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Südansicht der Hofburg


From the middle of the 13th century, the Hofburg served as episcopal residence. Until secularisation in 1803, the bishops also held secular power, so that Bressanone possessed a princely court with corresponding administration. This also led to the name "Hofburg" (Court Castle).
Since the transfer of the bishop's seat to Bolzano (1973), the representative building has housed the Diocesan Museum, the Nativity Scene Museum and the Diocesan Archives. The Hofburg also has a variety of other sights to offer, such as the richly decorated Court Church, the Chamber of the Court Council as well as the Imperial and Bishop's Wing.

With its Renaissance courtyard, the Hofburg is one of the most charming and atmospheric architectural monuments in South Tyrol.


In 1595, Prince-Bishop Cardinal Andreas von Österreich ordered extensive architectural alterations to the building complex. Albrecht Lucchese, court architect of Innsbruck, planned a four-winged complex extending over three floors, which was to be arranged around an inner courtyard with arcade arches on all four sides.
In the niches of the first floor, a total of 44 terracotta sculptures were planned to represent the Habsburg family tree of Cardinal Andreas von Österreich.

However, the elaborate concept remained unfinished: Today, only 24 of these figures can be seen in the niches of the arcade pillars and a further eight in the passageway of the south wing. The incomplete Habsburg cycle is nevertheless one of the most important sculptures that Tyrol has to offer from the transition from the Renaissance to the early Baroque.

It was not until 1711 that the Hofburg was completed to its present appearance as a Renaissance and Baroque building.

Since November 2016, a fountain made of white marble from Ratschings designed by Franz Kehrer has adorned the inner courtyard.

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Hofburg: Unser Auftrag
Hofburg: Unser Auftrag


The court church was designed as a uniform Baroque hall with a flat vault and slightly recessed sanctuary, extending over two floors.

The church is integrated into the museum tour on the first floor through a gallery.

The interior is characterised by the frescoes on the side walls and the rich stucco decoration and has its crowning glory in the marble high altar.

Kaspar Waldmann from Innsbruck painted the frescoes with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary in 1708. 

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Hofburg: Unser Auftrag


Since the Bishop’s Palace housed all of the diocesan offices, the buildings‘ East-wing was used as the Chambers of the Court Council until the secularisation of 1803. The waiting-room and the Council-chamber, which were built in 1606 and consist of pinewood panelling, coat of arm-paintings and majolica stoves, have been preserved in their original state. 

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Hofburg: Unser Auftrag


The artistic highlight of the Hofburg's interior, apart from the Court Church, are the rooms of the so-called Imperial Wing. They were built at the beginning of the 18th century under Prince-Bishop Kaspar Ignaz Graf Künigl and decorated with large-scale ceiling frescoes, valuable stuccowork, Venetian silk wallpaper and precious majolica stoves.

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Hofburg: Unser Auftrag
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Only little of the original furnishings of the Bishop's Wing have survived. The living rooms with their historic furniture and tiled stoves nevertheless provide an insight into the living culture of the bishops.

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