Piazza Walther

Relish the views of the mountain peaks and the cathedral spire at this elegant plaza, which serves as Bolzano’s open-air living room.

Piazza Walther is a pedestrianized square lined with restaurants and cafés with a marble neo-Romanesque monument to a German poet at its center. Overlooking the square are the green mountains of South Tyrol and the spire of the Cathedral of Bolzano. Relax with a drink at a café and enjoy the quaint, laid-back atmosphere.

Take a guided city tour to learn about the history of the square, which was built in the early 19th century on land that had previously been owned by the Bavarian royal family. The square changed names several times and was previously known as Maximilian-Platz and Johanns-Platz.

Inspect the statue of the 12th-century lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide, which stands in the center of the square. With its backdrop of the church and mountains, the monument makes a wonderful subject for photographs. During the fascist era in 1935, the sculpture was removed, but was later reinstated after World War II.

Note how the tall marble monument, which was built in 1889, depicts the poet standing on a podium above sculpted lions. Walk around the perimeter and admire the small flower garden surround the statue.

Stroll down the quaint alleyways that carve up the city’s medieval zone and stretch out from the square. Purchase souvenirs and local produce from the various shops in and around the plaza. Cafés on the plaza are a good spot for a break while sightseeing.

The square’s most famous landmark is the Cathedral of Bolzano, which is situated at the southwest corner of the piazza and blends Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. Admire the nave’s ornate pulpit and the relics of the treasury museum.

Attend a seasonal event, such as the Flower Market at the end of May. This festival includes elaborate floral displays that decorate the balconies and stalls of the plaza as well as music and entertainment. Soak up the festive atmosphere at the Christmas Market, which runs from late November to early January.

Piazza Walther lies just east of the Dominican Church in the center of the city. Disembark at Bolzano Railway Station, which is a 5-minute walk east from the plaza.

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