Court-Church Innsbruck

Organ details


The Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I (1459– 1519), ruler of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, made Innsbruck the centre of his empire. Alongside major reforms, Emperor Maximilian I also left behind prestigious buildings that serve as a reminder of his person and, above all, of his power. During his lifetime he commissioned plans for his own monumental sepulchre complete with an impressive (partly fictitious) ancestral gallery in the form of 40 larger-then-life bronze figures. In the course of a journey in 1519, however, the Emperor died in the castle of Wels before his plans were realised, and he was buried in Wiener Neustadt, the town of his birth. His grandson Emperor Ferdinand I, nonetheless, had the Hofkirche church built in Innsbruck between 1553 and 1563, and in 1584, under the auspices of Archduke Ferdinand II, the tomb was finally completed in the church surrounded by 28 bronze figures. In addition to the empty grave, the Hofkirche is also the burial place of the renowned Tyrolean freedom fighter Andreas Hofer and, in the Silver Chapel, it contains the tombs of Archduke Ferdinand II and his wife Philippine Welser.

The Hofkirche in Innsbruck is home not only to Emperor Maximilian I’s extraordinary tomb, but also to Austria’s oldest organ. Commissioned by King Ferdinand I, the organ was built by organ master Jörg Ebert from Ravensburg. Although it was completed for the most part five years before the church’s dedication in 1558, it was not used in the Hofkirche until 1561. The organ’s intricate case is made of stone pine, and Great and Rückpositiv can be closed by means of leaf doors. The function of the leaf doors was, on the one hand, to protect the organ’s interior from dirt and insects and, on the other, the doors also had a liturgical function until the mid-17th century. During the Advent season and Lent, the leaf doors remained closed, even when the organ was being played. Hence the organ was quieter which served to enjoin the congregation to prayer. In keeping with this function, the biblical scene of the adoration of Jesus in the manger by the shep- herds was displayed on the large, closed doors. In contrast, the opened leaf doors depict the annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary and, on the lower doors, there was, originally, a picture of the resurrection and ascension. It is thought that these were replaced by the biblical scene of the flight into Egypt during the course of restoration work.

Multimedia library


I. Rückpositiv
II. Hauptwerk
II. Brustwerk
CDEFGA–g2, a2

Offen Fletl 4
Zudeckt Fletl 4
Hörnndl II 2/3
Mixtur III–V 2
Ziml II 2/3
Principal 8
Octaf 4
Quint 3
Quintez 2
Hindersaz V-X 2 ab fis 1: 4
Ziml II 1/3
Hörnndl II 1/3 4/5 repetierend
Deckt Fleten 8
Trumetten 8
Regal 8
Ständige Ventilkoppel zum Hauptwerk