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Imperial Palace and Court Church

One of the most historically significant buildings in Innsbruck

The Imperial Palace commissioned by Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519) was completed in the year 1500. Even back then it was the same size as it is today, as shown in a watercolour painting of the building by Albrecht Dürer.

Almost 250 years later Empress Maria Theresia (1717-1780) had the Imperial Palace redesigned in the Viennese late baroque style. In the 19th century Archduke Karl Ludwig (1833-1896) was in charge of affairs in Innsbruck and had the inner apartment adapted for his sister-in-law Empress Elizabeth (better known in Austria as Sisi). To this end, Rococo Revival furniture by the Viennese court artist August La Vigne was brought to Innsbruck, with each room in the apartment being decorated in a different colour. With the fall of the monarchy (1918) the Imperial Palace came under state control. Today it is considered the third most important historical building in Austria.

In the Court Church there are 28 larger-than-life black statues keeping watch over the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I. This is why the church is known to locals as the “Church of the Black Men”. These bronze statues and the entire tomb had been precisely planned by Maximilian before his death.