Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Hofkirche of Innsbruck

Estela and I have been in Innsbruck twice, in 1993 and in 2014. I hope to have at least one final chance to see Innsbruck, for the first thing we would go visit is the Hofkirche. So for this report, we must relay on what I have studied over the last few months, and not on my own personal experience. However, to talk about Classical Religious Art, which is the object of this blog, and not to mention the Hofkirche for those who might read this blog before going to Innsbruck, would be irresponsible on our part.
The last time we went to Innsbruck, we were trying to find the Hofkirche, when I asked an passerby for directions, and the answer I got was a "Welche Kirche?" and a frown. Then he said something like, "Do you mean the Schwarzmanderkirche?" Unwittingly I answered that I was not interested in getting to know a Church with black me. However, that's how the local people call this wonderful ensemble of dark bronze statues, lining the main aisle of the Hofkirche, standing between the pillars: the black men, because although this was not the case originally, over time, these bronze statues, have become black, or at least, very dark.
The Hofkirche represents one of the most splendid examples of German Renaissance Art in the world. Ferdinand I of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1553, decided to build and decorate this memorial church for his beloved grandfather, Maximilian I, where his cenotaph lies. (A Cenotaph is a coffin or Sarcophagus  honoring a person who is deceased, but where the corpse has never been present.) Maximilian I gave Gilg Sesselschreiber the contract over 500 years ago, in 1504, to cast a larger than life bronze statue of himself for his funeral memorial, along with another 40 bronze statues of  his ancestors, of which only 28 were finally concluded,  of which one is King Arthur.
The result is possibly the most magnificent Burial Monument of a King in all of Europe. I do not offer you pictures, because as I confessed at the beginning of this mail, I have never visited the Hofkirche, so I believe that any pictures in our blog would give false pretense. When I do visit the Hofkirche, God willing someday, you, our dear followers of this blog of Road of Faith and Art, will receive an update.

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