The Imperial Crypt – also the Capuchin Crypt

Burial place of the Habsburgs and Habsburg-Lothringer in Vienna

Vienna’s Imperial Crypt is a museum of a special kind: from 1633 to 2011, the bones of the Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine families were buried here. The museum is also often colloquially called the Capuchin Crypt, as the Capuchin monks take care of the crypt. The Capuchin Crypt is a non-profit operation of the Capuchin Order in the province of Austria-South Tyrol.

A visit to the Imperial Crypt is worthwhile in any case: not only lie here great politicians of the last four centuries buried. Even the partly magnificent and artistic, partly simple and careless coffins are an exciting testimony to the imperial family and its tragedies – as well as to Austrian and European history.

Great personalities – buried in the Imperial Vault

With a total of around 150 people buried, the Imperial Crypt has been continually expanded over the centuries. Various structurally perpetuated epochs such as Rococo or Baroque testify to this passage of time – and the architectural and artistic fashion through the ages.

Särte von Kaiserin Elisabeth ("Sissi"), Kaiser Franz Joseph I. und Kronprinz Rudolf in der Kaisergruft
Coffins of Franz Joseph, Sissi and Rudolf © Christan Bach/Wikimedia

Of course, the elaborate double sarcophagus of Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz I stands out among the 12 emperors and 19 empresses and queens. Even the world-famous Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”) or Crown Prince Rudolf found their last resting place in the Imperial Crypt. The last Habsburgs who were buried here were Empress Zita in 1989 and Otto Habsburg in 2011.

Macabre and historically valuable at the same time is the fact that the hearts of the Habsburgs were buried in their own heart vault in Augustinerkirche.

Maria-Theresia-Gruft unter anderem mit dem Doppelsarkophag von Maria Theresia und Franz Stephan
The Maria Theresa Crypt in the Capuchin Crypt © Bwag/Wikimedia

Visits and guided tours

The Capuchin Crypt opened daily from 10 to 18 o’clock, Thursday 9 to 18 o’clock. However, the land of the imperial and royal dead can be explored especially well in a guided tour: the tours take about one hour – and take place regularly:
Wednesday to Saturday:
14:00 German, 15:30 English (also bilingual English / German. Possible).

TIP: There are also children’s tours. Lady Eva invites you on a journey through the history of the Habsburgs. (Age recommendation: children from 7 to 13 years.)

360 degree view of the Capuchin Crypt:

Arrival and map of the Capuchin monastery

Address: Tegetthoffstrasse 2, 1010 Vienna
Public accessibility: Underground: U1, U2, U3, U4 (Karlsplatz) Tram: D, J, 1, 2, 62 (Karlsplatz)

Further details on the tours and times