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If you are looking for impressive Austrian castles, look no further than Innsbruck and its Schloss Ambras. This magnificent building sits high above the city just southeast of the town’s central core. Ferdinand II controlled it after 1564. He extended the site and size. He also embarked upon altering it from a formidable fortress into an elegant palace from 1564 to 1567. He was successful in his mission.

At the heart of the transformation was Ferdinand’s love for his commoner wife, Philippine Welser. He took the grim fortress and turned it into a Renaissance Palace. He lavished it with luxuries. He even had constructed for her a personal bathroom. You can admire today its deep copper bath. Thereare also numerous state rooms and halls. One memorable Hall is the Spaniche Saal (Spanish Hall) with its long, inlaid ceiling. Tirolean nobles gaze down on all who enter from frescoes. The Castle Ambras sits amidst extensive gardens, the Schlosspark. These are generally in the English style and feature a fake waterfall and manicured lawns, perfect for picnics. While at the Schloss, you must also visit the museums within its halls.

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