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Brixen is one of Tyrol’s oldest towns and the former residence of bishops. Originally the diocese, later known by the name Brixen, had established itself on the Säbner Klosterberg. Emperor Ludwig made a present of the court 'Prishsna' in the Eisack valley to Bishop Zacharias of Säben in 901. Consequently, the bishops moved from Säben into the valley. Building construction took off in a lively fashion and a district and settlement round the cathedral was set up and enclosed within town walls. Brixen’s ecclesiastical past has set the tone for the townscape. The extensive cathedral district still musters unique artistic and cultural treasures. As the seat and spiritual centre of prince-bishops, Brixen was also a place of learning. The theological-philosophical university was built here as the oldest university of historical Tyrol.


Today, the town has branches of the University of Padua and the Free University of Bozen. Numerous further educational establishments, the congress centre Forum Brixen, the culture center Astra, the city’s library on the Piazza Duomo and the music school strengthen the town in its role as a place of culture, art and learning. However, Brixen has also been shaped by worldly things. Traffic und trade, due to its unique location connecting between north and south, contribute to the town’s economic upturn and also shaped its image. Today, with its population of 22,000, Brixen is the third largest city in South Tyrol. About three quarters are German mother tongue and one quarter Italian mother tongue speakers. In the main, the town lives from the service and tourism sectors, followed by industry, trade and agriculture.

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Schauen, lesen, staunen! Die Fresken im Kreuzgang von Brixen schildern bekannte und weniger bekannte Erzählungen aus der Bibel. Gemalt wurden sie im späten 14., im 15. und im frühen 16. Jahrhundert meist im Auftrag von Bischöfen und Domherrn, die sich nicht selten auch selbst darstellen ließen. Einer der wenigen namentlich bekannten Maler, Leonhard von Brixen, prägte mit seiner Erzählfreude den Bilderschmuck wesentlich mit: gekrönte Herrscherfiguren, elegante Frauen, Ritter mit glänzenden Rüstungen, exotische Tiere – und mittendrin immer wieder Christus, als Kind und als Erwachsener. Der Kreuzgang verbindet den Dom, die Johanneskapelle und die Frauenkirche miteinander. In dem Eck ohne Malereien mit direktem Zugang zu einem der Brixner Stadttore durften einst Händler ihre Waren feilbieten.



The baroque cathedral, consecrated in 1758, dominates the town with its dual-towered façade. There is evidence of the cathedral existing in Brixen as far back as 997. The Romanic cathedral was repeatedly renovated after two outbreaks of fire in the 12th and 13th century.  The new baroque-style building steals the attention of visitors thanks to its monumental ceiling frescos by Paul Troger, the elaborately-designed high alter featuring a painting by Michelangelo Unterberger, and an extensive use of marble.


The gothic bell tower of the parish church of S. Michael is 72 metres high.  200 steps lead to the top of the tower from which, just like in the past, you can now enjoy a panoramic view of the whole town.  The White Tower was erected in the early 14th century as a symbol of the bourgeoisie and its height was increased – to include the guard’s room behind the white bay windows – in 1459. Incidentally, the tower is named after its whitewashed roof. Today, its carillon plays every day at 11 o’clock in the morning.



The Hofburg, formerly the residence of the Bishop Princes of Brixen, was built around 1250 on what used to be the outermost boundary of the town.  The inner courtyard, with its terracotta statues by Hans Reichle, is a rare example of Renaissance architecture in Tyrol. In the early 18th century, Caspar Ignaz von Künigl provided the chapel and the rooms of the imperial wings with frescos on the ceilings, stucco work and expensive majolica stoves. The Bishop’s Palace - now a museum – exhibits sacred Tyrolean art and an important collection of cribs.


Stufles is the oldest quarter of Brixen, located where the Eisack and Rienz rivers meet. The first settlements date back to the Neolithic period, as corroborated by many prehistoric findings. The neighbourhood is now a peaceful residential area whose buildings are almost all listed as historic monuments. Stufles is also an actual meeting place for artists and art lovers: a great assortment of studios beckons you to explore its narrow lanes on foot. Especially the many studios along the Unteren Schutzengelgasse road – featuring painting and the art of sound, as well as modern co-working spaces for multimedia art - host many creative minds. Get inspired by the various studios, watch a theatrical performance by the “Gruppe Dekadenz” company or explore the historical lanes of Stufles at your ease!

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