The Alps, and especially the Tyrolean region, are a natural treasure trove. Over millions of years, colourful and sparkling crystals have grown beneath their mighty peaks and barren rocks.

Dark red garnet, crystal clear rock crystal, shiny ore or limestone rich in form have always fascinated people, tempting them to search, collect and marvel. Fascinating is first and foremost their appearance. Minerals such as quartz, feldspar and calcite occur in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes, sometimes they appear singly, sometimes they grow together or enclose other minerals, liquids and gas.

Even the naked eye can see how varied these small and larger natural wonders are. But tiny crystals are also part of this diversity. Many can only be seen under the microscope. A look through a special microscope reveals that the inside of a mineral looks quite different than one might think.

Whether small or large, glittering or shimmering like glass: it seems almost impossible not to be captivated by these ancient treasures of nature. In the Weiherburg you will find magnificent, outstandingly beautiful and rare specimens from North, South and East Tyrol as well as Trentino - without having to search too long for them.

„Strahlstein“ (Aktinolith), Zillertal, Tirol
© Maria Kirchner
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Small encyclopaedia of mineralogy

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    Phantomquarz von der Idalpe bei Ischgl, Paznaun, Tirol
    © Maria Kirchner

    A naturally formed part of the earth's crust that is uniform in itself. Example: quartz, mica, feldspar.

    A solid whose constituent particles (atoms, ions or molecules) are arranged in a strict order as a crystal lattice. Naturally formed crystals are minerals. Example: Rock crystal

    Natural mixture of different or similar minerals. Example: granite, gneiss or marble, dolomite.

    Mostly minerals but also organic or synthetic products. They all have something special, something beautiful in common. Example: diamond, amber



This episode of our museum mini-whisper is about the world of crystals and (semi-)gemstones and answers exciting questions about this topic.

You can find more episodes on our crystal podcast.

KulturTon - the culture and education channel on FREIRAD:

A radio programme by Michael Klieber about the exhibition "Treasure Hunt - Tyrolean Crystals".

Today we're going on a treasure hunt. Without a pick and shovel. Instead with Maria Schaffhauser. She is the curator of the new special exhibition "Treasure Hunt - Tyrolean Crystals" in the Weiherburg in Innsbruck.

Click on the picture to listen to the podcast on cba.fro.at:


Infos & Öffnungszeiten

täglich geöffnet
Sommer 9 – 18 Uhr, Winter 9 – 17 Uhr
T +43 512 292323

Alpenzoo / Weiherburg
Weiherburggasse 37
6020 Innsbruck

Der Eintritt in die Ausstellung ist mit einem gültigen Ticket für den Alpenzoo kostenlos.
Infos zu Tickets und Ermäßigungen unter alpenzoo.at

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