Ferdinand I built this Gothic royal court church and tomb in 1553. Its most important treasure is the cenotaph of Maximilian I, although his remains are not in this elegant marble sarcophagus glorifying the Holy Roman Empire. He was never brought here from Wiener Neustadt, where he was entombed in 1519. This tomb, a great feat of the German Renaissance style of sculpture, has 28 bronze 16th-century statues of Maximilian's real and legendary ancestors and relatives surrounding the kneeling emperor on the cenotaph, with 24 marble reliefs on the sides depicting scenes from his life. Tyrol's national hero, Andreas Hofer, is entombed here.
The Hofkirche has a lovely Renaissance porch, plus a nave and a trio of aisles in the Gothic style. One gallery contains nearly two dozen small statues of the saint protectors of the House of Hapsburg. The wooden organ, dating from 1560, is still operational.
Another chapel, the Silberne Kapell (Silver Chapel), was constructed between the church and the palace in 1578. Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol had it constructed as the final resting place for him and his wife, Philippine Welser. The chapel takes its name from a large embossed silver Madonna in the center of the altarpiece (made of rare wood). The silver reliefs surrounding the Madonna symbolize the Laurentanian Litany. Alexander Colin designed the sarcophagi of Ferdinand and Philippine. The Tiroler Volkskunst-Museum is reached through the same entranceway. You can purchase a combined ticket to the church and the museum for 6.50€ ($10) for adults and 3€ ($4.80) for children.
- © Frommer's 2013
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