Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

The Burials; Kaisergruft, the Imperial Crypt

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft Crypt Entrance to the Right , Vienna, Austria

Previously we visited the Augustinian Church where the Habsburgs’ were married so today we are visiting the Imperial Crypt or Kaisergruft, a burial chamber beneath the Capuchin Church located in the Neuer Markt Square near the Hofberg Palace. In 1617, Anna of Tyrol, wife of Emperor Matthias left funds for a Capuchin cloister and burial crypt. Today the bones of 145 Habsburg royalty, including 12 emperors and 18 princesses, plus urns containing hearts, rest here.  Twelve friars continue their role as custodians and guardians of the crypt.

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

The free standing tombs are variations of a flat-topped storage chest or a tub with sloping sides and a convex lid. The most common material for the sarcophagi was a bronze-like alloy of tin, but the beautiful tombs of the baroque and rococo eras are true bronze. The cover of of the double tomb of Maria Theresa and her husband alone weighs 3800 pounds. In order to stabilize the tombs they have iron bracings and wood linings to avoid cave ins and the buckling of side walls from the weight of the cover. Within the outer case lies a wooden coffin that is wrapped in silk; black with gold trim for rulers and red with silver trim for others. Various techniques of metal working were used; full casting or hollow for decorative sculpture, with ornaments and decorative figures screwed on. The coffin usually has two locks, one key kept by the Capuchin Guardian of the Crypt and the other is kept in the Schatzhammer of the Hofburg Palace.

 

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Emperor Charles VI, Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria 

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

Franz Josef and Sisi, Kaisergruft, Vienna, Austria

The chamber had increased over the years from under the nave of the church to the entire length and width and then beyond the church to include the monastery garden’s, creating a hodgepodge of tombs and chambers beneath the church. This made it necessary to create additional space and dehumidify the crypt. There have been serious deteriorating conditions. Changes in heat and humidity, the peeling of horizontal surfaces, broken base plates and decorative fixtures broken off or stolen made it necessary for major restoration efforts. In 2003 remodeling of the crypt allowed visitors to see the tombs in historical order and enter from one end and leave at another. There are now ten interconnected, air conditioned, Vaults of the Imperial Crypt. In addition, security measures were put into place to prevent damage to the tombs.  The oldest and most recent person entombed  here (16 July 2011) is Otto von Habsburg, aged 98 years and 7 months. Twenty five percent of those entombed here were five years of age or less when they died. A very interesting place!

One Response to “The Burials; Kaisergruft, the Imperial Crypt”

  1. ChristineR

    Splendid and disturbing at the same time, Cady. Skulls, veiled faces, beautiful statues, your senses must have been reeling by the time you left. These wonderful photos are timely, for I have just been reading about medieval methods of burial in my FutureLearn class. Many thanks for the information about the ten rooms of crypt.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Caroline's Pre-Retirement Travel and Adventure Blog

Don't wait until you're old and retired to get out there and have fun!

Accounting for Miles

Travel. Happiness. Life.

Just Me, Nobody Special

The mental meandering that cross my keyboard

Natalie the Explorer

Taking steps to live a healthy and enriched life

Jennifer's Journal

Website & Blog of J. Kelland Perry, Author

Sanders Story Photography

Outdoor Photography Pioneer

Slow Shutter Speed

A photographic journey.

Ann Mackay: Inspired by Nature

Photography celebrating flowers, plants, and the natural world

Still Restlessjo

Roaming, at home and abroad

Boomer Couple Travel Journal (2)

“Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”

Five for Friday

At the Corner Garden

Live Laugh RV

Our Next Chapter

Picture This

Photography, Travel and Retirement

World Traveller 73

Upgrade Your Travels. First Class Luxury Travel from all parts of the Globe. Business Class Airline, Lounge and Hotel Reviews, Stories and Adventures

Clanmother

A Backward Look Forward

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

Fun, Fitness & Photography

The Pinay Ajumma

just sharing

Stupidity Hole

Uninformed writings from an arrogant Sydneysider

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

%d bloggers like this: