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Tyrol and its People By Clive Holland Characters: 81569

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

The approach to Innsbruck, whether one come to it by railway or by road from the west, north, east or south, is picturesque and even wonderfully beautiful. Most English and American travellers, however, we imagine, come to the old-time capital of Tyrol via Zurich and the Arlberg railway, with its marvellous tunnel all but six and a half miles in length, above which tower snow-clad peaks and glaciers. This route provides a wonder-world of delight, a succession of deep gorges lying at the foot of towering mountains covered on their summits with a mantle of spotless and eternal snow. At one moment the train traverses a steep gradient climbing slowly along the hillside as though the line were laid upon a shelf of rock from which nothing but a miracle can keep it from tumbling into the foaming torrent below; the next plunging into the darkness of one of the many tunnels, to emerge a moment or two later into a blaze of light and vistas of still greater beauty. The Arlberg railway is not alone an engineering triumph; it is also an artistic one. Few lines in Europe present greater charm or variety of scenery in so comparatively short a distance. To enter Tyrol by it is to see the country as it is, largely unaltered from the days when Napoleon's armies entered it also from the Swiss frontier with the same objective, Innsbruck.

Soon after leaving Feldkirch the valley commences to contract as the line climbs upwards from Bludenz and passes through the beautiful Kloster Thal; and at Langen one suddenly comes into the region of Alpine pastures, and from the valley below one can hear the musical tinkle of cow-bells, and discover on the hill-slopes picturesque groups of peasants minding their flocks. Then comes the ascent through the famous Arlberg tunnel, which is 26 feet in width and 23 feet in height, with its six and a half miles of gloom succeeded by magnificent scenery as St. Anton is passed, and the line proceeds through the narrow Stanzer valley, between towering mountains, many of whose peaks are snow-covered. Soon it crosses the wonderful Trisanna Viaduct which, in one arch of nearly 150 yards in length, spans the gorge of the Patznaum valley, at the bottom of which, nearly 200 feet below the line, rushes the glacial stream, and thence past the ancient Castle of Wiesberg onwards to Landeck, which is set in a wide valley with its commanding castle.

From Landeck by taking a carriage one can reach Innsbruck in a leisurely way along the Finstermunz high-road via Sulden and Trafoi, and thence along the Stilfserjoch, the highest carriage road in Europe, which climbs to the height of 9055 feet above sea level. This was constructed between the years 1820-25 by the Austrian Government, and traverses a wonderful variety of exquisite scenery, from the region of the eternal snow on the Ortler and Monte Cristallo to the vine-clad slopes of the Val Tellina. The most impressive scenery is, however, found on the Tyrol side of the pass.

From Landeck the line passes many another picturesque village; castles, whose history would fill volumes, seem to stand stark and stern almost on every mountain spur, some now mere ruins, others wonderful survivals of a past age, sometimes environed by pine-clad slopes, at others half-encircled by rushing torrents washing the bases of the rocky promontories upon which they stand, whilst above one towers on either hand the illimitable glaciers and snow slopes of the Eastern Alps. Thus through ever interesting and beautiful scenery one at last approaches Innsbruck.




Innsbruck is not only the capital of Tyrol, a town of upwards of 50,000 inhabitants, renowned historically and climaterically, but it is also the junction of two important lines of railway by means of which one can get eastward to Vienna and the East, and southward into Italy.

It has been said that of all Tyrolese towns Innsbruck is the least national. Such a statement, although tinctured with truth, needs some qualification. In the season it certainly puts on a cosmopolitan air, and one meets numbers of English, Austrians, Germans, French, Americans, Italians, and Anglo-Indians in its streets; and games and entertainments make up a social round of considerable gaiety. But the town nevertheless retains its native charm, bred of historic memories, ancient buildings, and the hospitality of its people.

To the northward, sheltering it from the cold winds from off the Bavarian plains, stands the bulwark of the eternal heights which literally wall in Tyrol. There rise the magnificent groups of limestone mountains towering above the fertile Inn Valley, the Frauhitt and Martinswand with their romantic traditions and memories, the Seegrubenspitzen, and Rumerjoch and Brandjoch. In fine weather they appear but a stone's throw from the bottom of the Maria-Theresien-Strasse, or from the Ferdinands Allée which runs along the south bank of the Inn, with its maples and poplars graceful and shady.

Situated amid so much beauty of scenery, favoured by an equable climate and much sunshine, it is little wonder that the town has become a popular resort, more especially during the winter months. The valley is at its broadest where the city stands, allowing a wide prospect and charming views from the slopes of St. Nicolaus and Mariahilf across the river to the Berg Isel, and the wooded sides of the Mittelgebirge, with here and there a tiny village with outstanding spire perched high on the mountain side, or set amid the plain. The valley lies east and west of Innsbruck with the river flowing eastward like a silver ribbon, amid cultivated fields of fertile alluvial soil, threading its way through the gradually narrowing valley to Kufstein and thence through Bavaria to the Danube.

This Alpine city, pregnant with so many historical memories, deeds of blood and chivalry, engirdled by the everlasting hills, is, with the possible exception of Salzburg, the most picturesque and interesting of all German Alpine towns.

The character of Innsbruck of to-day differs very materially in some respects from what it was two decades ago. The modern element, which always comes to such places with greater notoriety and prosperity brought by travellers and tourists, has become developed, but happily as yet not greatly to the detriment of the old-time air which still permeates its narrow, ancient streets, and by-ways, courts, and buildings. In some of the former, the Maria-Theresien-Strasse at the south end of which stands the Triumphal Arch and Gate, and the Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, for example, the old and the new are strangely mingled. It is not a little owing to this distinguishing feature as well as to its beautiful environment that Innsbruck owes its charm. With much of the convenience, it possesses less of the vexing artificiality of ancient places vulgarized by the exigencies of modern travel than do many similar towns. In some parts one might almost imagine one's self in one of the larger mountain villages, in another at Pontresina, or St. Moritz, minus, however, some of the more artificial gaiety of these resorts.


During the season-more especially the summer-there are numbers of German tourists as well as Austrian to be seen in the streets, and in their almost boisterous enjoyment of their sight-seeing and holiday amusements they form a very marked contrast to the quieter and perhaps somewhat restrained English and American visitors, who as a general rule set about exploring the place and its treasures with a much more preoccupied and business-like air.

From the higher and more distant valleys, too, many mountaineers and peasants come down to enjoy a few hours' marketing or the pleasures of the town. They form not the least interesting feature of the summer crowd which throngs the new as well as the old streets of Innsbruck. The women, many of them, wear picturesque costumes, consisting of velvet bodices, skirts of often beautiful shades of green and brown; aprons elaborately worked, or of lace; and sailor-shaped hats of black or green felt, often ornamented by gold embroidery under the brims and with two long ribbons (frequently also of velvet) hanging down or fluttering in the wind at the back. These hats are singularly like those of the Breton peasants, only they are worn more by the women than the men, whilst in Brittany women seldom wear them.

The fact that Innsbruck is a garrison town accounts for the presence of a large number of soldiers about the streets; green plays a prominent part in many of the uniforms-more especially of Tyrolese regiments-whilst the officers of several wear a particularly smart shade of blue-grey, or "pastel" blue cloth with trimmings of cerise, scarlet, or green, which seldom fail to arouse the admiration of the ladies. The countryfolk, too, crowd the streets on market days with feathers in their hats which are often of beautifully "weathered" golden green or bright green felt.

The history of Innsbruck from the tenth century onwards is indeed largely that of Tyrol itself. The name as a town appears first to have occurred in a document of the year 1027 which was a grant to the chapel of St. James' in the Field (St. Jacob in der Au), which most probably occupied the site on which the stately church of the same name erected in 1717 now stands. Long before this date, however, a settlement of people-small at first-had taken place at this crossing or ford of the Inn, brought into existence by the growing and profitable commerce between Germany and Italy by way of the Brenner. Both the travelling merchants and the Tyrolese themselves soon found the place a convenient dep?t for the heavier goods and articles of merchandise, such as skins, wines, cloths, and metal ware; and as the years went by it gradually grew to be more than a convenient halting-place for the merchants and their pack trains on their journeys. Houses fit to accommodate the well-to-do were erected, and Innsbruck as a flourishing town came into being. Towards the end of the twelfth century certain rights over the town were acquired by a von Andechs, Berthold II., from the monks of Wilten to whom it belonged; and in consequence of these rights, Otto I., his successor, encircled it with walls, fortifications, and watch-towers, and also built himself a palace.

