I do not really remember visiting this church, but my mother has photos of it and I know my sister and I must have been there too. The notes on my parent's photos say. "Emperor Maxmillian tomb - only he's buried in Vienna - Innsbruck Austria - we are the ones looking at it with the Wares". It looks to me as if there are two couples in front of the tomb and that would have been my parents and their friends Bob and Peg Ware. I can't figure out who took the photo unless I did it. I know I had a Brownie camera. I think the other photo is of the alter, probably taken by my dad.
According to the internet, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519), was buried in St.George’s Church in the castle of Wiener Neustadt. He left instructions as to what his tomb was to look like. But it proved not practical to build the tomb to his specifications there, so his grandson Ferdinand I built it in the Hofkirche (Court Church) 1553–1563 as a memorial to his grandfather. In the end, Maximilian wasn't moved, and the Hofkirche is a cenotaph.
Trento mason Hieronymus Longi directed construction of the tomb proper. It consists of a base of the Hagau marble, a bronze relief frieze of trophies (vases, suit of armor, weapons, shields, musical instruments etc.), and above that two rows of white marble reliefs. The 24 reliefs were created by the artist Alexander Colin, based on woodcuts from the "The Triumphal Arch ("Ehrenpforte") by Albrecht Dürer, with four stone bas-reliefs each on the tomb's ends, and eight on its longer sides. They depict events from Maximilian's life...Emperor Maximilian's ornate black marble cenotaph occupies the center of the nave. Florian Abel, of the Prague imperial court, supplied a full-sized draft of the high tomb in the florid style of court Mannerism. Its construction took more than 80 years; the sarcophagus itself was completed in 1572, and in 1584 its final embellishments were added (the kneeling emperor, four virtues, and iron grille).
The high altar was designed in 1755 by the Viennese court architect Nicolaus Pacassi, and decorated with a crucifixion by the Viennese academic painter Johann Carl Auerbach, and bronze statues of saints Francisco and Theresa by Innsbruck court sculptor Balthasar Moll (1768).
The Gothic Hofkirche was built by Ferdinand I between 1553 and 1563 as place to house the intended memorial to his grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I. Maximilian had actually asked to be buried at Wiener Neustadt in the East of present day Austria but it proved impossible to construct the memorial that he had envisaged for himself in the space available in teh castle chapel there and so his grandson set about building a new church and monastery in Innsbruck to house the memorial. In the end however, Maximilian's tomb remained in Wiener Neustadt and so the tomb at Innsbruck remained empty and now stands as an impressive cenotaph to the Emperor.
The design of the church building itself is pleasant but not likely to overwhelm you. In fact you could be excused for barely noticing it because of the presence of the cenotaph and statues.
The black marble cenotaph stands in the centre of the nave and has 24 marble reliefs depicting scenes from Maximilian's life, such as his weddings to Maria of Burgundy and Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan, and fighting the Turks in Croatia.
The cenotaph is surrounded by 28 life size statues of ancestors and relatives (real or imagined) of Emperor Maximilian. These include Philip the Good of Burgundy, King Clovis of the Franks, Emperor Frederick III, Queen Elisabeth of Hungary, Queen Elisabeth of Tirol and less probably the legendary English King Arthur (yes he of swords in stones and round tables).
It's undeniable that this is an impressive place and a memorial fit for an emperor, just a shame he isn't actually here!
When I visited there was some work being done to the outside of the building and entry was via the adjacent Volkskunst Museum (Folk Art Museum), but I don't know if this is the norm or just as a result of the work that was taking place at the time.
If you have an Innsbruck card then admission is free.
The Hofkirche (Court Church) Innsbruck, Austria, is a Gothic church built 1553–1563 by Ferdinand I as a memorial to his grandfather Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519), whose cenotaph within boasts a remarkable collection of German Renaissance sculpture. It also contains the tomb of Andreas Hofer, Tirol's national hero.
Although Maximilian's will had directed that he be buried in the castle chapel in Wiener Neustadt, it proved impractical to construct there the large memorial whose plans he had supervised in detail, and Ferdinand I as executor planned construction of a new church and monastery in Innsbruck for a suitable memorial. In the end, however, Maximilian's simple tomb remained in Wiener Neustadt and the Hofkirche serves as a cenotaph.
