Bressanone/Brixen has always been of great importance as a bishop’ seat. Even today, this is noticeable in almost every corner of the city, which is characterised by many sacred structures. However, Bressanone also impresses with its landmarks, especially the elephant Soliman.
The power of the bishops is demonstratively evident in the centre of Bressanone at the Domplatz square. Here you can visit the Cathedral of Bressanone and its magnificent interior rooms with 33 different sorts of the finest marble, a late Gothic Madonna and an organ with 3,335 pipes. You can also discover the adjacent Cloister: look up to view the magnificent Gothic frescoes.
A few steps from the cathedral, discover the perfectly preserved Bishop's Palace, the Hofburg. From the middle of the 18th century until 1973, the prince-bishops and later the bishops of the Diocese of Bressanone resided here. Today, the building houses the Diözesanmuseum with its 70 halls, depicting the history of the city from the Middle Ages to the present day. Linger for a moment in front of the large nativity scene, which can be seen on the ground floor all year round. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in the courtyard garden.
Immerse yourself in the past on a walk through the typical streets of the Old Town in the District of Stufels. This oldest part of the city with its historical buildings and landmarks provides a vivid picture of what it used to be like to live in Bressanone. Incidentally, an elephant plays a not insignificant role in the history of the city: Soliman, who spent two weeks in the city on his journey from India to Vienna in 1552. The Bressanone innkeeper Andrä Posch housed the animal in the stables of his inn, which he then renamed “Elephant." The historic hotel is not to be missed: its façade features a large fresco of the elephant Soliman. Just outside the walls of the episcopal city, it is worth visiting the Pharmacy Museum, which tells the twists and turns in the history of pharmacy over the centuries.
Leaving the centre of Bressanone, you can admire the peaks of the Plose, the local mountain of Bressanone. A few kilometres further north, the Neustift monastery invites you to learn more about the power of the spiritual and religious in the Middle Ages. It was founded in 1142 by Bishop Hartmann and has since been inhabited by the Augustinian Canons. In the monastery's winegrowing estate, wine has been produced for almost nine centuries - taste a glass of it in the Stiftskellerei.
Don’t leave Bressanone without seeing: