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Monument to Maximilian I: Detail of four of the 28 statues of rulers
- Duke Albrecht II the Wise of Austria; 14. King Rudolf I; 15. King Philip the Fair of Castile; 16. Clovis the King of the Franks
The Hofkirche owes its fame to the fact that it houses the monument to Maximilian I, although it was in fact the wish of the Emperor that the tomb be erected in the Schlosskirche at Wiener Neustadt, where he is actually buried; this was technically impossible. Emperor Ferdinand I decided to locate the monument to his grandfather in the Hofkirche, where it stands in the nave. A massive marble sarcophagus rests in the centre, flanked by 28 bronze statues, ranged between the nave columns, representing the Emperor's ancestors and contemporaries, to a scheme devised by Maximilian himself in 1502. The figures (1509-1550) were cast in various workshops, mostly in Innsbruck, and are represented as mourners carrying funeral torches. Florian Abel was responsible for designing the sepulchral monument; his brothers Bernhard and Arnold Abel executed sculptural work on the monument. Other sculptors include Peter Vischer the Elder, Hans Leinberger, Leonhart Magt, and Veit Stoss.