The Hofkirche (Court Church) is a Gothic church built in 1553 by Emperor Ferdinand I (1503–1564) as a memorial to his grandfather Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519), whose cenotaph within boasts a remarkable collection of German Renaissance sculpture. The church also contains the tomb of Andreas Hofer, Tyrol'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 church was designed by architect Andrea Crivelli of Trento in the traditional German form of a hall church, consisting of three naves with a setback three-sided choir, round and pointed arch windows, and a steep broken hip roof. Its layered buttresses reflect compromise of contemporary Renaissance design with German late Gothic style. Stonemasons Hieronymus de Longhi and Anton de Bol carved the fine Renaissance portal.

The high altar seen today was designed in 1755 by the Viennese court architect Nikolaus Pacassi, and decorated with a crucifixion by the Viennese academic painter Johann Carl Auerbach, and bronze statues of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Teresa of Ávila by Innsbruck court sculptor Balthasar Moll (1768). The Renaissance organ (1560) is by Jörg Ebert of Ravensburg, and described locally as one of the five most famous organs in the world. Domenico Pozzo from Milan painted the organ panels.

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 the final embellishments—the kneeling emperor, the four virtues, and the iron grille—were added in 1584.

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Founded: 1553
Category: Religious sites in Austria

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Bruce Lewis (6 months ago)
Wonderful church with some truly incredible artifacts. You can visit for a small entrance fee, stow your stuff in a locker for a refundable one euro cost, and visit the small gift shop afterward. Worth visiting.
Wolfgang Laun (12 months ago)
The roomy hall church is dominated by the beautiful cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I with its 28 bronze statues, larger than life. The 24 beautifully carved white marble reliefs depict scenes from Maximilian's life, on which one can spend a lot of time admiring the rich details. Very impressive, a must-see.
Ioana Scaesteanu (16 months ago)
Come for the beautiful church, stay for the lovely garden.
Eric Kunze (16 months ago)
Beautiful and breathtaking chapel right next to the Residenz. No charge for admission, but you can't get to it from the tour in the Residenz.
Ahmad Ardalan (17 months ago)
Beautiful church with a wonderful tomb of Maximillian. Also the multimedia interaction was amazing.
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