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Kaufhaus Tyrol in Innsbruck
“Kaufhaus Tyrol” is a deceptive title, for instead of a department store, as the name implies, one finds an unexpectedly large shopping mall with 52 shops (and a staff of approximately 700) that takes up an entire housing block. The name is a reference to the history of the site. As early as 1908, the first department store in western Austria was created in the Maria Theresien Strasse in what is today the pedestrian zone of Innsbruck. The idea of offering many different kinds of wares beneath a single roof proved to be a great success and resulted in a lasting change in shopping habits. The building itself was a sensation, too, consisting of a concrete skeleton-frame structure with central heating, a lift and a glass roof over an 18-metre-high hall. After the upheavals of the Second World War and the destruction and economic ruin it brought, the store declined in importance and was finally closed in 2002. Thanks to an Austrian property investor who financed the demolition of the old building and the erection of a new one, the Kaufhaus Tyrol is once again a centre of attraction in the city.