BRIXEN (Italy)


Once you're down from the mountains, stop in this beautiful historic town in northern Italy, it's well worth a visit

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Brixen (Italian: Bressanone) is the third largest city in the Italian province of Bolzano (Alto Adige region). It is located roughly halfway between the Brenner Pass and Bolzano. Over 20,000 people live here and even though the city is in Italy, the majority of the population here speaks German. For us Czechs, Brixen is known primarily for the exile of K. H. Borovský (Czech writer and journalist) in the 19th century. Above Brixen is the summer tourist area and winter ski area of Plose with the highest peak at 2,504 m above sea level. The emblem of the city has been the White Lamb of God since the 13th century.

What to see in Brixen

Brixen is a historic city and definitely worth a visit. Czechs will probably also want to see the house where K. H. Borovský lived (outside the center). You can park in the center in paid parking lots or along the sidewalks, where it is good to have a paper clock, as the standing time is limited here.

House of K. H. Borovský

Address: Via Pentolai, 1, 39042 Brixen 

The house is not directly in the center, I recommend driving here, and then returning to the center. You can park right in front of the house. But I would like to point out that the house is not a museum, which is what we thought. It is owned by a private owner and cannot be entered. Even though the gate was wide open, I'm not sure if you can enter private property. Therefore, it is better to admire the house from behind the fence. There is a commemorative plaque on it, also in Czech. Otherwise, there is not much to see here.

And we go to the center, that's much more interesting. Paid parking in the center is for example on Via Roma, we didn't find a place there, so we stood in the side street Via Goethe (about 5 minutes on foot), in front of some houses, there is a limited parking time and you need to have a paper clock, there was no payment. We walked through Via San Cassiano, on which we unplannedly entered a gate in the walls and found ourselves in the Hofburggarten, and I will describe the other monuments in the center in the order in which we passed them. To tour the historic center, if you don't want to visit the museums, about an hour is enough, even with a stop for coffee and something good.

Hofburg Brixen

Address: Piazza Palazzo Vescovile 2, Brixen 

From the 13th century, the Hofburg served as a bishop's residence. At the same time, the Princely Court was here. In 1973, the episcopal seat moved to Bolzano, and today this beautiful building houses the Diocesan Museum with archives and the Bethlehem Museum. There is a richly decorated Court Church, the Chamber of Court Council and the imperial and bishop's residence. Thanks to its Renaissance courtyard, it is one of the most beautiful architectural monuments in South Tyrol. So we were only in the gardens, where there is no entrance fee, but according to the photos, the inside of the building would also be worth a visit, unfortunately we were there in the late afternoon. The museum is open October - May daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., June - September daily from 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Admission is 10 Euros.

Domplatz (Piazza Duomo)

The largest square in Brixen, where you can sit on the benches and have an ice cream, for example. In addition to the fountain and numerous cafes, you will find the Town Hall and the unmissable Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Brixen. The basilica was rebuilt several times, today you can admire the baroque style. You can take a look inside for free, it is really beautiful, richly decorated, there is also an organ above the entrance. When you stand in front of the cathedral, you see three doors. The entrance to the cathedral is the largest, in the middle. Through those on the right, you pass past the tombs through the cloister and the Frauenkirche to the courtyard to the chapel of St. John (Johanneskapelle), where you can admire the arcade with valuable Romanesque and Gothic wall paintings. When you return to the front of the cathedral and enter the door on the left, you will find yourself in the garden of the Vecchio Cimitera (old cemetery). There is a memorial to those who died in the world wars. It then continues to the basilica just to the left

Pfarrkirche St. Michael (Parrocchia San Michele)

Parish Church of St. Michael from the 15th century. There was a mass here, so we didn't go inside, but otherwise the church is also freely accessible. This one is built in the Gothic style (later decorated in the Baroque) and is the traditional church of the people of Brixen.

We walked past this church to Pfarrplatz (Piazza Parrochia), where there were a few stalls with various goodies and a very interesting Dom Cafe with a Renaissance facade with late Gothic elements from the 16th century. Then you pass through the Michael´s gate and see the parish church behind. Here you will be attracted by the White Clock Tower, 78 m high, today it is the headquarters of the regional museum. There is also a nice fountain. Then you walk down the ancient Adlerbrückengasse (Via Ponte Aquila), which houses an ancient pharmacy and the smaller Museum of Pharmacy to the river Eisack (Isarco). When you cross the bridge, in front of you, slightly to the right, you will come across the oldest part of the city, Stufels (Stufles), there are many picturesque houses with cafes, restaurants and shops, today this district is known as the artists' quarter.

We returned a short distance to the parish church and continued along the picturesque street Via Portici Maggiori with many different shops. Then we turn right to the ancient gate Porta Sabiona and you will come out on Hartmannsplatz (Piazza Artmanno). From here we were already returning to the car, but when you walk through the picturesque streets of the old town, you feel like you are in another century.

Furthermore, monuments that we didn't make it to, but you can visit the Austro-Hungarian Military Cemetery - an extensive cemetery of the victims of the 1st world war, where many Czech soldiers rest, Museum of Torture, Cafe Golden Rose - the oldest still operating cafe in the city in a historic building, Hotel Elephant (Albergo Elefante) - at Via Rio Bianco 4, a historic building known for its fresco of the emperor Maximilian II's elephant ., K. H. Borovský from the region of his exile was also accommodated in the hotel.

And if you still haven't had enough, 3 km north of the center of Brixen at Stiftstrasse 1, 39040 Vahrn, you will find the Augustiner Chorherrenstift Neustift (Abbazia di Novacella) - the Augustinian monastery of Neustift, which is one of the most important monasteries in South Tyrol. It also includes a baroque church, a historic monastery garden, a library with valuable manuscripts and a picture gallery. There is even a winery with wine tasting! The site is open daily except Sundays and national holidays, mostly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., admission to the museum is 12 Euros without a guide, 17 Euros with a guide.

Well, that's about all about Brixen.

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