Bergisel Ski Jump is Innsbruck’s futuristic new landmark

The Bergisel is a hill (746 m) that lies to the south of Innsbruck, Austria, in the area of Wilten, where the Sill river meets the Inn Valley.

bergisel ski jump innsbruck austria

The word’s first syllable Berg- doesn’t correspond etymologically to the German word Berg with the meaning mountain. The Bergisel’s contemporary name is derived from the pre-Roman word burgusinus (elevated position), which then altered through folk etymology, causing the occasional spelling Berg Isel or its English equivalent Mount Isel.

Among its earlier uses were as a cremation site and as a habitation area during the Ice Age.

In 1809, Bergisel was the site of the four Battles of Bergisel under the command of the freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. In 1892, the Andreas Hofer monument was erected in order to commemorate the battles.

Since 1952, Innsbruck has hosted one leg of the Four Hills Tournament. The Bergiselschanze was built of concrete for the 1964 Winter Olympics to replace an older, smaller ramp. It was also used for the 1976 Winter Olympics.

A new ramp was opened in 2003, designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, as the old one no longer conformed to contemporary requirements of ski jumping.

Until an accident following a mass panic, which resulted in several deaths, the Bergisel stadium was also the site of the Air & Stylesnowboard festival.

Both the Brenner railway and the Brennerautobahn have tunnels below the Bergisel. The Sill Gorge, a recreational site, is located at its base.

Bergisel Innsbruck

The Bergisel can be reached by the Stubaitalbahn from Innsbruck, exiting at Station Sonnenburgerhof, or by the Tram 1, at Station Bergisel.

History of Bergisel

The Bergisel ski stadium at Innsbruck became famous by its special design and numerous ski jumping competitions. Its impressive proximity to the city center offers visitors a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and the town.

The ski jumping hill underwent a changeful history so far. Already in 1906 the «Ski-Club Innsbruck» was founded and its members competed on several sow jumping hills in the surrounding area of Innsbruck. The first permanent ski jump was set up by SCI at «Husslhof» in 1908. It already hosted international competitions.

The first ski jump at Bergisel was inaugurated in 1927. Heinrich Mayerl from Gastein set up the hill record at 47.5 meters. For the Ski World Championships in 1933 Bergisel ski jump was completely reconstructed. Norway’s Birger Ruud set up a hill record of 74 meters, after Swiss Marcel Reymond had become world champion.

On the occasion of a football youth tournament in 1941 the teams of SV Villingen and SV Innsbruck visited the ramshackle ski jump at Bergisel. Thereby the inrun tower collapsed and caused 4 people dead and several injured. Then the whole ski jumping facility was completely removed.

After World War II the ski jump was reconstructed according to original plans and inaugurated in 1949. Since the founding in 1953 the Bergisel competition has been part of the traditional German-Austrian ski jumpers' resp. four hills tournament.

Bergisel Ski Jump

Twice Innsbruck was host for the Olympic Winter Games and for the 1964 and 1976 Olympiads. The ski jump was modernized according to latest standards and enlarged and spectator and multi-purpose facilities were added.

In cooperation with Seefeld the large hill events of the Nordic World Championships of 1985 were hosted on the large hill at Bergisel.

For the 50th anniversary of the international Four Hills Tournament in 2002 Bergisel ski stadium should shine in a completely new light. For a total cost of arround 12 million Euro the Bergisel ski jump was completely modernized and reconstructed.

Bergisel Ski Jump

Due to a special request of the Innsbruck municipality an international architecture competition was announced and six famous local and foreign architects were invited. The expert jury consentaneously awarded the project proposal of London-based architect firm Zaha Hadid.

Beside the futuristic inrun tower and the enlargement of the landing hill profile onto K120, in several construction steps a new lift, floodlights and plastic covering were installed.

Since then also a few summer Grand Prix events were hosted on Bergisel, as well as the Universiade in 2005 and the first ever Youth Olympic Winter Games in 2012, with ski jumping events staged at Seefeld.

In December 2012 a new cooling system was integrated into the outrun, in order to fulfill latest standards and requirements of the FIS.


In December 1999 the firm of architects Zaha Hadid won the international competition to build a new runway in the ski jumping hill Bersigel.

It is part of a larger refurbishment project for the Olympic Arena and replaces the old ski jump, which no longer met with international standards. The building is a hybrid of highly specialized sports facilities and public spaces, including a café and a viewing terrace.

These different programs are combined into a single new shape, which extends the topography of the slope into the sky.

Bergisel Ski Jump

At a length of about 90m and a height of almost 50m the building is a combination of a tower and a bridge. Structurally it is divided into the vertical concrete tower and a spatial steel structure, which integrates the ramp and the café.

Two elevators bring visitors to the café, 40 m over the peak of the Bergisel Mountain. From here they can enjoy the surrounding alpine landscape as well as watch the athletes below fly above the Innsbruck skyline.

