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Innsbrucks City Tower

Innsbruck, Austria

Rising up 51 metres, Innsbruck’s City Tower was built between 1442 and 1450 as an extension of the former City Hall and to this day it ranks amongst the town’s most important historical landmarks, together with the Golden Roof and St. Anne’s Column. The construction of the City Tower expressed the growing self-confidence of the medieval bourgeouisie, giving a clear signal to everyone of its preparedness to defend its rights and interests. The presence of tower guards was first mentioned in 1529, when the city council decided to appoint regular ‘day guards‘ whose duty it was to announce the hours of the clock and alert the population of fires and other hazards. Innsbruck’s last tower guard stepped down from her lofty workplace in 1967. 
Its central location on the main sqaure of the city’s historic Old Town has made the Innsbruck City Tower an eye-witness to numerous significant events. It has seen traditional markets, ambitious games and prestigious events, but also gruesome scenes and public executions. For many centuries, Innsbruck’s historic City Hall was home to the town’s city council and the focal point of the citizen’s political activities. As a consequence, the City Tower turned into the symbolic centre of the medieval town, representing a certain counterweight to the nearby Imperial Palace, seat of the country’s aristocratic sovereigns.

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