Austria House Tirol Opens with a Bang

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The Austria House Tirol became one of the first national hospitality houses to officially open for the London 2012 Olympics.

On Thursday 26th July, Austria connected with London with an historic meeting between the Tirolean Rifle Guards and the London Beefeaters, sounded by a gunshot salute and attended by a star-studded guest list, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Vivienne was accompanied by her Austrian husband, originally from the Tirol region.

Watch the video here to see what awaits at the Austria House Tirol during the London 2012 Olympics.

Overlooking Trinity Square and the Tower of London, the central location of the historic Trinity House has been transformed into a little corner of the Austrian Tirol. Showcasing the culture, tradition and genuine ‘Gemütlichkeit’ hospitality, for which the Tiroleans are well-renowned, there will be a host of events and customs taking place daily.

After the Tirol Cycle Team arrived, having travelled 1300km by bike for the opening ceremony, the Tiroler Schützen (Tirolean Rifle Guards) from the Zillertal region opened proceedings. This traditional custom dates back to former times when they defended the so-called ‘Land of the Mountains’, now known as Tirol. Having stood the test of time, 55 Tirolean guards in full costume uniform paraded with their rifles to the sounds of traditional music from a local Tirolean band and signed off with a gunshot salute. The London Beefeaters welcomed the Tiroler Schützen and offered support by taking their rifles back to the Tower of London, for safeguarding alongside the Crown Jewels.

Resembling an atmospheric Alpine Hut, the front of Trinity House has been made over into a Tirolean Alpine Garden, which will be open daily to the public from 10am – 10pm until Sunday 12th August. Highlights include the iconic British red telephone box, now known as the Yodel Karaoke booth, where visitors are invited to step inside, pick up the phone and record a yodel to be in with a chance to win a holiday. A six-seater chairlift sits in the entrance where you can pose with your friends for a mock-up shot of the Alps.

On Sunday 29th July the Tirol will offer a free public event and will bring the snow to London. The ‘Tirol Snow Day and Apres-ski party’, with special guest and Olympic legend - Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, will involve plenty of fun and festivities with yodelling and thigh slapping classes to the sound of DJ Koko mixing in some Après-ski classics and a fancy-dress competition awarded to the most outlandish ski outfit.

Josef Margreiter, CEO Tirol Tourist Board, says, “On behalf of the Tirol Tourist Board and our partners, we are really looking forward to welcoming everybody at the Austria House Tirol during the Games. After a successful inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January and becoming the first city in 2012, alongside London, to host the Olympics for the third time, Austria’s position in the Olympic Movement has strengthened considerably and we are looking forward to building on this in the future. We wish London a very successful Olympic Games.”

For more information about the events taking place at Austria House Tirol visit

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Becky Horton

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