The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz ©thisisbossi/Flick

In the south part of the Cathedral of Graz lies the sumptuous baroque Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II died in 1637, partly designed by J.B.Fischer von Erlach. It consists of the Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria and a tomb in the south. In the center of the tomb stands a marble sarcophagus where is buried Maria of Bavaria, the mother of the king. The tomb of Ferdinand II is located at the left of the altar under two slabs of marble, at his right being his first wife.

Emperor Ferdinand II hired the Italian Pietro Berries to build an Imperial Mausoleum. It was built between the years 1614-1633.

 

On the outside, the Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz was finished by Pietro Valnegro who added a tower to the apse in the year 1636. The stucco and the frescoes inside were executed by the court architect, Johann-Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

The tombs in the mausoleum

An oval dome rises above the burial crypt with the red marble sarcophagus, on which are presented the lying faces of the parents of the Emperor, Archduke Karl II and Maria of Bavaria, but it contains only the remains of his mother transferred here in 1783. Archduke Karl is buried at the Seckau monastery. In 1616, the wife of Ferdinand II, Maria Anna of Bavaria, was buried here, and in 1637 the emperor himself. The Tomb of the Emperor Ferdinand at the right of the altar was built along with the cathedral in 1614-1638.

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II ©YFNL/Flick

The architecture of the mausoleum

It seems that this small building is one of the most unusual and interesting buildings of Graz. Known as a devout Catholic, the king became famous for the extremely harsh measures they took to induce the Counter reform in the territories he ruled, and that caused the outbreak of the War of 30 years.

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II is one of the brightest examples of the Austrian mannerism harmoniously combining different styles. The narrow façade, decorated with exuberant sculptures, is made up of several architectural plans, creating an amazingly harmonious composition. The interior was done according to the plans of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, who was born and began his career in Graz.

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz ©thisisbossi/Flick

Visiting the mausoleum

The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II is at the address: Burggasse 2 and is opened daily from 10.30 to 12.30 and from 13.30 to 16.00. Between January and April is opened only on Monday and Friday. The entrance fee for adults costs €4.00, for children €2.00 and with the family pass the 3rd and 4th child enters for free.

The upperpart of the Mausoleum of Ferdinand II

The upperpart of the Mausoleum of Ferdinand II ©southtyrolean/Flick

 

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