The rise of Innsbruck was from the middle of the thirteenth century a steady one. At that period it was made the sole dep?t for the storage of goods between the Zillerthal and the Melach; and as the years went by other privileges were granted to the steadily growing town, which not only served to maintain but also to increase its importance.

In 1279, Bruno, Bishop of Brixen, consecrated another church in the Ottoburg, which was called the Moritzkapelle. The town's lords, spiritual as well as temporal, appear to have done what they could to foster and encourage its growth, and there are records of festivities and princely entertainments on a lavish scale within the precincts of the Ottoburg in those far-off times. It was not, however, until after the cession of Tyrol to Austria by the Duchess Margaret, known as "Pocket-mouthed Meg," that the admirable situation of Innsbruck was fully realized. Ultimately, the convenience of its water communication by the Inn and Danube with other distant and flourishing towns of the Empire seems largely to have brought about its adoption as the seat of government for Tyrol.


Innsbruck throughout the centuries, so far as its rulers are concerned, appears to have been "fortune's child." Many privileges were granted to it from time to time, and the staunch fidelity of the citizens to Duke Rudolph IV. of Habsburg at the time of one of the periodic Bavarian invasions resulted in further concessions being granted which served to place Innsbruck in the unassailable position of being both the capital and the most prosperous town in the Tyrol.

Duke Frederick of the Empty Pocket (Mit der leeren Tasche) made Innsbruck his home and base of operations whilst endeavouring to put down the Rottenburgers and other of the powerful nobles, who were attempting to set him at defiance and continue the oppression of the countryfolk which they had commenced and carried on during the unstable and weak government of Frederick's immediate predecessors.

The Innsbruckers gave him loyal and very material support in his endeavours, and reaped a substantial reward in the favours and privileges which Frederick afterwards granted to them.

It was this prince who gained, by contact with his people when a fugitive amongst the mountains and valleys of Tyrol, a knowledge of them (and thereby earned their affection) that made it possible for him ultimately to call the peasantry to arms, and to defy the power of the Emperor Sigismund, Ernest the Iron Duke of Styria, and his other enemies.

The circumstances of Frederick's call of the people to arms was romantic in the extreme. Indeed, his doings in the early years of his outlawry by the Church and State read like pages of the most stirring romance. Perhaps some of the deeds recorded are more or less legendary, but enough remains to fill to overflowing with stirring incidents the pages of any historical romance. Briefly the story of the event is as follows. Assured during his many wanderings of the people's devotion to him, for when pursued they had sheltered him, and when discovered they had boldly refused to surrender his person to his enemies, Frederick devised a plan by which he should appear as the principal actor in an heroic peasant comedy at the great fair at Landeck. This play set forth in stirring scenes the fortunes or rather misfortunes of an exiled prince driven from his throne by his enemies, compelled to wander destitute, and with a price upon his head amongst his people, whom he eventually calls to arms and leads to victory and thus recovers his inheritance.

He must have played his part remarkably well if one may judge by the results. The people, who had come to the fair from all parts of the country roundabout were stirred to the very depths by his acting, and by his pourtrayal of the imaginary prince's misfortunes. We are told the audience were many of them moved to tears and that when Frederick came to sing of the people following their ruler's call to arms the enthusiasm became uncontrollable.

Then, so the tale goes, Frederick threw off all disguise, and made a direct appeal to them. The vast audience vowed to support his cause, and the enthusiasm which swayed the Landeckers was not long spreading through the whole country with the result that shortly afterwards the Emperor Sigismund and Frederick's brother concluded a truce with him and he was allowed to become ruler.


During his reign he did much to show his gratitude to his loyal friends and people by curbing the oppressive power of the nobles, and granting many privileges which were on the whole more for the benefit of the poor than of the rich.


But to many who come to Innsbruck we fancy Frederick's fame rests not upon his wisdom as a ruler so much as upon his extravagance in building the world-famous "Goldne Dachl" to the elegant late-Gothic balcony of his palace at the foot of the Herzog-Friedrich-strasse. The nickname of "Empty Purse" or "Pocket" had been bestowed upon him by his enemies, who sought to belittle him when he attained to power. It was not certainly his by common consent. The Tyrolese account rather points to the fact that Frederick at one time had impoverished himself in his endeavours to relieve his subjects from the burdens of taxation, and in consequence the nobles who were no believers in his system of government in this respect bestowed upon him this somewhat approbrious sobriquet. Frederick saw in this a reproach not perhaps so much directed against himself as against his people in general. It seemed to him to indicate that his enemies thought those for whom he had undoubtedly done much kept him poor and would do nothing to keep up a state in character with his position as ruler. He therefore built the famous roof.[10] Outside the house which was then the Furstenburg or princely dwelling, now very ordinary looking and far less imposing and ornate in character than say the Heblinghaus hard by, he in 1425 erected over the two-storied balcony the "Goldne Dachl," on which piece of medi?val display of wealth he is stated to have expended 30,000 ducats or about £14,000. In it there are 3450 gilt upon copper tiles, which have several times since Frederick's day been regilded. The last occasion on which this was done is upwards of twenty years ago.

It is necessary, however, for us to say that considerable doubt exists whether Frederick-who is now supposed not even to have built the house-did construct the roof which has done so much to immortalize his nickname. Loth though one is to destroy a romantic story, truth compels us to state that the most reliable evidence points to the Emperor Maximilian as the originator of the roof and probably the balcony also in 1500, after his second marriage with Maria Bianca Sforza of Milan.

The house has long ago descended from its high position as a royal palace, even at times of recent years having been let to private families or in apartments, but the famous "Goldne Dachl" over the beautiful oriel window, with its Gothic balconies, the balustrades of which are decorated with carved armorial bearings and shields in marble, has been preserved as a beloved relic almost in its original state. Within the house itself is a curious old fresco, the subject of which has been the cause of much dispute. On the second floor is an interesting sculptured bas-relief, depicting Maximilian and his two wives, Mary of Burgundy and Maria Bianca Sforza, with the seven coats-of-arms belonging to the seven provinces over which the Emperor held sway.

Frederick's son Sigismund succeeded him, and for a time kept a brilliant and gay Court at Innsbruck, but being without direct heirs he in 1490 gave up Tyrol to his cousin who, three years later, became the Emperor Maximilian I. Maximilian in turn did much for the town which he adopted as his Tyrol home, and by his residence in Innsbruck, after he had become the Emperor of a wide dominion, he did much to increase its importance and prosperity. He it was who built a new palace in the Rennplatz, called the Burg, which scarcely forty years later was burned down. The Great Hall, called the Goldene Saal, and the state bedroom, the decorations and furniture of which were so beautiful and magnificent that it was known as das Paradies, were eventually totally destroyed, many of the occupants of the palace, including the children of the Emperor Ferdinand of that time, escaping with their lives with difficulty.

Maximilian, who became familiar to his Innsbruckers as the "Kaiser Max," especially endeared himself to them by reason of his frank manners and love of the chase and mountaineering.


Amongst the many interesting medi?val buildings which have happily survived in Innsbruck there are several in the immediate neighbourhood of the famous "Goldne Dachl." One of the oldest, if not the oldest, is the Ottoburg of Otto I. standing at the end of the Herzog-Friedrich-strasse close to the River Inn; and, indeed, only separated from it by the Herzog-Otto-strasse. This, the residence of the Andechs, was built in 1234, and was the reputed birthplace of Otto III. A quaint motto concerning it remains, which, roughly translated, runs-

"Here the Ottoburg firmly stands,

A house upheld by God's own hands."

In this ancient building many dramatic scenes of Tyrolese history took place.

Close by is the oldest Inn, the famous and deeply interesting Goldener Adler (Golden Eagle) to which, in former times, before modern hotels and conveniences were esteemed indispensable, every visitor of distinction to Innsbruck came. The "visitors' list" of the Goldener Adler is one long entry of nobles and celebrities.

