Innsbruck’s regal Gothic Hofkirche (Court Church) forms part of a complex with the Hofburg Imperial Palace in the Altstadt (Old Town). It was constructed by the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand I in 1563 in memory of his grandfather, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, whose elaborate marble tomb dominates the church’s central aisle and is a masterpiece of intricate German Renaissance sculpture. His (empty) sarcophagus depicts Maximilian kneeling in prayer and is flanked by 28 life-size bronze figures of his forefathers, family, and literary figures, including a statue of King Arthur by Albrecht Dürer.
Also buried in the Hofkirche, just left of the entrance, is Tyrolean Resistance hero Andreas Hofer, who fought against Napoleon and was eventually executed in 1810 in Mantua, Italy. Other highlights of the church include the ornately carved wooden pews and pulpit; Jörg Ebert’s gilded organ, finished in 1558; and the Silver Chapel, so-named for the silver statue of the Virgin Mary on the altar, which was built between the church and the Hofburg in 1578 as the final resting place of Archduke Ferdinand II.
The Hofkirche forms part of the Tiroler Landesmuseum and is adjacent to the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) and the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (Museum of Folk Art) in Innsbruck’s Altstadt (Old Town). It is accessible on foot just a few minutes’ walk from the town’s main car parks, or by bus line F to Congress. The Sightseer tourist bus also stops at Congress and Hofburg.
The church is open daily (except for services on Sunday morning) and access is either through the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum or the main church entrance. There are guided tours in several languages. Admission is free with the Innsbruck Card, which allows discounted entry to several Innsbruck museums and galleries.