Nearly half a millennium ago, Ferdinand I built the Hofkirche (Court Church) Innsbruck, a Gothic memorial to his grandfather Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519). It was a familial gesture, but today everyone can be astounded by the architectural achievement.
The most prominent tomb memorial for an emperor in Europe, the church boasts an incredible collection of German Renaissance sculpture, and an ornate black marble cenotaph at the center of the nave. Over two dozen larger-than-life statues occupy the hall, and the embellishments throughout are elaborate enough to have taken decades.
The cenotaph alone took more than 80 years to build, with its Hagau marble, bronze relief frieze and, above that, rows of white marble reliefs, created by the artist Alexander Colin. Stone bas-reliefs mark the tomb's ends and sides, depicting events from Maximilian's life.