Indeed, during the time it was the acknowledged resort of the nobility and even monarchs who came to Innsbruck, it sheltered amongst its many distinguished guests and travellers the Emperor Joseph II.; Ludwig I., King of Bavaria; Gustave III. of Sweden; Heinrich Heine, the gifted though melancholy poet; and Goethe, who came to Innsbruck with the Dowager Duchess Amalie of Saxe-Weimar in 1790. In commemoration of this visit a bust of the poet adorns the room which he occupied. And last, but by no means least, the Goldener Adler housed the patriot Andreas Hofer. It was regarding the portraits of the latter, of his enemy Napoleon Bonaparte, and of Ludwig of Bavaria that Heine remarked on seeing them hanging side by side in the dining-room of the Inn that it was strange to see such enemies grouped together even though merely portraits. Tradition has it that it was from the middle window of the famous Goldener Adler that Hofer made his speech to the surging crowd in the narrow street below on August 15, 1809, when he entered the town in triumph after the third battle on Berg Isel. A copy of the speech, which was a modest though stirring oration, has been preserved at the Inn.

One of the most delightful vistas of the old town is to be obtained from the corner where stand the three well-known Inns, the Goldener Hirsch, Rother Adler, and Goldener L?we; whilst from the balcony of the old Stadtthurm or belfry a fine view over the town and of the environing mountain summits rewards the adventurous climber.

The old-fashioned "lauben" or arcades of the Herzog-Friedrich-strasse in particular, under which are set out tiny stalls often kept by picturesquely attired girls and women, seldom fail to attract the attention of visitors.

On either side of the street these "lauben" stretch under the low arcaded roofs, providing not only a cool promenade in the heat of summer, but a shelter which on wet days can be fully appreciated, for, to speak frankly, Innsbruck in wet weather strikes one if one wanders in the byways as a somewhat muddy though intensely interesting town. In these "lauben" one frequently sees types of the older Tyrolese in the national costume, which in the towns of Tyrol (as in those of other countries) show signs of dying out. Old women in the short skirts, and picturesque aprons, quaint hats and bodices, of the mountain districts and villages, and the old men, wrapped (if the weather be cold) in long, flowing, cloaks of green or russet cloth, smoking their long pipes with painted porcelain bowls, on which are often as not stirring scenes in miniature from the life of Hofer.


By way of these covered promenades one gradually reaches the busier centre of the town where the old-world aspect of Herzog-Friedrich-strasse gives place to the more modern Maria Theresien-strasse, and the Burggraben joins the Marktgraben. There are few more deeply interesting and picturesque places of its kind than Innsbruck Marktgraben on a festival or market day. Here, indeed, is a spot not alone for the artist and amateur photographer, but for the student also, who may see many quaint local customs and costumes, and occasionally even the boyishly attired girl cowherds of the upper pastures in their cloth or velvet knee breeches, short jackets, "sailor"-shaped hats decorated with feathers, edelweiss or gentians, and worsted stockings. Here, too, perhaps, one can better realize from the cosmopolitan throng of market people, than from anything else, the fact that for many generations Innsbruck has been the business highway for Italians, Slavonians, Hungarians, Austrians, and Germans. One can often, indeed, see representatives of Northern, Southern, and Eastern nations gathered together at one and the same time in the Marktgraben, with a sprinkling of tourists to represent the more Western peoples.

If we were asked to pick out the two streets which in different ways would probably most deeply impress the newcomer to Innsbruck, we should without hesitation chose the old-world Herzog-Friedrich-strasse, on either side of whose narrow roadway are so many interesting ancient houses, low-ceiled rooms, and picturesque courtyards, as one; and the Maria Theresien-strasse with its more modern air, exquisite view of the snow-capped Bavarian Alps as the other. But this latter fine commercial street with its up-to-date shops, upon the windows of many of which frequently appears that comfort-bringing (but alas! sometimes delusive) legend, "English Spoken," is not without its old and historical buildings. In the Spitalkirche or Church of the Holy Ghost one has an early eighteenth century Rococo building of considerable interest. And almost opposite stands the house in which Hermann von Gilm, the well-known Tyrolese poet, died in 1864. A little further along is the Rathaus or Town Hall of Innsbruck, which was formerly the Oesterreichischer Hof, a large hotel. In the courtyard is a noticeably fine marble staircase, and there are some interesting and effective frescoes on the walls from the brush of Ferdinand Wagner.

Few visitors but are attracted by the column of red native marble which occupies a prominent position in the middle of and almost exactly midway down Maria Theresien-strasse. Surmounted by a statuette of the Virgin Mary, and with those of St. Anna, St. George, St. Vigilius, and St. Cassian grouped round the base, it was erected as a memorial of the retreat of the Bavarian troops on St. Anna's Day (July 26), 1703.

At the corner of Maria Theresien-strasse and Landhaus-strasse is the Landhaus of Anton Gump completed in 1728, and in the Rococo style of architecture then prevalent. Here are held the sittings of the Tyrolean Landtag which was formerly held at Meran, and on its transference to Innsbruck was one of the main causes of the town becoming the capital of Tyrol.

Close by is the church of the Sevites, with its famous dome decorated by the paintings of the well-known Tyrolean artist, Joseph Sch?pf, depicting the death of St. Joseph and his entry into paradise.

The University, which stands in the street of that name, has undergone some considerable vicissitudes. Founded by the Emperor Leopold I. in 1677, it was, by the Emperor Joseph II., reduced to the standing of a Lycée, but was once more accorded the dignity of a University in 1826. In the valuable library of upwards of 75,000 volumes there are many illuminated MSS. of great beauty and value, as well as a number of early fifteenth-century books. The adjoining Botanical Garden, which contains an unrivalled collection of Alpine flora, and was constructed by Professor von Kerner, belongs to the University, and here during the summer months those who wish to study Alpine flowers will find grouped and gathered together specimens which it would take many months and perhaps even years to study and discover on one's own initiative in their native habitats. The University is, however, about to be transferred to a more convenient home on the Fürstenweg near the Inn, and the old building will, alas! probably be pulled down and the site used for modern houses.


Quite close to the latter stands the Jesuit Church attached to it, which is chiefly interesting because of its being the burial place of the Tyrolese Prince Regents, and on account of the paintings by Albrecht Durer which adorn the sacristy. The Capuchin Church and Convent dating from the latter end of the sixteenth century are worth a visit, for in the latter one sees an interesting and historical survival in the retreat of the Archduke Maximilian, known as the "Deutsch-Meister," who here devoted a week in every year to prayer, fasting, and penance.

In his simple cell, which is panelled in plain wood, and has for furniture but a bedstead and chair of the most ordinary make, one can realize exactly the kind of "retreat" which was so often in those far-off days used by the highest nobles and rulers to free them for a time from the cares and vanities of State. The inkstand and other small articles of necessity, which still remain memorials of Maximilian's occupation, are supposed to have been his own handiwork. How complete this ruler's retirement from the world and whilst he was in retreat can be judged by the fact that he not only followed with exactitude the rules of the brotherhood, rising early and also attending the night offices, but in addition he engaged in the manual labour of the garden, and field, and workshop like as one of them. The cell has a little window high up and opening on the chancel of the chapel to enable the noble recluse to take part in the services.

This cell has been in a sense a pilgrim place ever since, and has been visited at various times by many distinguished people. In 1765 the Empress Maria Theresa came to the Convent, and upon entering Maximilian's retreat sat herself in the wooden chair.

She was little used to so hard a resting-place, and after a minute or two she expressed her astonishment, exclaiming, "Heavens! What men of iron our forefathers were!"

There are (so far as we know) no relics of the Empress Maria Theresa's visit, not even an autograph; but another illustrious visitor, St. Lorenzo of Brindisi, who came to Innsbruck on his way to found a religious house in Austria, somewhat strangely one is forced to think, left behind him his staff, breviary, and copy of the Hebrew Bible, which are treasured as carefully as the relics of the Archduke Maximilian himself. During the reign of the latter the religious houses and Churches of Innsbruck all benefited by his generosity and prospered from his devotion to the Church. The effect of his example upon the townsfolk themselves was so marked that after the terrible plague of the year 1611 the burghers founded and built the Dreiheiligen Kirche (Holy Trinity) for the Jesuits as a thank-offering that the ravages of the plague were stayed. It was probably owing to the fact that, during this particular outbreak of the scourge of the Middle Ages, when the old hospital or Siechenhaus was all too small to hold all the victims, two Jesuits, Kaspar von Kostlan of Brixen, and the Professor of Theology at the University, assisted by a lay brother, tended the sick with indefatigable self-sacrifice, that the Jesuits were destined to chiefly benefit by the Innsbruckers' desire to commemorate their gratitude to God, that the pestilence at last had been overcome. They readily subscribed the necessary funds (we are told), and the then Burgomaster took a vow to see that the building was erected. From the time of which vow, tradition tells us, "the pestilence at once began to abate."

