Prince Bishops of Brixen commissioned the construction of their fortified castle (called Hofburg) in Brixen in the 13th century. The following centuries brought about numerous revisions to the structure. Around 1600 the splendid renaissance-style interior courtyard was created and decorated with bronze-overlaid terracotta statues by Hans Reichle, the celebrated sculptor from Augsburg. During that same period, the meeting rooms of the grand chancery were decorated with ample heraldic adornments.
Around 1706 Caspar Ignaz began the Baroque style renovation of the palace. It was then that the bishop’s chapel and the imperial wing with its majolica stoves were built; and the ceilings adorned with either paintings by Kaspar Waldmann and Antonio Gresta, or lavish plaster embellishments. Tapestries and the historic furnishings were added as well. In keeping with the fashions of the time, one room was converted into a Chinese cabinet.
Today Hofburg houses the diocesan collection of sacred artworks from the Romanesque period to the Modern age, the treasures of the cathedral of Brixen/Bressanone, works by 19th century Tyrolean artists, a collection of cribs and special exhibitions.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.