On the hill Bergisel, just a few minutes away from Innsbruck city centre, you can find Bergisel Ski Jump (Bergiselschanze). This scenic ski jump, which hosts some of the most important events in the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, can easily be reached by car, public transportation or even walking.
The 50m high tower includes a panorama "Bergisel Sky" restaurant with a magnificent view of the city and Inn River Valley and the 360°viewing platform. To reach them visitors and the athletes can take the 455 steps by foot from the entrance of the stadium to the ski jump or they can use inclined elevator and reach the ski jump in just 2 minutes.
Long and Rich History
The first ski jumping event at the Bergisel hill was held in year 1927 on the natural hill and only one year later the first tower was built. The ski jump was refurbished in 1933 for the Nordic World Ski Championship. However, an accident in which tower collapsed happened in 1941 during the visit of the youth sport clubs. Aftermath with the four dead and several injured, brought lot of negative publicity to this sport venue and as a result of this event it went was completely demolished. After the Second World War and the founding of the famous ski jumping Four Hills Tournament ski jump was rebuilt again. Since then it was venue of the three Olympic Ski Jumping competitions in 1964, 1976, and 2012. It also hosted opening ceremony for the Youth Olympic Games 2012. But, not only sport events were held here in 1988, Pope John Paul II held a Mass in front of 60,000 believers.
Zaha Hadid’s Child
In 1999 city of Innsbruck decided to reconstruct Bergisel Ski Jump once more. On international tender process the reconstruction was awarded to the one of the most prominent architectures of the century London-based and Iraqi-born late Zaha Hadid. Construction of the new ski jump, that very quickly became one of the Innsbruck’s tourist attractions, was finished in 2002. Ski jump was rewarded with the Austrian State Award for Architecture 2002 with an explanation: "The ski jump is a compact piece of functionality; an apparatus for this high-performance sport that has been shaped with mathematical precision. The architectural challenge was to embed a new element into the existing frame: the restaurant and the panorama terrace."
To conclude this architectural masterpiece, an eye-candy is must see for every Innsbruck visitor, no matter if you are sport, architecture fan or just a person who likes beautiful things. Especially, if we are familiar with the rich history of hosting Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
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