An altar-piece, the artist of which was St?tzl, was given by Maximilian himself. It represented the three patron saints against sickness: St. Sebastian, who stayed a plague in Rome by his intercession; St. Martha, who according to tradition founded a hospital and spent the rest of her life attending to the sick; and St. Rocchus, who devoted his life and strength to the care of those suffering from the pestilence.


Some of the most beautiful roads and modern houses of the newer Innsbruck, which is increasing in area year by year, lie close at hand to this votive church, and to the northward, in the part of the town which is best reached by the Universitats-strasse and Saggengasse, alongside of which is the vast Exercier Platz, and at the back of that and nearer the river the beautiful Hofgarten. These never fail to charm the rambler on the outskirts of the town.


But there yet remain many other interesting objects, which the lover of Innsbruck and the visitor who stays for any considerable period of time are sure to gradually discover and enjoy. One of these is the National Museum, known as the Ferdinandeum, in which are gathered together objects, pictures, and relics forming, so it is claimed for them, an almost complete historical record of Tyrol, its people and its products.

The Museum, which is the resort of students from all parts of Europe, and is for even the casual visitor an object of the greatest interest, bears the name of its founder and patron Ferdinand I. Originally intended to illustrate in a vivid and practical way the history and national customs of the country in the various domains of art, science, and industry, the collections have gradually been enlarged and expanded so as to contain examples of art by members of well known foreign schools. The present museum is a comparatively modern building, with a fa?ade in the Italian Renaissance style. The ground floor was commenced in 1842, and the upper story added in 1886.

On the ground floor are some most interesting arch?ological remains, including several ancient Roman milestones from the Brenner road and elsewhere; burial urns from Matrei; bronze statuettes of Roman days from Brixen and Innicherberg; many ornaments of the Roman period from Meran, Moritzing, Zedlach and other places. From Salurn, in the valley of the Eisack, there are some Roman tombs, with the ornaments of the dead, and household and toilet utensils and articles of great value and interest. One of the most important objects in the arch?ological section of the Museum is the sarcophagus, arms and ornaments of a Lombardian prince disinterred at Civezzano, near Trent. The coffin was richly ornamented by gold bands, and in it was found a gold cross.

Zoology, Geognosy, Pal?ology, and Mineralogy are represented with remarkable fulness, and in the last-named section of the Museum is to be found almost every Tyrolese mineral discovered up to the present time. Some of the specimens are of great beauty and value.

In the Armoury, which so far as the general visitor is concerned, appears to be one of the most popular sections, there are many fine examples of the weapons of bygone days, including poignards, inlaid pistols, guns, powder-horns and flasks, helmets, breastplates, etc.


In the Topographical section few fail to notice with interest the many early maps of Tyrol, bearing on their faces the history of the country as is shown by the partitions of it which from time to time took place; and the homemade globes of the self-educated shepherd boy, Peter Anich, who became a famous geographer. In the same room are some fine specimens of peasant costumes, musical instruments (including some Strads, Amatis, and Stainers of great value), the jewel case of the famous Philippine Welser (wife of Ferdinand II.) who lived with her royal and devoted husband at Castle Ambras for many years.

There are also in the Museum some deeply interesting relics, portraits, busts, autographs, etc., of Tyrolese patriots and distinguished citizens of Innsbruck. Those relating to Andreas Hofer, and his two loyal comrades, Joachim Haspinger and Joseph Speckbacher, include many of their personal belongings, and are regarded by the Tyrolese visitors with almost religious veneration-a feeling which the life-history of these men quite justifies.

Amongst the sculpture are some fine specimens of old carved woodwork and interesting German carvings of an early period brought from Tyrolean churches, which were either despoiled during the Napoleonic Wars, or have since for one reason or another been pulled down and their treasures and fittings dispersed.

On the second floor of this convenient and commodious building is chiefly gathered together the Art collection, which so far as native work is concerned is, we believe, unrivalled. There is presented for the information of the student as well as the ordinary visitor an astonishingly complete survey of Tyrolese painting from the earliest times, including the work of the schools of Brixen-Neustift, and the Pusterthal, with representative work by such masters as Andr? Haller and Michael Pacher; and also examples of the old Flemish and German masters, including Lucas Cranach, St. Jerome, Altdorfer, Pateiner, etc., Innsbruck painters being represented by Sebastian Schel.

Well worth the attention of all interested in painting and its development as an Art are the works of the Tyrolese masters covering the period from the seventeenth century to the present day, which are well represented by pictures of the Unterberger family, Joseph Sch?ph, John Baptist Lampi, Angelica Kaufmann, Gebhard Flatz (Fra Angelico), Joseph A. Koch, Mathias Schmidt, E. von W?rndle, Karl Blaas and others. Amongst the more notable pictures of the modern school are the "Chancellor Wilhelm Biener at the Innsbruck Landtag," of Karl Anrathers, and the historical masterpieces of Franz Defregger.

It is impossible for one to study the latter nine in number, which depict patriotic events connected with the campaign of 1809, without appreciating the vigour of their execution and the charm of their colour, at the same time realizing something of the stirring nature and significance of the events to which they refer. Three are originals, and the remaining six are copies made by pupils of Defregger under his own personal supervision, and supposed to have in some cases been finished or touched up by him. The following are the subjects of the originals:-

(1) The Three Patriots-Andreas Hofer, Joseph Speckbacher, and Joachim Haspinger; (2) Speckbacher and his son Anderl at the Bear Inn, St. Johann; (3) The Innkeeper's Son. The last named is the son of the Tharer Wirth at Olang in the Pusterthal. The copies are of the following subjects: (1) Speckbacher's Call to Arms; (2) The Last Summons, the original of which is in the Imperial Art-History Museum in Vienna; (3) The Mountain Forge, the original of which is in the Dresden Gallery; (4) The Return of the Victors, the original of which is in Berlin; and (5) Andreas Hofer in the Castle at Innsbruck, the original of which belongs to the Emperor Francis Joseph; (6) Andreas Hofer being led to Execution, the original of which is in Konigsberg. These are all distinguished by beauty of colouring, strength of drawing, and dramatic appeal.

There are many other treasures in this Museum, which is national in the true sense of the word. And amongst them is the fine and almost priceless collection of pictures by Dutch masters which has been principally acquired through bequests of wealthy Tyrolese. In it are examples of the work of Van Dyck, P. Paul Reubens, Paul Potter, R. Ruysch, Adrian von Ostade, A. Cuyp, Rembrandt and others. There is also a most comprehensive and valuable Library of works relating to Tyrol, and also the archives of both the Austrian and German Alpine Clubs.

Each year sees important additions made to the various departments of the Ferdinandeum, and so the returning visitors to Innsbruck find an ever new interest in the country and its National Museum awaiting them.


The remaining objects of supreme interest at Innsbruck are the Hofburg or Palace; and the Hofkirche or Church of the Franciscans. They are easily reached from the Ferdinandeum along Museum-strasse and the Burggraben, which may be said to form the boundary line dividing the old town from the new. The archway, through which one reaches both the Palace and the Church, formed, in medi?val times, one of the city gates; and in those far-off times was crowned by a watch-tower upon which the many escutcheons of the Habsburgs were emblazoned. It was taken down in the time of Maria Theresa, as its condition had become too dangerous to permit it to remain standing.

The Hofburg stands at a right angle with the Hofkirche to the north-west. Of the original building erected by the Emperor Maximilian not very much now remains; for after being seriously damaged it was ultimately reconstructed by Maria Theresa. On the exterior are traces of the original baroque style favoured at the time it was built; still also to be found in several of the larger, older, and more important houses in the town. The state apartments are chiefly distinguished for the decorative paintings of the well-known artist A. F. Maulbertsch, principally in the large salon known as the Riesensaal. It was in the chapel, which connects the Palace with the Damenstift or Ladies' Home, that the Emperor Francis I. of Germany, husband of Maria Theresa, died so tragically on August 18, 1765, while the wedding festivities in connection with the marriage of Prince Leopold (afterwards the Emperor Leopold II.) with the Infanta Maria Ludovica were in progress.

