Austria’s Year of Maximilian

by Debra Bokur

Dec 30, 2018

Christmas Market Innsbruck © Innsbruck Tourismus, Cristof Lackner

Daily

Throughout 2019, Austria will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the passing of Emperor Maximilian I with events and activities in Tyrol, centered in Innsbruck. Celebration sites include the Court Church, where the emperor’s empty tomb is located. Regarded as the state’s most important monument, it’s decorated by marble reliefs carved with scenes from the emperor’s life, surrounded by 28 massive bronze statues. The Court Church (also known as the Schwarzmanderkirche, or Black Men Church) is also home to the 450-year-old Ebert Organ.

The year-long celebration is also heralded by the LIGHTSHOW MAX 500 in the Imperial Palace in Innsbruck, until Jan. 20, 2019. The spectacular 3D light show is a combined projection and mapping extravaganza, complete with audio effects, created by seven high-performance projectors. The location takes on added importance when viewed through the lens of its personal connection to Maximilian I: The palace ranked as his favorite residence in a city he treasured.

Lightshow Max © Innsbruck Tourismus

Lightshow Max © Innsbruck Tourismus

Other sites related to the commemorative events include the famous Golden Roof, commissioned by the emperor. This glimmering golden landmark in Innsbruck’s historic district is constructed from 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. Woven within are a host of enigmatic forms that include the bare backside of one of the figures. Since no one actually knows why the cheeky figure is there, you’re free to make up your own story.

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