The Hofkirche or Imperial Church is from 1553. It had one major purpose – to be the final resting place for Maximilian I. This was the mandate by Ferdinand I behind its construction. Opposite the Hofberg, the Hofkirche sits empty. The body of Maximilian lies elsewhere. Instead, you will find within the tombs of Andreas Hofer, a Tirolean hero. He led a Tirolean rebel force against the supierio numbered forces of Napoleon.
The empty sarcophagus of Maximilian is a work of art. It is considered to be the best example of German Renaissance sculpture. The empty massive tomb bears engravings of his life. Behind the metal Renaissance grille (1573) by Georg Schmiedhamser of Prague, are the Black Statues. These Schwarze Mander are 28 somber giant beings of bronze. In two rows, they stand, depicting the Hapsburgs and several dignitaries. King Arthur stands there, the work of Albrecht Dürer, as does Theoderic of the Ostrogoths and Count Albrecht IV. There are also 24 marble reliefs portraying the life and work of Emperor Maximilian I.
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