It is not the Hofburg, however, but the famous Hofk

irche-which has by several writers and antiquarians been called "The Tyrolean Westminster Abbey,"-that attracts most visitors, and has the greatest charm for all who are either interested in Tyrolese history or antiquities. This church was built during the decade from 1553-63 by the Emperor Ferdinand I., then King of Rome, as a memorial to his grandfather the Emperor Maximilian I., who was buried underneath the high altar in the Castle Chapel of Wiener-Neustadt. Tradition states that the building had been contemplated by Maximilian, and was ultimately brought into being in accordance with his will. The architect of the church, which is in the Italian Renaissance style, was Thuring of Innsbruck,[11] and the ground plan follows the lines of a columnar basilica. Lübke, however, states that it was the tomb and not the building which Maximilian himself planned in collaboration with Gilg Sesselschreiber, a Munich artist, who occupied the position of painter to the Court.

The first impression made upon the mind by the famous Hofkirche is one of lightness and elegance, wedded to a somewhat flamboyant decorative scheme, rather than impressiveness or age. The lofty and slender-looking columns which support the roof on either side of the nave are of red marble, and the ceiling itself is elaborately decorated in rococo. The vista on entering is extremely fine, including as it does the wonderful tomb of Maximilian, the organ loft, and the huge crucifix in the centre, and the handsome pulpit on the left of the tomb. The impression of magnificence and beauty grows upon one, thus carrying out what was doubtless the design of the architect and the Emperor who was instrumental in its erection.


The tomb in the centre, with its imposing bronze figure of Maximilian kneeling with clasped hands on the top of the huge marble sarcophagus, at the four corners of which are smaller figures, at once arrests attention. The Emperor is in Imperial dress, with crown, armour, and a robe, and is surrounded by the twenty-eight huge figures which have become world-famous, and all save two of which were once torch-bearers, and are now seen with their right hands extended as though holding torches. The two exceptions are King Arthur of England, and the Emperor Theodoric the Goth. All of the statues surrounding the tomb are thought to have had some real or legendary connection with the House of Habsburg, and it is believed that Maximilian himself chose the characters who were to be represented. They may be grouped into two series. One consisting of his five favourite heroes of antiquity; the other of twenty-three ancestors, contemporary relatives or members of his house, both men and women.

The figures differ very greatly both in style and merit. It was perhaps only natural that this result should have been arrived at when one remembers that several generations were occupied upon the construction of this marvellous example of German Renaissance monumental work erected during the sixteenth century, and that it was necessarily the work of several designers as well as many different hands. The tomb is a wonderful, perhaps even unequalled, example of the German art of a period which marked the blending of the medi?val and the modern. To the Imperial designer of the tomb the chivalric figures he chose to surround it were no mere abstractions but living, breathing entities; just as the old feudal Empires of south-eastern Europe were real. He was unable to realize that even then the old order was about to pass away, to be replaced by a new which was so divergent from that he had known, and of which he himself had been so prominent a figure.

The bronze figures, which twenty years or so ago attracted the notice of but few foreign visitors, but are now objects of keenest interest to all comers to the capital of Tyrol, are by several hands. The two of surpassing beauty of design and execution are those of King Arthur of England, and King Theodoric. They are nowadays pretty generally supposed to have been the work of Peter Vischer of Nüremberg.

These two statues have a particularly interesting history which has been brought to light of recent years. Though cast at Nüremberg in 1513, and costing no less than one thousand florins, it was not until nearly twenty years had elapsed that they reached Innsbruck. In the meantime, owing to Maximilian's need of ready money, they had been in the possession of Bishop Christopher of Augsburg, to whom they had been pawned by the Emperor. The Bishop placed them in the chapel at St. Lorenz, where they remained until the year 1532. Ferdinand I. then sent to redeem them, and they were delivered up on payment to the steward of the then Bishop of the amount which originally had been advanced upon them.



The statue of King Arthur is especially impressive and fine. Standing erect, the tall, chivalrous-looking figure has an alertness of pose which is astonishingly lifelike and commanding. It is impossible not to recognize the representation of a true ideal of knighthood "sans peur et sans raproche," and that without any suggestion of aggressive valour. The helmet worn is of the close-fitting type with the visor, which is enriched with ornamentation, raised so that the face of a somewhat Teutonic mould is plainly seen. The breastplate, worn over a coat of mail, is magnificently worked; but the rest of the suit is plain. Arthur supports by his right hand a shield bearing the arms of England, and at his left side is a long sword.

The statue of King Theodoric, although fine in execution, does not possess the same impressiveness and commanding merit as that of King Arthur to which we have just referred. It appears probable that the same model may have been used for both. But, whereas King Arthur is a commanding figure, the pose of King Theodoric is rather a dejected and wearied one. His breastplate is not nearly so richly ornamented, and his helm is also plainer, with the visor of a quite different shape. As is the case with King Arthur, the breastplate is worn over a coat of chain mail, and the greaves worn are plain.

The remaining twenty-six figures according to some authorities were designed by Gilg Sesselschreiber; although opinion is still somewhat divided regarding this point. It may, however, we think be accepted that Sesselschreiber was, at least in part, responsible for the greater number.

The relationship which existed between the Emperor Maximilian and the Munich artist Sesselschreiber, who had been engaged as Court painter in 1502, was not untinctured by an element of romance, which is doubly interesting as showing the relative positions of artist and patron in those stirring and disturbed times.

Happily for lovers of art and antiquities the original designs for the statues surrounding the tomb of Maximilian which Sesselschreiber made have been preserved, and can be seen in the Imperial Library, Vienna. Exquisite pen-and-ink drawings delicately tinted, upon some of which the Emperor himself made corrections and suggestions in his own hand. These are distinctly traceable on some from the unskilled nature of the pen-and-ink alterations.


A curious fact is also brought to light by these sketches. It would seem from them beyond question that Maximilian fully intended being modelled for the figure of himself, which was to grace the memorial, in the suit of exquisite silver armour which he had worn on the occasion of his marriage at Ghent with Mary of Burgundy.[12] Several sketches were made, one, apparently from the notes and alterations upon it, displeased the Emperor from a technical point; in another the face was not as he wished with the result that Sesselschreiber altogether made four or more drawings.

The care which had been taken over this most important figure was, however, never destined to be utilized to the full, for the statue was not even modelled at the time of Maximilian's death in 1519, and the figure clad in coronation robes (instead, as was evidently intended, entirely in armour) which kneels on the top of the cenotaph was the work of Abraham Colin, who had never seen the Emperor in life, the cast not having been made until more than sixty years after Maximilian's death.

How slowly the great work of this magnificent tomb proceeded can be gathered from the dates we have quoted. The delay arose from several causes; amongst others, from the Emperor's shortness of money, owing to the vast schemes of conquest, science, and other matters in which he was engaged; and from the circumstance that Gilg Sesselschreiber appears to have become lazy, intemperate, and dissolute. In the end he took flight to Augsburg in fear of Maximilian's anger. The Emperor, however, was not prepared to yield up possession of his Court painter without a struggle, so the latter was captured and thrown into prison, from which he appears to have been released in 1516 on promise of reform. So that he might be freed from the temptations which Innsbruck afforded in the way of wine, women, and boon companions he was compelled by the Emperor to take up his residence at Natters on the western side of the Sill Gorge above Innsbruck.

The casting of the statues was largely done by the famous Gregor L?ffler, who established a bronze foundry near Innsbruck, and also built the Castle of Büchsenhausen, although some of the statues were undoubtedly cast by Stephen and Melchior Godl and Hans Lendenstreich who worked at the Mühlau foundry on the outskirts of Innsbruck. Although the designing and casting of the statues is now generally accepted as being the work of the men we have named, it is more than possible that the idea of the whole complete piece of medi?val and historical symbolism was that of some comparatively unknown brother of the Franciscan order. Originally the scheme was designed to include, in addition to the figures we have mentioned, twenty-three others of saints which were to be placed on raised pedestals or in niches, and were for this reason of much smaller size. They are now to be seen in the Silver Chapel. The following is a list of the large statues grouped around the tomb.

(1) Clovis, the first Christian King of France.

(2) Philip the Handsome, of the Netherlands, Maximilian's son. (1495.)

(3) The Emperor, Rudolf of Habsburg.

(4) Albert II. the Wise, Maximilian's great-grandfather.

(5) Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths. (455-526.)

(6) Ernest der Eiserne, Duke of Austria and Styria. (1377-1424.)

(7) Theodebert, Duke of Burgundy. (640.)

(8) King Arthur of England.

(9) Sigismund der Munzreiche, Count of Tyrol. (1427-96.)

(10) Maria Bianca Sforza, Maximilian's second wife. Died 1510.

(11) The Archduchess Margaret, Maximilian's daughter.

