Ambras Castle situated outside of Innsbruck Austria. Documented in the 11th century, refurbished 1529 to 1595. Art collection and armory
founded by Archduke Ferdinand II.
1: A picture of the main building.
2: A picture of the tower.
3: Picture of the secondary building and
the gardens at Schloss.
4: Another picture of the main building.
Click on photo to view it.
|Thomas Niedermeyer, 52, from Iowa,
| My wife and I visited this
spectacular castle in late September 2001 during a visit to my place of
birth, Innsbruck. We spent the entire afternoon and had to be
booted out by the guards when they wanted to lock up. The
exquisite collection of armory, unusual objects of art and curiosities,
magnificent and almost unending collection of portraits, and the lovely
Spanish Room, all in the pure, late 16th century style, are a treat for
anyone. A must-see if you anywhere near Innsbruck. Admission
was 100 Austrian Schilling, about 6 dollars at the time, and worth much
|Margot, from Austria, wrote:
|Schloss Ambras, as it is to be seen
today, goes back to the times of Archduke Ferdinand II, the second son
of Emperor Ferdinand I. When he was made sovereign of the Tyrol in 1563,
he ordered two Italian architects to turn the existing medieval fortress
into a Renaissance castle for his untitled wife Philippine Welser.
Ferdinand II was one of the most important patrons of the Habsburg
family. He founded the magnificent collections of Ambras and had a
museum built for them in the rooms of the "Lower Castle," witch
was constructed according to the most advanced ideas of his time. The
three armories and the chamber of art and curiosities were designed and
used as a museum from the beginning. The chamber of art and curiosities
of Archduke Ferdinand II is the only one which can still be seen in its
original place. Others had been plundered like the ones in Munich,
Prague or Stuttgart, or their character had been changed like in Dresden
or Kassel. In the chamber of art and curiosities at Schloss Ambras
wonders as well as precious objects, scientific items or toys are to be
seen. In contents the natural and artistic objects represent the programmed
of the late Renaissance encyclopedic collections. The special thing
about the Ambras-collections is, that they are still where they
were mint to be seen. Still you can find corals arranged in cabinet-boxes,
turnery made of wood or ivory, glass figures, or porcelain and silk
paintings which belong to the oldest European collections of Asian art.
Also important works of European artists, like the carved "little
death" made of wood by Hans Leinberger can be found, as well as
typical "chamber of art and curiosity - objects" like hand stones,
goblets made of rhinoceros horn, coconut or rock crystal, animals made
of bronze, music- and measuring instruments, automats and clocks. A very
important part of the collection were portraits of curious persons like
the hairy people, count Dracula and others. Ferdinand was mostly
interested in his armories. They contain very rare examples of armours
from the 15th century which originally belonged to Emperor Maximilian I.
Armours for tournaments like the German joust or the German course, and
the armour of the court's giant Bartlmä Bon, who took part in the
tournament in Vienna in 1560, can be seen. The "Heldenrüstkammer"
displays armours of famous commanders in original 16th century
showcases. The "Leibrüstkammer" includes the archduke's
private armours and the armours of the court of Innsbruck. The Spanish Hall, built between 1569-1572, is one of the most important
freestanding halls of the Renaissance. The picturesque lay-out of the 43
m long hall is dominated by the 27 full-length portraits of the princely
rulers of the Tyrol. Today rather famous classical concerts take place
in this hall. The "Upper Castle", the oldest part of Schloss
Ambras, contains the "Habsburg Portrait Gallery", which was
done up in 1976. About 300 portraits from the 15th to the 19th century,
from the epochs of King Albrecht II., Emperor Maximilian I., Karl
V. and Ferdinand I., to the last emperor of the "Holy Roman
Empire," Franz II., a contemporary of Napoleon Bonaparte, can be
seen. Because of the various dynastic relations the collection also
shows members of other European dynasties. The portraits were painted by
very well-known artists such as Lucas Cranach, Anton Mor, Tizian, van
Dyck and Diego Velásquez. Schloss Ambras is preserved as a total work
of art of the 16th century. Its chamber of art and curiosities is the
only one which is still at its original place and illustrates the big
interest in princely representation and collecting.
|Lukas, from Austria wrote:
|Ambras was founded in 1228 by a family called Andechser.
One tower out of this early period has survived. Ferdinand II added a big hall with a beautiful wooden ceiling.
Ambras is well known because a lot of arms and armours which were a part of the collection of the Habsburger. Most buildings were
built in the style of the Renaissance.
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