Prince Bishops of Brixen commissioned the construction of their fortified castle (called Hofburg) in Brixen in the 13th century. The following centuries brought about numerous revisions to the structure. Around 1600 the splendid renaissance-style interior courtyard was created and decorated with bronze-overlaid terracotta statues by Hans Reichle, the celebrated sculptor from Augsburg. During that same period, the meeting rooms of the grand chancery were decorated with ample heraldic adornments.

Around 1706 Caspar Ignaz began the Baroque style renovation of the palace. It was then that the bishop’s chapel and the imperial wing with its majolica stoves were built; and the ceilings adorned with either paintings by Kaspar Waldmann and Antonio Gresta, or lavish plaster embellishments. Tapestries and the historic furnishings were added as well. In keeping with the fashions of the time, one room was converted into a Chinese cabinet.

Today Hofburg houses the diocesan collection of sacred artworks from the Romanesque period to the Modern age, the treasures of the cathedral of Brixen/Bressanone, works by 19th century Tyrolean artists, a collection of cribs and special exhibitions.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nilantha Bandara (2 years ago)
Wonderful memories. The best place to go if you are in Bressanone to view Baroque style art.
Paolo Caspani (3 years ago)
Le foto riguardano la bella collezione di 15 teche in terracotta che rappresentano l'intera vita di Gesù. Il resto del museo è altrettanto bello ed interessante. C'è una ampia sezione dedicata ai presepi tradizionali. Quest'anno alcune sale erano dedicate ad una rivisitazione del Natale sotto forma di dipinti.
Галина Г (3 years ago)
Очень понравился музей. Была в будний день, людей мало, буквально пару человек встретила. Провела в музее пол дня. Долго бродила по залам, рассматривала картины, есть просто потрясающие шедевры! Если вы приехали в Брессаноне/Бриксен, то посетите музей обязательно. Вход что-то около 10 евро. По Бриксен-кард вход бесплатный.
Stefano Corra (3 years ago)
Il Palazzo Vescovile, è un' antica residenza dei principi vescovi di Bressanone, che ad oggi ospita il Museo Diocesano con opere d’arte sacra. All' interno delle sue stanze troverete opere di artisti tirolesi, una collezione di presepi e mostre temporanee, molto interessati. Le stanze sono molto ben arredate e meritano la visita. Interessante è l' attenzione ai più piccoli. All' ingresso viene consegnato ai bimbi un foglio con delle domande sulle opere, a cui potranno rispondere visitando il complesso museale. Ci sono quiz per varie fasce di età. Alla fine del percorso verrà consegnato loro un piccolo regalo: una cartolina a scelta che riguarda il museo.
Nina Trankovа (4 years ago)
I visited the museum for Christmas. The digitized story and show of lights impressed me and made an unforgettable memory. I would recommend and visit again.
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.