(12) Cymburgis of Massovica, wife of Ernest der Eiserne. Died 1433.

(13) Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, father of Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian's first wife.

(14) Philip the Good, father of Charles the Bold. Founder of the Order of the Golden Fleece. (1419.) Married Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV., in 1468. (1467-77.)

(15) Albert II., Duke of Austria, and Emperor of Germany. (1397-1439.)

(16) Emperor Frederick III., Maximilian's father. (1457-93.)

(17) Leopold III., Margrave of Austria; since 1506 the patron saint of Austria. (1096-1136.)

(18) Rudolf, Count of Habsburg. (1273.)

(19) Leopold III. the Pious, Duke of Austria, Maximilian's great-grandfather; slain at Sempach. July 9, 1386.

(20) Frederick IV. of Austria, Count of Tyrol, surnamed "mit der leeren Tasche."

(21) Albert I., Duke and Emperor of Austria. Born 1248, assassinated by his nephew John of Swabia, 1308.

(22) Godfrey de Bouillon, King of Jerusalem in 1099, wearing a crown of thorns.

(23) Elizabeth of Hungary, wife of the Emperor Albert II. Born 1396.

(24) Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian's first wife. (1457-82.)

(25) Eleonora of Portugal, wife of the Emperor Frederick III., Maximilian's mother.

(26) Cunigunda, Maximilian's sister, wife of Duke Albert IV. of Bavaria.

(27) Ferdinand II., of Aragon, surnamed "the Catholic." (1479.)

(27) Johanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and wife of Maximilian's son, Philip I., of Spain.


The cenotaph itself, placed upon three steps of red marble, is about fourteen feet long and six feet high, and is constructed of different coloured marbles. The figure of the Emperor on top with its face directed towards the altar, is a fine bronze casting by a Sicilian named Luigi del Duca made in 1584.[13] Slender columns divide the ends and sides of the cenotaph into twenty-four panels or compartments of white marble in which are scenes in relief (depicting the chief events and achievements of Maximilian's life). These are really marvellous works of art, not alone for their execution but from the care with which accuracy has been attained in the costumes, the architectural and other details introduced, and from the extraordinary finish which marks the whole of the work. Many of the faces are undoubted portraits of the greatest historical and antiquarian value, those of the Emperor at various periods of his life being remarkable for their differing likeness. The variations of the national types depicted are rendered with the most painstaking care. The first four of the panels are filled by the work of Albert and Bernard Abel of Cologne, who began their task in 1561, after a visit to Genoa to choose the marble. They, however, both died two years later, leaving their work to be taken up by Alexander Colin, of Malines, in Flanders, who lived at Innsbruck for forty years, and died in 1612. Aided by a large number of other artists he completed the work of the Abels in a period of about three and a half years. Even the least learned of visitors will recognize the beauty of craftsmanship which so great a master as Thorwaldsen pronounced "the most admirable and perfect of its kind."

The delicacy of execution is, indeed, rather that of ivory than of marble, and it is not without good cause that these exquisite reliefs are nowadays protected by glass and surrounded by a railing in iron work of very beautiful design.


The subjects, a brief description of which may be of interest, are as follows:-(1) The marriage of Maximilian (then aged eighteen) with Mary of Burgundy at Ghent, August 19, 1477. She was killed whilst hunting by the stumbling of her horse, and was buried at Bruges, 1482. (2) Maximilian's victory over the French at Guinegate, in 1479. (3) The taking of Arras, 1482; the fighting men and the fortifications in this are worthy of special note, not alone for historical accuracy of detail but also for the marvellously fine execution; one woman in particular should be noticed, who is bringing provisions to the camp. This figure is a masterpiece in itself. (4) Maximilian is crowned King of the Romans at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1486. The scene is the interior of the Cathedral, Maximilian is seated on the stone chair of Charlemagne (a sort of throne) before the altar surrounded by his courtiers, whose dresses and those of the ladies high above in their gallery are a perfect record of the fashions of the period, so minute is their accuracy of detail. (5) The Battle of Castel della Pietra, or Stein am Calliano, situated between Trent and Rovereto in 1487. The landscape background of this panel is excellent, and the Tyrolese are seen driving the Venetians with great fury before them across the Adige. (6) Maximilian's entry into Vienna, 1490, after it had been evacuated by the Hungarians, an incident in the course of the fight for the crown of Hungary after the death of Matthias Coryinus who had held Vienna for several years. The figure of Maximilian on his horse is very beautifully carved. (7) The siege of Stuhlweissenburg, the city in which the Kings of Hungary were crowned; Maximilian captured it in 1490. The horses in this tablet are worthy of particular notice. (8) The return of Margaret, daughter of Maximilian. This episode, which it must have required some courage to record among the acts of so glorious a reign, shows Maximilian meeting his daughter Margaret on her return in 1493, after Charles VIII. had rejected her hand for that of Anne of Brittany, whom Maximilian himself had intended to marry as his second wife. The French envoys hand to the Emperor two keys, symbols of the suzerainty of Burgundy and Artois, the price to be paid for the double affront of sending back his daughter and depriving him of his bride, Anne. (9) Maximilian's campaign against the Turks in Croatia. (10) The Alliance between Maximilian and Pope Alexander VI., the Doge of Venice, and the Duke of Milan, against Charles VIII. of France; the four allies are shown standing in the hall of a palace in the act of joining hands, whilst the French are seen in full flight in the background. (11) The Investiture at Worms of Ludovico Sforza with the Duchy of Milan. The portraits of Maximilian are well preserved and finely executed on each occasion that he is introduced, but in none better than on this one. The Empress Maria Bianca is seated on the left of the Emperor, Ludovico Sforza kneels before the throne; on the waving standard, the symbol or investiture, the ducal arms are plainly discernible. (12) The marriage at Brussels, in 1496, of Philip der Sch?ne, Maximilian's eldest son, with Johanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, by the Archbishop of Cambrai.

The remaining panels show (13) The campaign in Bohemia, and victory of Maximilian at Regensburg in 1504. (14) The siege of Kufstein, 1504. (15) The capture of Guelders and submission of Charles d'Egmont to Maximilian, 1505. The Duke is standing with uncovered head, and the battered walls of the city are seen in the background. (16) The League of Cambrai, 1508. The scene is a handsome tent in the camp near Cambrai; Maximilian, Julius II., Charles VIII., and Ferdinand V. are meeting to enter into an alliance against Venice. (17) The siege of Padua, 1509, the first result of this league. (18) The expulsion of the French from Milan in 1512. (19) The second battle of Guinegate; known also as the Battle of Spurs, so called from the fact that the French were said to have used their spurs rather than their swords on that occasion, with Henry VIII. of England in command of the allied infantry, August 16, 1513. (20) The meeting of Maximilian and Henry VIII. before Tournai, 1513. Maximilian and Henry are seen both on foot. (21) The battle of Vicenza, 1513. (22) The siege of Murano, on the Venetian coast, 1514. (23) Maximilian treating with Vladislaw, King of Hungary, for the double marriage of Anna and Ludwig, children of Vladislaw, with Ferdinand and Maria, grandchildren of Maximilian, which event had as one of its consequences the subsequent joining of Hungary with the Empire. (24) The defence of Verona, made by Maximilian's forces, against the French and Venetians, 1516.

Maximilian's splendid memorial is well-placed so that its beauty and impressiveness is given full effect, and the spectator is able to consider it not only in detail but as a whole. As an example of sepulchral art of its kind it is unrivalled.

Of a very different character to this magnificent cenotaph is the tomb of Andreas Hofer at the entrance to the left aisle, wrought in Tyrolese marble by Schaller, of Vienna, and with a bas-relief by Joseph Klieber, of Innsbruck, depicting six Tyrolese taking the oath of allegiance to the National flag and cause. On either side of the great patriot lie his comrades, Joseph Speckbacher and Joachim Haspinger. Near them is a tablet inscribed, "From a grateful Fatherland to the sons who perished in the Patriotic Wars," with the date (1838) of erection, and the motto, "Death is swallowed up in Victory."


