Built in 1553, the Hofkirche (Court Church) in Innsbruck, is a Gothic royal court church and mausoleum.
The Mausoleum in this Church is amazing, about the best I have seen. If you like this type of thing, then it's a MUST SEE
The Hofkirche was built by Ferdinand I as a mausoleum for Maximilian I in 1553. Emperor Maximilian's ornate black marble tomb is really something to see!
The outside of the Hofkirche is really quite plain, quite different to the Mausoleum. I had to walk outside and take a photo of the main entrance to the church as I came inside from the Museum of Tirolean Folk Art.
The Hofkirche has a nice Renaissance porch and a small attractive cloister. The gallery contains over 20 small statues of the patron saints of the House of Hapsburg and the original wooden organ from 1560, which is still used.
OPEN Monday - Saturday 9 - 5pm
Sundays and holidays 12.30 pm - 5.00 pm
ADMISSION TO THE CHURCH
Adults 5 euros Reduced 4 euros
FREE WITH INNSBRUCK CARD
I guess if you have read my other Hofkirche reviews, you may be forgiven for thinking that I covered everything - this isn't the case, there still is a lot more to see in "this" Church!
The Hofkirche is built in the traditional German form of a hall church, in contemporary Renaissance design and German late Gothic style.
More in the interior to see, is the 450-year-old Renaissance organ by Jörg Ebert, described as one of the five most famous organs in the world. Domenico Pozzo from Milan painted the organ panels.
There are galleries, tall slender columns of red marble with white stylized Corinthian capitals, and a lectern. The original nave ribs made from sandstone from Mittenwald have been preserved and rebuilt in baroque style after an earthquake.
The high altar seen today was designed in 1755 and is decorated with a crucifixion and bronze statues of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Teresa.
A side chapel, called the Silver Chapel , was consecrated in 1578. It contains a silver altar to Mary incorporating three elephant tusks and three hundred kilos of ebony, and the tombs of Archduke Ferdinand II and his wife Philippine Welser.
Andreas Hofer, Tirol's national hero, is also buried within the church.
The pulpit is lovely and so is the clock in the church, I really could go on and on with what there is to see.
DO COME FOR A LOOK, AS YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!
ADMISSION Adults 5 euros.
We showed our tickets to the guide so we could enter the Hofkirche. We were very surprised when she ushered us into a small room and shut the door! We wondered what on earth was happening! In this room were a number of paintings and sketches featuring the Emperor. The guide went to the wall where there was a machine which she set going in english, then left us alone in the room. The lights darkened and a presentation began about Maximilian’s early life and sections of the wall illuminated when this was being discussed. Then a section of the wall opened and we were beckoned into a dark chamber with a giant globe at its center. This part of the presentation focused on one of Maximilian’s favorite sayings, “He who does not make his monument in his lifetime is not remembered after death and will be forgotten with the toll of the bell.”
An unseen booming voice speaks and highlights Maximilian’s work, patronage of the arts, wars, marriages and ultimately his legacy, which shaped European events for centuries.
After this completed, another section of the wall opened and we entered into a third chamber that is dark and playing monastic songs. In the far part of the chamber is a painting showing the dead Emperor, at the edges of the chamber are forms dressed in sheets that resemble the shapes of the statues that we will later see. We hear some additional history and a story, then a loud bell rang, a latch clicked and the door opened - we enter the real world again!
What an interesting way to be led into the Hofkirche which was only a few steps away! Unique!
I think it took about 15 minutes.
Out of a total of 28 statues, 8 of them are of women, so that leaves 20 men which are
King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy
Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy
Archduke Sigismund of Austria
King Ferdinand I of Portugal
Duke Ernest of Austria
King Theoderic the Great
Duke Albert II of Austria
King Rudolph I of Germany
King Philip I of Castile
King Clovis I of the Franks
King Albert II of Germany
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III
Saint Leopold III of Austria
Count Albert IV of Habsburg
Duke Leopold III of Austria
Duke Frederick IV of Austria
King Albert I of Germany
King Godfrey of Bouillon of Jerusalem
There are some very interesting statues of these men!
There were a total of eight female statues out of the 28 in the Hofkirche.
The following final four were of -
Queen consort Elizabeth of Luxembourg (7 October 1409 – 19 December 1442) was the Queen consort of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia. She was the only child of Holy Roman Emperor.
Mary of Burgundy (13 February 1457 – 27 March 1482) ruled Burgundy from 1477 until her death. She was the only child of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Isabella of Bourbon.
Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian of Austria married in Ghent, 16 August 1477. Five years later, the 25-year-old Duchess died after falling from a horse when falconing with Maximilian. Her horse tripped, threw her, and then landed on top of her, breaking her back. She died several days later, having made a detailed will. She is buried in the Church of Our Lady in Brugges.
Queen Elizabeth of Carinthia (1262 – 28 October 1312) from the House of Meinhardin was Queen of the Romans, Queen of Germany and Duchess of Austria by marriage. She is also known as Elizabeth of Tyrol. She was married in Vienna in 1274 to the future Albert I of Germany, one of the founders of the House of Habsburg, thus becoming daughter-in-law of the King of the Romans.
In 1298, her husband was elected King and in 1299 she was crowned Queen of Germany and the Romans. Her husband was murdered on 1 May 1308 by his nephew John "the Parricide"
After the murder of her husband, Elizabeth joined the monastery of Königsfelden where she died 28 October 1312 and was later buried.
Archduchess Kunigunde of Austria (16 March 1465 – 6 August 1520) was an Austrian Archduchess member of the House of Habsburg and by marriage Duchess of Bavaria-Munich and since 1503 over all Bavaria. She was the daughter of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Eleanor of Portugal, daughter of King Edward of Portugal.
