Set in the beautiful Inn Valley and immersed in colorful mining history, the picturesque town of Schwaz and its environs offer an abundance of year-round recreation, ravishing mountain scenery and unparalleled attractions. Read on for seven reasons to make a trip to Schwaz, located at the heart of “Karwendel Silver Region”.
1. The Silver Mine
Get an idea of how people lived in Schwaz during the silver-mining boom in the Middle Ages: The Silver Mine of Schwaz was in their heyday more than 500 years ago, employing an astonishing 12,000 workers in a mind-boggling network of tunnels. Schwaz was then the richest town in Europe. Today, visitors coming from all over the globe can board a tiny train and go on a journey that will take them back through the centuries for an experience they will never forget—this trip is not recommended for persons who fear tight spaces.
2. Guided Tours of Schwaz
There is really no better way to learn about Schwaz’ rich history than a guided tour of town. Since June 2014, this tour visits historic landmarks of Schwaz including cellars that house life-sized postwar era wine barrels and the outstanding timbering of the Parish Church. Up to today, wooden pegs are used to fasten the church’s roof beams together. Worthwile. Tours are offered by the local Tourist Information Office for free on Thursdays.
3. The New Center for Events at the Former Tobacco Factory
No trip to Schwaz would be complete without soaking up a little arts and culture, and the former Tobacco Factory at the heart of town is just the ticket. A shopping mall was erected on the site of the former tobacco company in 2012, along with the new Schwaz Event Center, called SZentrum. Among others, the center plays host to the Outreach Jazz Festival and the Klangspuren Schwaz Festival for New Music.
4. Freundsberg Castle
“There is a ghost who has haunted the castle for centuries – but apparently he is a nice one,” says Julia while welcoming visitors to the historic castle with a big smile. Freundsberg Castle is the jewel in the crown of this majestic hilltop setting high above Schwaz. Visitors are immersed in the tales and legends of Freundsberg and introduced to its ghostly resident by Julia and her father Egon who knows every crook and cranny of the castle, from the dungeon, which today serves as tiny function space, to the earth closet at the top of the donjon. By the way, there is no tunnel connecting Freundsberg Castle to Tratzberg Castle as legend has it. Anyway, the castle’s awe-inspiring setting is simply idyllic and definitely worth visiting.
5. From Knit Wool to Felted Wool to Walk – Guided Tour of Geiger Company
The famous Geiger Fabric begins with a knitted and then felted wool, called “walk”. It is created in a process originally innovated by the Geiger Company of Schwaz. The family owned and operated company is run by fourth generation Geigers. If you want to find out all about this unique process, join a guided factory tour that is led by company boss Peter Geiger himself. Fashion made in Schwaz enjoys a real “cult” status in the United Stated and Geiger fans started saying “It’s a Geiger” when they were talking about Walk (boiled wool) jackets. Guided company tours have been available since 2014.
6. Upside Down
The gravity defying upside down house near Schwaz is a dizzy destination where everything is flipped on its head… Children simply love this unique attraction.
7. Schnapps Tasting at the Artisan Distillery on Purnerhof Farm
Parents who don’t appreciate the upside down house that much, can savour exquisite and award-winning eaux de vie, liqueurs and schnapps in the tasting room at the distillery of Purnerhof Farm. You will find this remarkable artisan distillery along the Tirol Schnapps Route.
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