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The Imperial Chapel

The Imperial Chapel, which is situated in the center of the Hofburg - the Imperial Palace complex at the heart of Vienna -, can be regarded as the ensemble’s home, even though it has also been invited to perform at various festivals and concert halls in the past. The chapel was first officially mentioned in 1296, under the rule of Habsburg Albrecht I. Over the centuries, Austrian rulers adapted the chapel’s architecture repeatedly according to their taste; however, some of the original Gothic interior can still be seen today.

The overall appearance of the interior, which is dominated by a structure of balconies and oratories, dates from the times of Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz II. (1768–1835).

The four cap stones of the chapel’s ribbed vault belong to the original Gothic structure. They depict Christ Blessing, Mary with the Divine Infant, the Evangelist John and the Archangel Gabriel. The same applies to the colourful wooden statues of saints in the front area of the nave, which symbolize the Heavenly Court. On the left side altar stands a wooden Virgin Mary, dating from approximately 1410. 

The murdered heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand and the last incumbent emperor, Emperor Franz Joseph, were laid out in the Imperial Chapel. The Imperial Chapel can be reached through Inner Castle Court (Innerer Burghof) and the Swiss Gate (Schweizertor) or from Josephsplatz (State Hall National Libary). The entrance is above the treasury. 

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