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Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck

Opening hours: daily from9:00 am to 5:00 pm, last admission: 4:30 pm

Entrance fee: 8 € (Combined ticket for showrooms and special



An exhibition about death and grief (1765–2015)

The Hofburg takes the 250


death anniversary of Emperor Franz

I Stephan as an opportunity to host a comprehensive exhibition

about death and grief. The theme is, besides the Baroque Death Cult

of the Habsburg dynasty, dealing with dying and death across the

centuries. The changes of the ritual of death, such as the memory

cult throughout the different eras are brought to mind. The exhibiti-

on is a cooperation between the Austrian Castle & Fortress Authority,

the Tyrolean Museums and the Tyrolean Hospice Community. Open

from the 6


of June 2015 to the 10


of January 2016.

The Baroque Death Cult

After the typical ceremonies he was put into the black decorated

Giant Hall. A small picture showed the death Emperor in the roy-

al bed dressed in a Spanish coat dress and surrounded by funeral

crowns. At the end of his feet a vessel was placed that contained

the intestines, which had to be buried separately according to the

baroque tradition (in the heart-grave of St. Augustine‘s Church).

Possibly a grief framework was put in the Jesuit church. After three

days in the Giant Hall, he was moved with a carriage to Hall, whe-

re a farewell ceremony took place in the chapel Nepomuk. Then he

was transferred with a ship to Vienna, where he was buried in the

Capuchin Crypt.

In memory of…

Maria Theresia ordered, in everlasting memory of her husband, to turn

the room he died in, into the new Hofburg Chapel. Furthermore, she

ordered to decorate the Triumph Arch with new sculptural decorati-

on out of marble from Balthasar Moll. The south side was decorated

in memory of the wedding and the north side in memory of the de-

ceased Emperor, which was crowned with his laurel-adorned portrait.

Because Maria Theresia was concerned about her husband’s soul sal-

vation, she also arranged the foundation of a ladies’ convent, whe-

re 12 Tyrolean women (not under 24 years) were taken in to pray for

the soul of the deceased Emperor. The 3rd floor of the Hofburg ser-

ved temporarily as the venue for the ladies’ convent, later it was built

at the square Franziskanerplatz by Constantin von Walther. It opened

already within that same year for the birthday of the deceased (8



December). After the end of the monarchy, the Land of Tyrol took it

over, and it still stands to this day.


Maria Theresia errichtete die Hofkapelle in

der Hofburg Innsbruck in Erinnerung an den Tod

ihres Mannes Franz Stephan, der 1765 plötzlich

in Innsbruck verstarb. //

Maria Theresia ordered to build the

Court Chapel in memory of her deceased

husband Franz Stephan, who died

unexpectedly in Innsbruck in 1765.