In the opposite aisle and reached by a flight of steps is the Silberne Kapelle (Silver Chapel), so known because of the silver statuette of the Virgin, presented by the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, who was Regent of Tyrol from 1563-1595, and the embossed representations of the Lauretanian Litany, also in silver, which adorn the altar. Underneath the marble steps by which the chapel is reached is a notable tomb, the work of Alexander Colin, with a reclining figure of Katharina von Loxen, aunt of Philippine Welser. In the chapel itself are the beautiful tombs of the Archduke Ferdinand, and his first wife Philippine Welser in marble, with effigies which are ascribed to Alexander Colin. The first named tomb is adorned with four scenes of events in the Archduke's life in relief; and the latter with two reliefs. There is also a notable life-size bronze figure of the Archduke kneeling, clad in full armour, with his face turned towards the altar, and his hands folded in prayer. These monuments in themselves are sufficient to ensure a degree of fame for the Silberne Kapelle with all who are either interested in art or historical memorials.

The twenty-three statuettes, originally intended as part of the scheme of Maximilian's cenotaph, to which reference has already been made, have been placed in the chapel without following any particular design or order of arrangement. They have a considerable interest from the fact that they represent saints of royal or noble birth whose destinies, legendary or real, have been bound up with those of the House of Habsburg. They are frequently overlooked by visitors to Innsbruck and by even those who enter the Hofkirche; but, irrespective of their individual merits, they should be studied on account of having originally formed part of the scheme for the magnificent memorial to Maximilian.

(1) St. Adelgunda, daughter of Walbert, Count of Hainault. (2) St. Adelbert, Count of Brabant. (3) St. Doda, wife of St. Arnulf, Duke of the Moselle. (4) St. Hermelinda, daughter of Witger, Count of Brabant. (5) St. Guy, Duke of Lotharingia. (6) St. Simpert, Bishop of Augsburg, son of Charlemagne's sister Symporiana, who rebuilt the monastery of St. Magnus at Füssen. (7) St. Jodok, son of a king of Great Britain, wearing a Palmer's dress. (8) St. Landerich, Bishop of Metz, son of St. Vincent, Count of Hainault, and St. Waltruda. (9) St. Clovis. (10) St. Oda, wife of Duke Conrad. (11) St. Pharaild, daughter of Witger, Count of Brabant. (12) St. Reinbert, her brother. (13) St. Ronald, brother of St. Simpert, Bishop of Augsburg. (14) St. Stephen, King of Hungary. (15) St. Venantius, martyr, son of Theodoric, Duke of Lotharingia. (16) St. Waltruda, mother of St. Landerich. (17) St. Arnulf, husband of St. Doda, afterwards Bishop of Metz. (18) St. Chlodulf, son of St. Waltruda. (19) St. Gudula, sister of St. Albert, Count of Brabant. (20) St. Pepin Teuto, Duke of Brabant. (21) St. Trudo, priest, son of St. Adela. (22) St. Vincent, monk. (23) Richard C?ur-de-Lion. All of whom were more or less closely related or associated with the royal house of Habsburg.

The monuments which we have referred to, gathered within the walls of the Hofkirche, serve to conjure up for those versed in Tyrolese history many stirring, romantic, and tragic episodes. To this historic building was the beautiful Philippine Welser borne from Castle Ambras to her last resting-place. And here knelt the Archduke Leopold V. at his marriage with the lovely Claudia Felicitas de Medici, whilst all the while there rolled the thunder and tumult of the Thirty Years' War beyond the frontier of Tyrol. And a few years later came Queen Christian of Sweden to make her abjuration of the Protestant faith on October 28, 1655. We read in one account of this imposing and impressive ceremony that the Queen was attired in a plain black silk gown, and wore no other jewels than a cross on her breast in which flashed five great diamonds of wonderful beauty symbolical of the five wounds of Christ. Her repetition of the Latin profession of faith after the Papal nuncio, we are told, was so clear and emphasized as to attract general comment. Not only was the Ambrosian hymn sung after the ceremony, but "the Innsbruckers celebrated the event of her conversion to the true faith by the firing of cannon and the ringing of the church bells." An ever popular ceremony which marked her stay in the town was the procession of the favourite picture of Tyrol, Cranach's Madonna brought to the country by Leopold V. Mystery plays, which are still popular in Tyrol, were also performed, and the event was made the excuse or occasion for much general rejoicing.

The historic Hofkirche has seen more joyful scenes and sadder than the renunciation of Queen Christian, for in it was held a solemn thanksgiving service on behalf of yet another Claudia de Medici, the Tyrolese princess who was chosen for his bride by the Emperor Leopold I. And here in more modern times knelt Andreas Hofer to receive the gifts of his Emperor, the medal and chain which were hung around his neck when he was made Regent or Governor of Tyrol.

Into this Hofkirche, which was destined to provide him ultimately with a fit resting-place, he also came to return thanks after his greatest triumph over the invaders of his country, on Berg Isel, whilst outside the church the brave citizens of Innsbruck were acclaiming him Dictator, and cheering in a delirium of joy.


No description of Innsbruck, however brief, could be deemed complete without at least a passing reference to the famous Abbey of Wilten which stands on the outskirts of the south-western portion of the town. The present Abbey belonging to the Praemonstratensian Order was founded in the eleventh century upon the site where stood the Roman settlement of Veldidena. The Abbey and Church of that day, however, have been so frequently damaged by fire that during the centuries it has been practically reconstructed. The story of its foundation forms one of the most remarkable of Tyrolese legends, and exhibits in its incidents with extraordinary clearness the conflict taking place in those times between the doctrines of Christianity and Heathendom.


Certain authorities state that the Romans, when they entered the country, found a town already existing, which they adopted as one of their most important stations, and re-named Veldidena. This settlement, however, was, according to tradition, destroyed by Attila on his way back through the country after the desperate Battle of Chalons; but it nevertheless continued to be a largely frequented station in the stretch of country lying between the Po and the Rhine owing to the convenience of its situation and the existence of the famous Brenner Road. Afterwards came the expedition of Theodoric of Verona against Chriemhild's Garden of Roses at Worms; and we are told amongst those who enlisted in Theodoric's service and distinguished themselves at the taking of the famous Rose Garden was one Haimo or Haimon (now believed to be the Heime of "the Heldenbuch") who, after the expedition, came through Tyrol in his master's victorious train. This Haimon was a giant, taller and more powerful even than Goliath himself; and as he approached Veldidena he found barring his progress another giant named Thyrsus (now identified as Schrudan) living near Zirl. This latter giant having heard of Haimon's prowess, and as his own supremacy had hitherto remained unchallenged, determined to force Haimon to fight him.

Theodoric's giant proved willing enough for the encounter, and scarcely, indeed, waited to be challenged. Thyrsus, although the bigger and more terrible of aspect, with a skin bronzed by the open-air life he had led, and his muscles developed and kept in condition by constant exercise, was not so skilful and wily as his opponent, whose every movement showed him to be a master in both the arts of attack and defence.

We are told that Thyrsus grasped in his hand a pine tree which he had torn up by the roots to serve as a weapon, and that at every movement of his the ground shook under his tread, which made a noise like thunder. Rushing impetuously to attack Haimon he found the latter cool and collected, watchful of his antagonist's every movement, and waiting patiently for the opportunity of striking a decisive blow. As the Titanic struggle went on, Haimon merely acting on the defensive, Thyrsus became weary, and then Haimon gathering all his force together fell upon him and slew him.

The story goes on to tell how a Benedictine monk of Tegernsee, passing whilst Haimon was still flushed with victory, stopped to reason with him on the worthlessness of mere brutal strength and all that he had hitherto deemed of value, and succeeded so well in painting the attractions of a better life that the giant was converted on the spot, and thenceforth abandoned his life of battle and bloodshed, and devoted his time and strength to the service of God. One of his first acts was to start building with his own hands a church and monastery on the site of ruined Veldidena on the banks of the Sill.

The legend tells us that he quarried the stone necessary for this undertaking with his own hands, and at last the day came when he had sufficient to lay the foundations of the church. He found, however, that the work he did in the day was always undone at night, so that he made no progress. This, though he did not know it, was the work of the devil; who, in the form of a huge dragon, had hidden himself in a cave with the express purpose of thwarting Haimon's pious intentions.

At last the latter realized that he must watch and discover what happened. This he did, and after a little time one evening the dragon emerged from his cave, lashing the ground with his tail in his fury, and filling the air with the sulphurous smoke and flame which he breathed out. Great as was his strength, Haimon at once realized that he could not overcome so terrible an enemy easily; so commending his soul to God he waited with a brave heart. Soon dawn began to break over the mountains, and at the first glimpse of light the dragon turned and fled back to his lair. Haimon, taking courage at the sight, set off in pursuit, and by-and-by they both arrived at the cave in which the dragon was accustomed to hide during the day. The entrance was so narrow that when the monster had got partly in it was impossible for him to turn, and so Haimon, seeing his opportunity, raised his sword, and calling on God to strengthen him, cut off the dragon's head with a single blow. Then he cut out the tongue or sting of the monster as a trophy, and eventually hung it up in the sanctuary of the church. Nowadays one is shown at Wilten a representation of this dragon's tongue, which we are told was above two feet in length.

