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We start our walking tour at St Florian’s fountain in the main square of Lienz. The Liebburg with its 2 striking towers with onion domes was erected as a residential castle by the Barons of Wolkenstein-Rodenegg in the 17th century. After two fires and a variety of uses, it was completely revamped and has been the Lienz town hall since 1988. The eastern end of the main square is fittingly marked by St Antony’s church, dating back to the 17th century. For a time this was the meeting place of the Greek-Orthodox congregation in Lienz. In 1976 the exterior of the little church was renovated by Lienz citizens. Turning left into the Kärntnerstraße we head north-west to the Hospital Church (Spitalskirche). This was constructed in the 13th century and later transformed into the most significant Baroque edifice in Lienz. Various events are now held in this magnificent church. We move on to the Hospital Bridge (Spitalsbrücke), the name deriving from the building to the right. This was where the old and infirm people of Lienz were looked after in days gone by. Today it is a grammar school. Crossing the bridge, we turn east along the Kärntnerstraße and make a brief detour to the edge of the town and the Siechenhaus. In olden times people with infectious and incurable diseases were housed here. In the little adjoining orchard stands the oldest painted wayside shrine in Tyrol. Retracing our steps along the Kärntnerstraße, we turn off into the Beda-Weber-Gasse and soon reach a little square with a church, St Michael’s. (The key to the church can be borrowed from the people at no. 9 – just opposite). This church was built in the 14th century and was the burial place of the von Grabens, a well respected family in the town. Continuing along the Beda-Weber-Gasse westwards, we eventually reach St Andrew’s parish church, the oldest church in Lienz. It was erected on the site of an early Christian church during the Romanesque period and was renovated by the Counts of Gorizia in the 15th century.
A Gothic basilica with 3 naves and a Baroque high altar. The last 2 Counts of Gorizia are buried here in two artistically exquisite sarcophagi.
On the north side of the church you can see the district war memorial, built by Clemens Holzmeister in 1925. East Tyrol’s most famous painter, Albin Egger-Lienz, met with strong resistance when he unveiled his cycle of 4 paintings in the memorial chapel, the chapel being closed down for some time. The artist lies buried there. Taking the Oberdrum road we soon arrive at the Tammerburg, a little above Lienz. According to popular tradition an underground passge leads from this stately manor house to Schloss Bruck and some nights the mysterious Lady in White is said to haunt the building. The Tammerburg has been given a new lease of life as the seat of the Inform-Akademie Osttirol, which stages numerous events here in the summer months. Our walking tour of the town now takes us back to the parish church and the Beda-Weber-Gasse, crossing the Parish Bridge, the oldest bridge in town. On the right you can see the Dominican Convent, known locally as the Little Convent (Klösterle). This is the oldest convent in Lienz, dating back to 1220. For centuries the nuns taught children here. The convent today houses a housekeeping college. The Rieplerschmiede (smithy) at the end of the Schweizergasse is from the 16th century and is now an officially classified historical building. Every week demonstrations of the smith’s work give you an insight into this old craft. Further along the Schweizergasse there is the memorial commemorating the Tyrolean War of Liberation in 1809 and on the right the home of Albin Egger-Lienz’s father. At the other end of the Schweizergasse you can see a bust of the famous artist in the Egger-Lienz square. A few steps northwards there are remains of the old town walls and the Isel bastion. The Franciscan chruch and monastery are in the Muchargasse. Both these buildings were erected in the 15th century by the Counts of Gorizia and they used to be a place of sanctuary for all those who felt persecuted. The nave of the church is Gothic and beautiful frescoes enhance the overall impression. The remarkable high altar and the mosaic above the entrance are by Jos Pirkner, Lienz’s most famous sculptor. We now walk along the Muchargasse to the Johannesplatz. This is where St John’s church used to stand until it was destroyed in a fire. The church was never rebuilt. In its place there is now a Marian column. The Rosengasse, an old traders’ lane, has now been given a complete facelift. It takes us to the Messinggasse where the brass foundry used to be at the time of the Counts of Gorizia. This was the industrial part of Lienz in those days. After the great fire in 1609, it was built up again and reach its peak in the 18th century. Every Friday afternoon and Saturday morning you can buy regional delicacies at the town market. At the western end of the town Schloss Bruck stands in a commanding position on a hill. Until the death of the last Count of Gorizia in 1500 this 13th-century castle was the economic, political and social centre of the region. Inside, a permanent exhibition shows works by important East Tyrolean artists such as Albin Egger-Lienz, Franz von Defregger, Hugo Engl, Karl Hofmann and Franz Walchegger. A collection of items connected with local folklore and handicrafts and a beautiful chapel with frescoes round off the impressive range of things to see in Schloss Bruck.
10 May 2012
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Stadtgemeinde Lienz, Hauptplatz 7, 9900 Lienz, Telefon 04852 600, Fax 04852 600 411, email@example.com