Ambras

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Name: Ambras
Location: Innsbruck 
Country: Austria
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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, wrote:
 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 more.
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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