Hofburg District, Innsbruck
The Hofburg, the former imperial palace in Viennese late Roccoco style, with four wings, was originally built in the 15th and 16th C., but was remodeled in Baroque and Roccoco style in the 18th C. on instructions from Maria Theresa. There are guided tours. Visitors are shown a number of luxurious apartments with stucco work and painted ceilings. Particularly memorable is the Riesensaal (Giant Hall), a grand hall in polished marble and decorated in white and gold, with portraits of the Imperial family and three large ceiling frescos (1775) by F. A. Maulpertsch. To the south of the Hofburg stands the Adliges Damenstift (18th C.), a religious house for noble ladies, with two handsome Baroque doorways.
Above Innsbruck's Franziskanerbogen (Franciscan Arch), through which the Burggraben leads into the Rennweg, is the Silver Chapel (Silberne Kapelle: entrance from Hofkirche), built in 1578-87 as the burial chapel of Archduke Ferdinand II. The chapel takes its name from a silver image of the Virgin and the embossed silver reliefs on the altar symbolizing the Lauretanian (Loreto) Litany. In recesses in the wall are the tombs of the Archduke (d. 1595) and his wife Philippine Welser (d. 1580), both by Alexander Colin. The fine organ dates from the 16th C.
The Innsbruck Hofkirche (Court Church), built in 1553-63 in the local Late Gothic style, is a three-aisled hall- church with a narrow chancel, a tower set to one side and a beautiful Renaissance porch. The high altar (1758), side altars (1775) and choir screen (17th C.) should be noted. To the left of the entrance can be seen the monument (1834) of Andreas Hofer (b. St Leonhard in Southern Tirol 1767, shot in Mantua 1810), whose remains were deposited here in 1823. On either side lie his comrades in arms Josef Speckbacher (1767-1820) and the Capuchin friar Joachim Haspinger (1776-1858).
The Tomb of Emperor Maximilian I is a work of art. Larger than life bronze statues stand around the huge black marble sarcophagus, which contains a bronze figure of the Emperor and 24 reliefs dramatizing his life.
On the eastern side of Innsbruck's Rennweg are the Stadtsäle (Municipal Rooms), with the Provincial Theatre (Landestheater, 1846). To the north lies the Hofgarten, a garden with fine trees and an Art and Concert Pavilion.The Innsbruck residence includes magnificent gardens that have been open to the public since the early 1700s. A concert pavilion, art pavilion and outdoor chess boards can all be found in the gardens.
Fair and Exhibition Grounds
To the east of Innsbruck's Hofgarten stretch the exhibition grounds, where the Innsbruck Autumn Fair and other events are held.
Tirolese Congress & Messe
On the west side of Innsbruck's Rennweg (at Nos. 3-5) is the Tirolese Conference Complex (Kongresszentrum, 1973), a multi-purpose building with a number of halls, and a restaurant.The structure was originally built between 1628 and 1629 as the first court theater. It was later used as a riding school and then rebuilt during the Bavarian reign (1806 - 14) to serve as a toll house. The old foundations still exist.
In Innsbruck's Universitätsstrasse, which leads eastwards from the Hofkirche, stand the Old University (Alte Universität), founded in 1562 as a Jesuit college and rebuilt in 1673, and the University Library (rebuilt 1722). Between them, set back a little, is the Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche), a cruciform building on a central plan with a mighty 60m/200ft high dome (1627-40).
Further to the northeast of the Innsbruck Old University, on the right in Kaiserjägerstrasse, stands the Capuchin Convent (Kapuzinerkloster, 1593). The side chapel on the left in the church has an altar with a painting of the Virgin by Lukas Cranach the Elder (1528).
Tyrolean Provincial Theater
The theater was built between 1844 and 1846 to replace the former court theater. The building has a classical style and includes four Corinthian columns at the main entrance.The theater is used for an annual festival, which runs from April to July and includes operas, operettas, musicals, drama, dance and theater.
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