Ambras Castle is a Renaissance castle and palace located in the hills above Innsbruck. Considered one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Tyrol, Ambras Castle was built in the 16th century on the spot of an earlier 10th-century castle, which became the seat of power for the Counts of Andechs.

The cultural and historical importance of the castle is closely connected with Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–1595) and served as his residence from 1563 to 1595. Ferdinand was one of history’s most prominent collectors of art. The princely sovereign of Tyrol, son of Emperor Ferdinand I, ordered that the mediaeval fortress at Ambras be turned into a Renaissance castle as a gift for his wife Philippine Welser. The cultured humanist from the House of Habsburg accommodated his world-famous collections in a museum built specifically for that purpose, making Castle Ambras Innsbruck the oldest museum in the world.

The Lower Castle contains armouries feature masterpieces of the European armourer’s art from the time of Emperor Maximilian I to Emperor Leopold I. As the only Renaissance Kunstkammer of its kind to have been preserved at its original location, the Kunst- und Wunderkammer (Chamber of Art and Curiosities) represents an unrivalled cultural monument.

Above the Lower Castle is the famous Spanish Hall (Spanische Saal), a notable example of German Renaissance architecture, which contains an intricate wood-inlay ceiling and walls adorned with 27 full-length portraits of the rulers of Tyrol. The Upper Castle contains an extensive portrait gallery featuring paintings of numerous members of the House of Habsburg.

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Founded: 1563
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

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User Reviews

Kinsya (14 months ago)
If you are looking for a beautiful place near innsbruck to take a walk and relax this is definitely the right place! You will spend hours going through many paths that all lead to amazing landscapes such as: waterfalls, caves, bridges and more! (I'm talking about the outside of the castle not the inside so don't get the wrong idea please) :)
Wendy Stebbing (14 months ago)
We spent about 90 minutes exploring this site. It was very interesting and the grounds would be beautiful in the summer. I would recommend it as part of the Innsbruck card package along with the sightseer bus.
Anupama Menon (15 months ago)
You can easily spend half a day here. There is a lot to learn from the exhibits in the castle. The area around the castle is scenic with huge trees and snowy mountains . There is also an area near the castle where you can find peacocks and peahens
Davis Zambotti (2 years ago)
At this time of the year the castle is so nice to visit. Not so many people are around and the landscape is amazing. You can walk around the park and enjoy the silence. On one side you really can imagine how life was at the time that the castle was still in use by Ferdinand the II.
Ian Baldacchino (2 years ago)
One of the castles where you can really spend a quality afternoon. Has many authentic historical items to view and also a lot of architecture to admire. Takes you back decades in the past to relieve the how aristocrats used to spend their days. Nice views of Innsbruck.
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