. It is a gem in the former cottage quarter, which developed into the villa quarter on the Kienberg at the turn of the century. The path now leads us to August-Scherl-Straße 1 past the institution of higher education and business vocational college to the Maximilian-Straße. Tall sycamore trees line the wonderful avenue all the way to the Pienzenauer-Straße. After turning left, you will come to the Josef-Egger-Straße with the “Villa Maria”.
Not far from the turn-off to the Arkadenplatz, where your “home away from home” is, a grand building rises up on the street corner on the right side: the Kufstein district court. It is a formidable yet elegant building. It was built in 1910 in a Munich Domestic Revival style and features a corner tower with a pointed-arch portal. An onion dome sits atop this part of the building. This is also representative of the interior of the building.
Now, nothing stands in the way of your return journey to Hotel Stadt Kufstein. You have certainly earned everything you can indulge in at the hotel: a restful sleep, a visit to our wellness oasis, culinary enjoyment in our Cafè . Bar . Bistro elephant and much more. Whatever your plans are, we wish you a pleasant stay and wonderful time!
PS: You can visit the Kufstein Fortress, the landmark of our city, with the Heroes‘ Organ and many museums for free with your KufsteinerlandCard. The opening times and more information are available at Kufstein Fortress.