Kitzbühel history (skiing)
The best way to learn about the history of Kitzbühel and the surrounding area is to visit the Kitzbühel Museum, which has an outstanding range of exhibits. The exhibition of the work of Kitzbühel painter Alfons Walde alone is certainly worth a visit.
THE ALPINE SKI WORLD CUP IS BORN
Kitzbühel deserves its legendary status not only thanks to the Hahnenkamm races but also because it witnessed the birth of the Alpine Ski World Cup.
It was in January 1966, during final training for the Hahnenkamm downhill race on the Seidlalm in Kitzbühel, that the idea of awarding points across a series of Alpine ski races in order to make them more attractive to the media was discussed for the first time.
Journalist Serge Lange and the head coaches of the French and US teams thus brought the Alpine Ski World Cup to life in Kitzbühel.
The exhibition shines a light on the events surrounding the birth of the Alpine Ski World Cup in Kitzbühel, which did not go as smoothly as might first seem, as well as exploring Portillo, the only resort in the southern hemisphere ever to host a World Ski Championships. Selected exhibits reference the Tour de France, Formula 1 and the 1966 Football World Cup – all role models for the tournament. The inaugural 1966/67 season, complete with all its venues and victors, is vividly recreated with the help of trophies, documents, photos and film clips, while equipment and clothes from the period evoke the spirit of the late 1960s beyond the skiing arena. And, of course, the exhibition would simply not be complete without the crystal ball, the symbol of the Alpine Ski World Cup.
ALFONS WALDE COLLECTION
Alfons Walde, whose paintings regularly fetch the highest prices at auctions of Austrian art, played a major role in shaping the town of Kitzbühel and its successful development as a ski resort.
His snowy mountain landscapes and farms and churches are just as well known and popular as his superb nudes and portraits of women.
Walde also continues to play a special role for Kitzbühel, as he was the artist who created the chamois logo and the lettering for Kitzbühel promotions. He also designed the historical buildings for the Hahnenkamm cable car, the red uniforms worn by ski instructors and the typical colourful house façades in the town centre.
Kitzbühel Museum has an area of 250 m² set aside for the unique exhibition dedicated to the great painter, architect and photographer Alfons Walde.