Kaisergruft
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Vienna's Imperial Crypt, aka Kaisergruft
Hapsburg funerals were ostentatious events. For centuries, the Viennese have celebrated the arts, which you can find throughout the city's public memento-mori style statues. These statues were designed to inspire religious devotion. The Hapsburgs ruled over most of Europe until their downfall in World War I. Upon the death of these royal elites, a beautifully intricate sarcophagus would be created as well as a silver urn in which they preserved their hearts and a reliquary container for their embalmed entrails. They separated these remains in three separate locations post-funeral. Why? Beats the hell out of me. This particular crypt contains 12 emperors, 18 empresses, and 113 other members of the royal Hapsburg family. There is also a herzgruft, or heart room, a few blocks away which contains 54 urns from these crypts. This breathtaking sarcophagi contains Emperor Franz I Stephan and his wife Empress Maria Theresa. They lie on top of the tomb. It was created along with the other by sculptor Balthasar Ferdinand Moll. His work was created with full and hollow metal casting and in my opinion is extraordinary. Walking through the dark and humid walls of this fantastic museum (yes, I do consider this a museum) is very calming. Silent, with a slight creep factor added, I loved it in here.
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