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Court Church - Cenotaph Emperor Maximilian I

Innsbruck, Austria

The Hofkirche (Court Church) in Innsbruck with its memorial for Emperor Maximilian I is the most prominent tomb memorial for an emperor in Europe. Furthermore it provides evidence of European court art for which the best artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Vischer the older and Alexander Colin were employed. 

Emperor Maximilian's basic idea was to construct a political memorial for the Roman-German imperial rule, which was based on the tradition of the House of Habsburg, and was supposed to develop into a European imperial rule through Maximilian's political targets. The completion of the memorial in its present form took more than 80 years. It was during the time of Ferdinand II that the 1584 casting of the kneeling emperor, the four virtues and the iron grille were finished and installed in the tomb. The extensive memorial consists of a cenotaph with the figure of the kneeling emperor and 24 reliefs depicting his deeds on the sarcophagus in the middle of the nave and 28 of the planned 40 larger than life statues of his ancestors between the pillars of the nave and the beginning of the chancel. The Renaissance organ on the right hand side of the choir wall by Jörg Ebert from Ravensburg counts as one of the five most famous organs in the world and is in addition the largest nearly undamaged organ from the Renaissance in Austria.

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