The silver chapel was begun by Giovanni Lucchese in 1578 and finished by Giovan Battista Fontana in 1581. The chapel owes its name for the Siberne Altar: an altarpiece made in 1577 in ebony and ivory work of Gottlieb. It is adorned with silver reliefs and a beautiful silver sculputers of the Virgo made by A.Ort in 1550. Along the left wall you can see the grave of Philippine Welser and the one of the archduke Ferdinand II.
The two lines of bronze statues are fantastic. They represent characters in custom or in armors in such way to constitute an escort of honor for the emperor. Among the statues you can recognized King Artù (on the right line), the emperor Federico III, Maria of Borgogna, Phillip the Good, Bianca Maria Sforza and others characters.
The sarcophagus of Max I is a Renaissance masterpiece. It is completely surrounded by a fantastic railing in beaten iron decorated with gold leaves and coats of arms. To the angles of the sarcophagus there are four bronze statues of the virtues. To the center there is the bronze statue of Max I knelt in prayer.
The sides of the sarcophagus are covered by 24 bas-reliefs in alabaster with scenes of the life of Max I (among which the marriage between Max and Bianca Sforza and entrance of the sovereign in Milan) drawn by Florian Abel.
The interior of the Hofkirche is superb: it is composed from three aisles with pillars in red alabaster and capitals elegantly decorated. Very beautiful is the roof with sketches in plaster. The central aisle is entirely occupied by the beautiful cenotaph of Max I to whose sides there are two lines of great bronzy statues representing characters in custom.
The Renaissance church of the court (also called Franciscan church) was built among 1553 and 1563 by N.Turing the Young on a project of Andrea Crivelli. The church was built to contain the grave of Max I of the House of Habsburg. On the facade you can see the beautiful portal with portico on columns made by G. Longhi in 1560.
The Hofkirche is a must visit while in Innsbruck. Inside there is the tomb (though empty) of the Emperor Maximilian I and the 28 bronze larger than life (bigger than the real people they show) statues, guarding his tomb. The statues are impresively carved (or I guess better to say is casted).
The Hofkirche looks very ordinary when view from Renweg by the Hofburg, but taking a walk around the back into Franzkanerplatz opens up a whole new, and much more pleasant, vista. From this angle you can see an almost entirely different church, with its bright white spire tearing up into the mountainous heavens.
The church was built between 1555 and 1565 by Ferdinand I, and can be accessed every day except Sunday from 09:00 until 17:00.
Hofkirche & the tomb of Maximilian I are another highlight of any stay in Innsbruck. Unfortunately I did not have enough time during my last stay, when I took these pics !
In order to get inside the Hofkirche, you have to enter through the nearby "Tiroler Volkskunde-Museum" , where you may also see furniture, traditional costumes, old , traditional carneval-masks, farmers tools ect.
The museum is open daily for visitors :
Monday-saturday 09.00a.m. - 05.00p.m. and
Sundays and holidays : 09.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon !
When you are in Innsbruck, I highly recommand visiting the Hofkirche for Emperor Maximilian I's tomb. The highly-decorated room contains 28 larger-than-life black statues, each representing in great detail a famous historical figure from the Middle Ages (including King Arthur, interestingly enough).
Since I got there near closing time, I did not have time to visit the adjacent Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art)... or to ask why the guy in the picture's crotch is painted gold.
The Court Church was built between 1553 and 1563 by Ferdinand I.
It contains the most impressive (ohhh yes!!!) of Innsbruck’s imperial monuments, the Cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I – a sumptuously decorated sarcophagus ringed by 28 larger than life bronze statues, representing the Emperor’s ancestors and his heroes of antiquity. The sarcophagus itself is decorated with 24 marble friezes, depicting scenes from the Emperor’s life.
This splendid Baroque church contains the tomb of Duke Ferdinand II. Its most unique feature is the array of 28 bronze statues of various noble gentlemen and ladies. You can rub some of them for good luck, including a very private spot on one statue :)
Court Church with Silber Chapel (Hofkirche) was built from 1553-1563 under Ferdinand I. Contains the empty tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, the sarcophagus with the statue of the kneeling Emperor. On the sides are 24 marble reliefs recording Maximilian's reign. 28 large bronze statues of his ancestors and relatives stand on guard over the tomb.
The tombs and memorials of Andreas Hofer and other heroes of the uprising against Napoleon are also there. The monument is the most important and historical in Tyrol.