Zaha Hadid combined needs of a specialized sports such as skiing, with the requirements of a space tourist attraction and achieved a unique form, which extends into the sky from the mountain topography.

The work stands on the horizon as a sculptural object and as a symbol of the city. Visible from all directions and offers a reading of three-dimensional object, which gradually reveal all aspects of its design.

«The Ski Jump is a concise piece of functional design, an instrument for high performance sport, shaped with mathematical precision. The challenge here was to integrate a new, initially alien element into a given formula: The cafe and Sundeck.

The assemblage of elements was resolved in the manner of nature, developing a seamless hybrid, where parts are smoothly articulated and fused into an organic unity. The result is a rather unusual silhouette on Bergisel." - Zaha Hadid


The architect defines his project as a «hybrid organic mixture of bridge and tower.»

As a snake, as the ramp unrolls a belt 90 meters downhill.

The head of the snake hosting services for tourists.

Bergisel Ski Jump

Thus, the track combines skiers who need to ramp with amenities for visitors who can rise to the top of the building to find a café and a lookout. The combination resulted in a natural way, with the merging of the building and articulated in the organic unity.

The cafeterñia lookout has a panoramic glass with a view of 360 degrees to the landscape.

Bergisel — Spaces

It has two lifts, one for visitors and for skiers. The facility has a capacity of 28,000 spectators.

At Level 1 is the starting area with jumping platforms. At level 2, the panoramic restaurant «Café im Turm», 40 meters high on the peak of the mountain. In the third, access to the panoramic terrace. At lower levels -1 and -2 are the technical rooms, warehouse, office staff and a preparation area for the jumpers.

Structure of Bergisel

It is divided into a vertical tower of reinforced concrete and a three-dimensional metal structure that integrates the ramp with the restaurant.

The Tower

The reinforced concrete structure is monolithic and the material was poured on site using a climber, that material was used without nuances of engineering, to carry out the required volume composition. With a reinforced steel circulated inside the cement, aggregate resulting matrix allows this quality concrete resist the adverse climatic conditions of the environment.

Worn as if it were a stone, the material is adjusted over time to frost.

Getting that water does not affect the surface of the building has become a critical concern. Water is channeled by the eardrums and systems have been added to «trickle down» to avoid a drain below the soffit.

La Rampa

The launch pad has a length of 98 meters and an inclination of 35 degrees.

The ramp, swept snow is more exposed to light loads, the weight of the competitor, and its shape reminiscent of a catenary strip pendant suspended between solid structural components in order to form a band that just fine contrasts with the sky.


Almost straight path that follows the jumper is not exactly ideal structural curve so that it has added to the main beam catenary triangularres a few ways to manipulate the form and add resistance both vertical and horizontal, covered in metal.

Some protective parapets on either side of the track absorb the burden of wind and riostras below deck on the back heavier.

The structure was built in a relatively flexible, as the limits of deflection and vibration are less excessive than in other buildings. In short, nobody will be out of the race by a strong wind.

The margins of the end of the ramp are enormous buttresses stirrups or reinforced concrete, and there is a dissonance between the main tower and the smaller stirrup.

The angles of the block that forms the base stand out to form the edge of the track, and simultaneously to resist lateral loads from the addition of the ramp, a perfect structure.

The top end extends to form a sort of wrapper, merging with the space for the public, flying along the axis of the tower.

Overall, how is the movement of athletes passing a logical structure.

Watch the video:

And how to access the Bergisel Ski Jump? The sporty way is to climb the 455 steps on foot. Of course you can also use the inclined elevator. By the way: at nighttime the ski jump is illuminated and is continuously changing its colours. Worth seeing!

Where: on the Bergisel hill, Innsbruck
Peculiarity: one of the main attractions of the city of Innsbruck, an architectural masterpiece
Opening hours: June — October daily from 9 am — 6 pm, November — May Wednesday — Monday from 10 am — 5 pm, on weekends and public holidays open from 9 am, Tuesdays closed, closed for the event «Kaiserjägerschiessen» (May), for Christmas (December 24−25) and for the Four Hills Tournament (January)
Ticket (adults): from 9.50 Euros
Further information: phone +43 512 589 259,

Learn more at the official website

Customer reviews

The springboard is interesting for its Olympic history. With the location of the springboard features a spectacular view of the city and mountains. To the highest point of the ramp there are stairs and an Elevator. Beautiful place for photos. Free entrance with the Innsbruck card.

We, of course, did not move out of springboard, as far from professionalism in the sport, but to visit all the jumping was curious. It look impressive even from below. We were particularly pleased to dine in the restaurant at the top. There are stunning views of the Austrian Alps!

Unreal the size of the trampoline greatly impressed. And, despite the fact that we saw him from below, he hit. I’m a skier, but I think that I didn’t have the balls even to stand up in skis.

Watch the video:

5 (100%) 3 votes

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Comments: 4
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