Noblewomen’s Collegiate Foundation

Noblewomen’s Collegiate Foundation
photo: Wild/BHÖ

6020 Innsbruck, Stiftgasse 1

General and Historic Information

Noblewomen’s Collegiate Foundation

The foundation’s architectural history is tightly connected with the history of the Imperial Palace Innsbruck, particularly its predecessor buildings. At its origin was the Armoury (Harnaschhaus) built by Duke Sigmund. Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519) expanded the building (1501 or 1502). Its popular name of "Coat-of-Arms Building" was first mentioned in 1507. It is very likely that another building was added to the south in the course of these adaptions, which most likely accommodated Kürnstube. The latter was modernised by Archduke Ferdinand II (1529-1595) between 1565 and 1567. In connection with the erection of the Silver Chapel, the Harnaschhaus building was refurbished as well. In the inventory of Emperor Ferdinand II’s estate, we also find the name Äußere Burg ("Outer Castle") referring to Harnaschhaus and Kürnstubenbau. The outer castle has been the southern end of the entire Hofburg complex until 1765. The conversion and expansion was commissioned by Maria Theresa (1717-1780) who founded the Noblewomen’s Collegiate Foundation in memoriam of her late husband Francis Stephen I (1708-1765). For this purpose, two buildings were acquired in the south of the property. Like in the case of the Imperial Palace, Constantin Johann Walter was in charge of design and construction. The construction went underway no later than 1769 and was completed in 1776.

A significant structural change was made in 1929-1930 when Clemens Holzmeister redesigned the rooms on the ground floor and first floor for the inn of Stiftskeller. The southern wing, with the exception of the ground floor, was destroyed in bomb attacks during the Second World War. It was reconstructed in 1948 by the Innsbruck Building Authority with an identical facade, however with an adapted floor plan.

Foundation of Maria Theresian Noblewomen’s Collegiate Foundation

Burghauptmannschaft Österreich – Departments in charge:
Building Management Dep. 305 – Building Management Innsbruck
HVAC Dep. 305 – Building Management Innsbruck
Administration Dep. 201 – Administration and Dep. 202 – Imperial Palace Innsbruck