Adolf-Pichler-Hütte in den Stubaier Alpen (Tirol) um 1920 | © BSB/Bildarchiv

Into the Alps, but why? – The crossing of the Alps from the Middle Ages to the present in maps and photographs

The Alps are the highest mountains in Central Europe. Their peaks reach up to heights of 4.000 metres, interrupted by deep gorges and steep rock faces. Why should one wish to cross these mountains? The virtual exhibition gives six different answers to this question.

The Department of Maps and Images preserves numerous photographs and historical maps depicting the Alps. These objects were produced for a variety of users. Pilgrims, kings, military commanders, traders, tourists or scholars – there has been a multiplicity of travellers who crossed the mountain range despite the dangers in the course of the centuries.

Six modules present different motivations driving the people to travel to or across the Alps:

  1. Religious reasons
  2. Military reasons
  3. Scholarly reasons
  4. Economic reasons
  5. Sporting and touristic reasons – 19th century
  6. Sporting and touristic reasons – 20th century

Follow the maps and photos presented here on a tour of the mountains, which will lead you from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

Virtuelle Ausstellung
Warum in die Alpen? – Die Alpenüberquerung vom Mittelalter bis heute in Karten und Bildern

Picture credits header image:
Adolf Pichler Hut in the Stubai Alps (Tyrol) around 1920 | © BSB/Image Archive