Exploring the oldest
city in Tyrol
University and cathedral town and cultural centre: the oldest city in South Tyrol. Bressanone has many nicknames, many aspects, and a history that goes back to the mediaeval era. Its age may go unnoticed, and yet the winding streets of the old town, the Gothic monuments, the baroque churches, the Renaissance paintings and other attractions all imply the real cultural importance of Bressanone.
The town and its surrounding area not only attracts visitors interested in culture, but also nature lovers, shopping enthusiasts and keen sportsmen, who all find something to please them.
Our tips for visiting the city, and for interesting activities in and around Bressanone
- The Tiso Mineral Museum
- The Bressanone arcades
- Sabiona Monastery & the town of Chiusa
- The alpine town of Vipiteno & mediaeval city of Brunico
- Our provincial capital Bolzano
- Rodengo Castle
- The Hapsburg Fortress of Fortezza
Witches, villains & healers:
interesting guided tours in Bressanone
There are many guided tours of Bressanone, but we would like to recommend a historical-theatrical tour of the town. You can take an amazing journey back through time, with the use of wonderful costumes and fascinating stories and anecdotes. The programme includes some evocative themed itineraries, such as "Witches, Executioners and Villains", "Herbalists, Poisoners and Holy Men" "or "On the Trail of the Elephant "
Bressanone Cathedral and cloisters
Beautiful stained glass windows, and marvellous frescoes and paintings: the top destination in South Tyrol for all lovers of art history. Definitely not to be missed. In winter and during the festive period, the Piazza del Duomo becomes crowded with stalls and mulled wine stands, as the traditional Christmas market sets up shop.
Diocesan Museum and Christmas Crib Museum in the Bishop's Palace
This former residence of princes and bishops now contains a huge collection of exhibits. The original role of the Diocesan Museum was to conserve Romanesque and Gothic artworks deemed to be at risk. Nowadays, you can see religious artworks from the Romanesque period, Gothic sculptures, late-Gothic works by Paul Troger, decorative objects, and much more. Another top attraction in Bressanone is the adjacent Christmas crib museum: about 5000 figures are on show in this famous nativity scene that traces the whole life of Jesus.
The abbey was founded in 1142 and is still considered an important centre of education and art. The abbey complex is one of the largest and oldest in Tyrol. Particular highlights include the Castello dell'Angelo Chapel, the fountain with the 7 wonders of the world, the huge library, the picture gallery with wonderful paintings on wood, the altars, and of course the collegiate church in Baroque style. But in addition to visiting Novacella Abbey, you can also enjoy a wine-tasting in the cellars. The abbey is in the middle of the wine-growing area for some famous white wines: Sylvaner, Müller Thurgau and Kerner.
Roaring waterfalls cascade down the rocky marble gorge at Racines. Yes, you read that right: it's a marble gorge. In the past, marble was quarried in the Racines Valley, and this still continues today. The torrent in the Stanghe gorge has eroded the rock to a depth of 15 metres. It's a wonderfully evocative place to visit. By following a series of rope bridges, pathways and steps, you can explore all the wonders of the gorge and marvel at the power of nature.