The Imperial Crypt (German: Kaisergruft) in Vienna, Austria, also called the Capuchin Crypt (Kapuzinergruft), is a burial chamber beneath the Capuchin Church and monastery, founded in 1618 and dedicated in 1632, and located on the Neuer Markt square of the Innere Stadt, near the Hofburg Palace. Since 1633, the Imperial Crypt has been the principal place of entombment for members of the House of Habsburg.
The bones of 145 Habsburg royalty, plus urns containing the hearts or cremated remains of four others, are here, including 12 emperors and 18 empresses. The visible 107 metal sarcophagi and five heart urns range in style from puritan plain to exuberant rococo. Some of the dozen resident Capuchin friars continue their customary role as the guardians and caretakers of the crypt, along with their other pastoral work in Vienna.[Note 1] The most recent entombment was in 2011.150
Anna of Tyrol1, wife of Emperor Matthias2 conceived the idea of a Capuchin cloister and burial crypt for her and her husband, to be built in the neighborhood of the Hofburg castle in Vienna. She provided funds for it in the will she made on 10 November 1617, and soon made the funds available by dying just a year later. Her spouse followed a year after that.
The foundation stone was laid on 8 September 1622 in the presence of Emperor Ferdinand IIx578 and after slow progress caused by the distractions of the Thirty Years' War the church was dedicated on 25 July 1632 and at Easter of the next year, the simple sarcophagi containing the remains of Emperor Mathias2 and Empress Anna1 were transferred with great ceremony to what is now called the Founder's Vault.