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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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anastasia Rusakova (6 months ago)
We visited the church, but they also have a museum in the building adjacent. The price is 8 euros fir church, and 11 for both church and museum. When visiting the church, don’t forget also about the multimedia part which tells the story of the emperor. When we were there, there was also a small exhibition related to evangelical figurines made in the past in Innsbruck area.
Alexander Bielders (6 months ago)
Beautiful memorial for Maximilian, when in Innsbruck worthwile to visit
John Ambelang (9 months ago)
3-stars = average. It’s a beautiful church. It’s a bit small and lacking history, I’m not sure it’s worth for 8€/person. If you have time, money, and know who the Emperor was then it’s worth it.
Otheus Shelling (9 months ago)
This is the must-see attraction in Innsbruck, apart from the alps and area winter sport attractions
Donna Woodhams (13 months ago)
Beautiful place... Glad we visited it was on the bucket list.... If only to check to see if there really was a statue of our fictional "King Arthur" guarding the precious maximillion... To my surprise... Yes there is!!! Oops
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