The Silver Chapel is located in the connecting wing via the passage between the “Adeligem Damenstift” (“Noblewomen’s Collegiate Foundation”) and the Court Church (“Schwarz Mander Kirche”). As one of the oldest organs in the German-speaking area, the Italian Renaissance organ with pipes made of cedar wood is still played today.
|Floor space || || 123 || m² |
|Maximum capacity of individuals || ||120 || |
|Daily rent excl. VAT + extra expenses || || || |
For cultural events - with free admission
| € ||150 || |
|For cultural events - with admission subject to payment || € ||520 || |
|For public*) and private**) events || € ||1.045 || |
*) e.g. master’s courses; **) e.g. weddings, memorial masses
More detailed information about the rental conditions will be provided by
Burghauptmannschaft Österreich – Abt. 202 - Hofburg Innsbruck l A-6020 Innsbruck l Rennweg 1
Tel.: 0043 (0)1 536 49 - 814128 l Fax: 0043 (0)1 536 49 - 814113
History of the Silver Chapel
The so-called “Funeral Chapel” was built by order of the Tyrolean sovereign Archduke Ferdinand II von Habsburg in two construction phases, from 1577 to 1596.
It is reminiscent of Ferdinand’s romantic love relationship with Philippine Welser, the daughter of a very wealthy Augsburg businessman. In defiance of all political reason the two married, although living together with a lover would certainly not have been anything unusual. Philippine found little recognition in the Habsburg family, but she probably became the idol of Tyroleans. On account of the marriage that was not in keeping with his status, Ferdinand had to abandon a brilliant political career. In 1567 he assumed the reign in Tyrol.
Philippine’s death and 53 year-old Ferdinand’s second marriage with 16 year-old Anna Katharina Gonzaga from Mantua led to modification of the construction concept. A second chapel was added in the south. The double chapel accommodates Philippine’s sarcophagus in the northern, older part, and the tomb planned for Ferdinand and Anna Katharina in the southern part. But Anna Katharina, whose small family altar is exhibited in the Museum / Imperial Apartments, was buried in the Servite Convent, her own collegiate foundation.
The northern chapel was built during the period 1577-79 by the Italian Giovanni (Hans) Lucchese, who Ferdinand II employed as a court painter. Marble ribs follow the groins of the cross-vault. The vault and the upper wall zones were painted with a regular pattern around 1580, presumably by a decoration painter: staggered rows of angel heads, each with a different facial expression. The hexagonal oil tempera paintings in between – scenes from the life of Mary and Jesus – stem from Johann Baptist Fontana. The tomb niche of Katharina von Loxan, Philippine’s aunt, who died ten days before Philippine, is located behind a wrought-iron grille. Philippine’s marble sarcophagus with outstanding reliefs by Alexander Colin was only positioned – somewhat unfavourably – after Ferdinand’s death in a niche that was quarried-out afterwards. Parts of the arch above the lying figure had to be cut out in order to adapt it to the much too small niche under the staircase. The southern chapel was built during the period 1586-88 by Albrecht(o) Lucchese, who succeeded his father Giovanni as court painter. It is maintained in black & white, and attuned to the tomb of the sovereign Ferdinand II. All of the tombs in the Silver Chapel were designed and executed by Alexander Colin: 1580-81 in the northern chapel, 1588-96 in the southern chapel. He was also involved in Emperor Maximilian’s tomb in the Hofburg.
The Renaissance organ – unique for Austria – with pipes made of cedar wood corresponds to the Italian organ construction method of the 16th century. The organ case is in the Tyrolean furniture tradition with the ornamentation that was customary around this time (1614).