Surrounding the Tomb of Emperor Maximilian 1st, are 28 amazing statues/Tomb guardians who represent the Emperor’s ancestors and his heroes of antiquity, including King Arthur.
I was in awe of these statues when there, and still are when I look at the photos, as these are no ordinary statues, but ones which have been cast showing magnificent facial expressions, the persons stance and the wonderful clothing they were wearing at that time in history. IF they weren't bronze, then you could nearly take them as a real live people - The workmanship is incredible!
I will take you on a virtual tour past these famous people and let you decide if you wish to come and see for yourself. Please don't take it as gospel that the photos match my writings as everything was written in German and I can only read English. There are four out of the 28 statues. I find their lives very interesting.
I will start with Joanna, born in Spain (6 November 1479 – 12 April 1555), known as Joanna the Mad.
At the young age of 16 years she was betrothed to Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy whose parents were Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife, Duchess Mary of Burgundy. Joanna's younger sister was Catherine of Aragon. The arranged and formal marriage took place on 20 October 1496. She had 6 children of which two were Emperors and four were Queens. Joanna's life with Philip was extremely unhappy due to his infidelity and by being manipulated by him. When Phillip died, Joanna was deemed mentally ill and was confined to a nunnery for the rest of her life. She is entombed in the Royal Chapel of Granada in Spain .
Archduchess Margaret of Austria (10 January 1480 – 1 December 1530), was the second child and only daughter of Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy. She was Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1507 to 1515 and again from 1519 to 1530. She had a successful career lasting from 1506 until her death in 1530. Probably future Queens had Margaret to thank, as it was she who broke new ground for women rulers. She is buried at Bourg-en-Bresse, in the mausoleum that she ordered for her second husband and herself.
Archduchess Cymburgis of Masovia (1394 -1429) in January 1412 became the second wife of the Habsburg Duke Ernest the Iron of Austria. Though not approved by the Habsburg family, the marriage turned out to be a happy one. As the mother of the later Emperor Frederick III, Cymburgis, became the second female ancestor of all later Habsburgs, as only his branch of the family survived in the male line. She was believed to be very strong, being able to drive nails into a wall with her bare hands and cracking nuts between her fingers. She is buried at Lilienfeld Abbey.
Empress Bianca Maria Sforza (5 April 1472 – 31 December 1510) was by marriage to Maximilian 1st, Empress of the Holy Roman Empire.
In January 1474, when Bianca was NEARLY 2 YEARS OLD, SHE MARRIED HER 1ST COUSIN PHILBERT 1, DUKE OF SAVOY! Duke Philibert died in 1482, leaving Bianca a widow at the age of 10.
In 1494, she married the King of the Romans, Maximilian I, who had been a widower since the tragic death of his first wife Mary of Burgundy in 1482. Maximilian and Bianca's marriage was unhappy. The couple tried for a child, but all were stillborn. She is buried at Stams.
I thought I would first tell you about Emperor Maximilian 1st's ornate black marble tomb, which has German Renaissance sculpture and is the highlight of the Hofkirche.
This would have to be one of the most magnificent tombs in the world.
I first noticed the tomb was enclosed within a beautiful fine wrought iron grille and was situated in the very centre of the nave.
How's this! Emperor Maximilian's ornate black marble cenotaph took more than 80 years to complete! The sarcophagus itself was completed in 1572, and the final embellishments—the kneeling emperor, the four virtues, and the iron grill were added in 1584. I walked around this tomb many times, because believe me, there is a lot of interest.
The base of the tomb is made from marble. The bronze relief frieze of trophies includes vases, suits of armor, weapons, shields, musical instruments and more, then above that are two rows of white marble reliefs. The 24 reliefs were created by the artist Alexander Colin, based on woodcuts from the The Triumphal Arch. There are four stone bas-reliefs located on each end of the tomb, and eight on its longer sides. They depict events from Maximilian's life and are wonderful!
This is a list of each one, I only wish I knew this when I was there! It was quite hard to photograph each one of these.
1.Marriage of Maximilian to Mary of Burgundy, 1477
2.Victory over the French at the First Battle of Guinegate, 1478
3.Recapture of Arras fortress, 1492
4.Maximilian's coronation as King of the Romans in Aachen, 1486
5.Victory of Archduke Sigmund of Tyrol over the Venetians at Calliano, 1487
6.Maximilian's liberation of Vienna from Hungarian Rule, 1490
7.Capture of Stuhlweissenburg, 1490
8.Return of Maximilian's daughter Margarethe by the French King, 1493
9.Retreat of the Turks from Croatia, 1493
10.Alliance of the Holy League against France, 1494
11.Maximilian's Wedding with Bianca Maria Sforza, 1494
12.Marriage of Philip the Fair to Joanna of Castile, 1496
13.Victory of Maximilian over the Bohemians near Regensburg, 1504
14.Capture of Kufstein Fortress, 1504
15.Subjugation of the Duke of Guelders, 1505
16.Alliance of Cambrai against Venice, 1508
17.Victory over Venice, 1509
18.Return of Duke Maximilian Sforza to Milan, 1512
19.Victory over the French at the Second Battle of Guinegate, 1513
20.Maximilian and King Henry VIII of England meet at Thérouanne, 1513
21.Defeat of the Venetians near Vicenza, 1513
22.Capture of the Venetian Fortress of Murano, 1514
23.Betrothal of Maximilian's grandson Ferdinand to Anne of Bohemia and Hungary, 1515
24.Defense of Verona, 1516
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.