The Hofkirche & Volkskunst Museum

Right next to the Hofburg, on Universitätstrasse 2 are located the Hofkirche and Volkskunst Museum. These two sites are entered with one ticket costing € 6.50 for adults and € 3.00 for children. There are also separate tickets, 1 for Hofkirche and 1 for Volkskunst Museum, costing respectively € 3.00 (2.00 students, 1.50 children) and € 5.00 (3.00 students, 1.50 children). The Hofkirche or the Imperial Church is an impressive building built in 16th century by Emperor Ferdinand I in honour of his father Emperor Maximilian I.

The church keeps the monumental sarcophagus of Maximilian I, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1508 to 1519, when he died. The tomb is empty as the emperor’s last wish was to be buried in Neustadt of Vienna. The sarcophagus is considered one of the most exquisite representatives of the German Renaissance art which has survived to our time, although the reliefs are only a part of the initial plans. The monument shows scenes from the life of the ruler, sculptured by the famous Flemish sculptor Alexander Colin. He also created the beautiful bronze figure of the kneeling Maximilian I. Another artist from the city of Prague – Georg Schmiedhammer, did the exquisite metal grille of the emperor’s sarcophagus. Most impressive are the twin rows of giant bronze figures representing other prominent persons from the Habsburg dynasty, as well as the legendary King Arthur. These 28 bronze statues were made by Albrecht Dürel, who skilfully polished the bronze to give it a gold shine. The church also contains the tombs of Andreas Hofer, Archduke Ferdinand II and his wife, who was not a noble.

At the entrance of Hofkirche is situated the Silberne Kapelle or the Silver Chapel where a remarkable representation of the Virgin, decorated with embossed silver, can be seen.

Right next to the Imperial Church is the Volkskunst Museum exhibiting a large collection of folk art not only from the Austrian province of Tyrol but also from the Italian region of Südtirol. Besides the fine examples of traditional dresses, musical instruments, farming equipment, the museum shows rooms furnished and decorated in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.