The dragon once dead the building progressed rapidly, and when it was finished Haimon, no doubt in an ebullition of joy, seized a huge rock, which he had quarried, but did not need to use for the foundations, and threw it with all his might into the valley. It was a good throw, for the rock, after nearly two miles of flight, struck against the hill of Ambras and fell into the valley, where it may yet be seen! Haimon endowed the Abbey with all the land which stretched between its site and the stone at the foot of the hill of Ambras.

Now it only remained to colonize the monastery, and ultimately the Benedictines came to inhabit it, and here the giant lived amongst them a life of penance and good works, dying in the year 878. His body, so tradition states, was buried on the right-hand side of the high altar in the church. But although many searches have been made for his remains during the period which elapsed between his death and the middle of the seventeenth century, they have never been discovered. But the last search in 1644 was disastrous as well as unsuccessful, because it undermined a great part of the wall of the church, which collapsed. The popular belief in the two giants is kept alive by the huge wooden statues representing them, which are placed at the entrance of the church. The interior of the building is in the form of a basilica, and contains not only frescoes by Caspar Waldmann, but also some good pictures by Grasmayr, Busj?ger, Andersag, Egid Schor, and other artists.

The Abbey of Wilten in those days was one of the three most important in Tyrol, and was not only the centre of religious, but also of the artistic life of the country, and it nowadays possesses some very interesting and valuable pictures.

One of the most famous of the old-time inmates of the Abbey was Petermann, once a lover of the licentious Margaret of Tyrol, yclept "Pocket-Mouthed Meg." After her abdication in 1367, Petermann entered the monastery to expiate the sins and follies of his youth. He endowed the Abbey with an estate, but he showed his business capacity by having an agreement drawn up with the Abbot setting forth the terms upon which he joined the brotherhood. Amongst other things he was, firstly, to derive benefit from all the masses said by the monks, and the good works performed by them; secondly, was to have two servants to wait upon him, who were to share the meals of the brethren; thirdly, he, himself, was to have food similar to that served to the Abbot and wines from the monastic cellar. Apparently the arrangement did not, after all, fit in with the views of Petermann, for we find he afterwards insisted upon an increase in his food allowance to the extent of a capon, four fowls, forty eggs, and four pounds of butter, with sufficient hay for the feeding of his three horses.



The other church at Wilten (the Parish Church), which stands on the opposite side of Leopold-Strasse, dates only from the latter part of the eighteenth century, and was built as a secular church in conformity with the decree of the Emperor Joseph II., by Franz Penz of Telfs, in the Rococo style of architecture. On the high altar of the church is a very ancient and quaint Madonna known as "Mutter Gottes unter den vier Saülen" carved in sandstone, the legend relating to which is as follows: The "Thundering Legion" of Marcus Aurelius, when stationed at Veldidena about the year 137, brought this image with them, which they are stated to have worshipped, and on one occasion, when departing for an expedition to a distant part of the country, they buried it under four trees, and as they did not return had no opportunity of resurrecting it. There it lay for many years, until one, Rathold Von Aiblingen, after making a pilgrimage to Rome, where he heard the story of its burying and the place of its concealment, dug it up and set it upon the altar in a baldachino, which was supported by four pillars, where it has always been an object of much veneration. Amongst its many famous devotees was Frederick of the Empty Purse, who, during his wanderings through Tyrol with his trusty Hans Von Müllinen, when under the ban of the church, came and knelt before the shrine and prayed for a blessing. Afterwards, when he had regained his possessions, he attributed his success to the intervention of the Madonna at Wilten and caused a picture to be painted of himself and his esquire, in which they are shown kneeling at the shrine under the protective mantle of the Virgin. This quaint picture is now hung in the church amongst many other curious and often pathetic votive offerings.

In the mortuary chapel is a rudely carved and painted wooden statue of Haimon holding the dragon's tongue in his hand. There are also some of Grasmayr's paintings to be seen in the church, and in the adjoining churchyard, from which one can obtain a most beautiful view of the valley and surrounding mountains, is the modern Calvary by the Tyrolean sculptor, Professor Fuss. In this quiet spot, crowded with memories of the dead past, one is able in a measure to conjure up pictures of the times when the Etruscan, Roman, and Gothic invaders poured into the valley by the Brenner Pass and overran Tyrol, and left upon the country and the people enduring traces of their occupation.

The Wilten Churches are both of simple architectural style, but nevertheless are effective and even impressive when seen amidst the environment of a beautiful landscape, with their picturesque, red-capped towers lit by the Alpine sunlight, and with their buff-coloured walls beautified by the stains of weather and of time.


Numerous as are the undoubted attractions of Innsbruck in early spring, summer, and autumn, when the encircling fields and mountain slopes are gay with Alpine flowers, and beautiful with the varied tints of the foliage of trees and shrubs, the town is yearly becoming more widely known and more largely frequented as a winter holiday resort, where what are generally known as "winter sports" can be indulged in to one's heart's content. Indeed, Innsbruck, which possesses one of the largest and most beautiful ice rinks in Europe, takes a very leading part in the Tyrolean winter sports. One of the town's most remarkable features is its climate, which, notwithstanding the proximity of huge masses of ice and snow, not only upon the summits of the towering mountains of the Karwendel, but also on the lower slopes, and in the valley of the Inn itself, is a mild one, and the sunny days are many.

One of the most delightful Alpine experiences possible, for those who do not take part in the more active sports of ski running, skating, or tobogganing, is a sleigh ride on the Brenner Road to Matrei or even further, returning on the other side of the gorge of the Sill by way of Igls and Patsch. Expert ski runners find many opportunities for exercising their skill, the more adventurous and hardy making excursions far afield in the valley of the Inn. A very favourite ground for this pastime of ski-ing is on the farther side of the Sill near Natters and Mutters, where are to be found those immense plateaux of smooth-surfaced snow beloved of good runners, and a beautiful landscape forming a charming background. Expert runners, however, frequently extend their field of operations into the Karwendel mountains, or as far as the Kalkkogel in the beautiful Stubai valley.

Tobogganing has become not only a fashionable pastime amongst visitors, but also with the better class inhabitants of Innsbruck. And thus every evening when the snow is sufficient and in good condition, hundreds of tobogganers make their way of the heights of Igls and Mutters, where the best tracks are prepared.

Sunday is, however, the great day; and then the long runs near Hall and Oberperfutz are crowded with hundreds of bob-sleighs and tobogganers. The Hall run is famous throughout Tyrol. A road extends from Salzberg far into the Karwendel mountains, passing through beautiful Alpine scenery to Hall itself, forming a natural run or track some five kilometres (just over three miles) in length, with a drop of nearly 3000 feet in that distance. The Innsbruck Club, by means of a snow plough, keeps a run about fifteen feet wide clear. This track is to be soon further lengthened to the extent of two kilometres by carrying it as far as Lafatscherjoch, where several important races are arranged and held every year.

Winter sports are indulged in on all sides. Along the valley of the swiftly flowing Inn from Schwaz, past Jenbach and Brixlegg on to Kufstein, one finds facilities for those most invigorating of pastimes tobogganing, ski-ing, and skating. Even the children have their little home-made and often ornamented toboggans, and on the mountain roads and by-paths one meets with scores of youngsters emulating their elders and foreign visitors; whilst the frozen tributary streams which fall into the Inn provide fine skating grounds and curling links without stint set amid the delightful scenery, which had so much to do with the popularity of the valley of the Inn and Innsbruck as winter holiday resorts.

It is not without reason that many who come to the capital of Tyrol return again and again, finding in its life and movement, its historic buildings, associations, and art treasures material for study; in its climate renewed health and vigour.

The circle of snow-capped environing hills, upon which effects of cloud and sunlight ceaselessly pass, never palls; and in the ancient byways and secluded courtyards ears and minds attuned to the historic past seem to catch the echoes and see visions of stirring scenes, and the pageantry of long ago when knights and ladies and serving-men, and burghers in quaint old-time costumes trod the rough-paved streets.

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