The Court Church of Innsbruck makes a rather unimpressive impression from the outside, but this is immediately revised by its magnificent interior with the magnificent tomb of Maximilian I.
Right next to the impressive Hofburg is the Hofkirche, one of our top 10 sights in Innsbruck. The main entrance is on Universitätsstraße, but tourists can only enter the church (for a fee) via the neighbouring Folk Art Museum.
The Court Church with its attached Franciscan monastery was built in the 16th century on the orders of Emperor Ferdinand I by Niclas Türing the Younger, whose grandfather of the same name created the famous oriel with the Golden Roof, Innsbruck's landmark.
Under Ferdinand II, the silver burial chapel was completed in 1578, which today houses the marble tomb of Catherine Loxan, an aunt of the empress, in addition to the tomb of the emperor and his wife.
Magnificent interior of the Court Church of Innsbruck
The interior of the church, with its paintings, woodcarvings and stuccowork, is a masterful work of art. The main altar, built by the Viennese court architect Nikolaus von Pacassi, is flanked by figures of St. Theresa of Avila and St. Francis of Aissisi.
The organ of the Hofkirche also deserves a second look. The "Swallow's Nest Organ", which "sticks" to the wall like a bird's nest, was created in 1561 by Jörg Ebert and is considered the largest almost completely preserved Renaissance organ in Austria.
Burial church with empty grave
The Court Church, also called the Franciscan Church, was built from 1553 to 1563 for exactly one purpose - as the location for the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, the grandfather of the client.
The late ruler, however, chose the castle in Wiener Neustadt as his final resting place. His empty ceremonial tomb, which was brought from Wiener Neustadt to Innsbruck by his grandson Ferdinand I, nevertheless made the Court Church famous far beyond the borders of Innsbruck.
Above all, the 28 larger-than-life figures made of black bronze around the ornate tomb give the Innsbruck Court Church its unmistakable character. Because of them, the church is also called the "Schwarzmander-Kirche" ("Black Men's Church").
Among the figures also depicting princes and kings are the two wives of Maximilian I, Mary of Burgundy and Bianca Maria Sforza, as well as his father Frederick III and his two children.
Nevertheless, the Hofkirche did not have to do entirely without a famous corpse, because it houses the grave of Andreas Hofer. The Tyrolean freedom fighter successfully led the uprisings against the Bavarian occupation of Innsbruck in the early 19th century and has been considered a folk hero ever since. Two of his comrades-in-arms, Joachim Haspinger and Georg Hauger, also found their eternal rest in the Hofkirche.