Ferdinand II: anniversary exhibition at Ambras Castle
15 June until 8 October 2017
Turbans from the 16th century, Samurai armour, knight’s armour, Roman heads, tombstones, jugs, figures and toys. Is there anything Ferdinand II didn’t collect? Thanks to this passion, the Habsburg Archduke became the forefather of the modern museum. He needed to find a good home for his treasures and other people wanted to see them too, so he simply had a castle built around them – Ambras Castle. Ferdinand II became the ruler of Tyrol exactly 450 years ago in Innsbruck. A large exhibition focussed on the Prince will mark this remarkable anniversary in the place his treasures still call home today. Ambras Castle welcomes visitors to the special exhibition “Ferdinand II – 450 years of the Tyrolean Prince”.
A home for treasures
The castle was also home to Ferdinand’s second great passion, his wife Philippine Welser. The Prince married Philippine in secret without the consent of his father, the Emperor. She was a herbal expert and, like Ferdinand, left her mark on Ambras: her famous bathroom is a rarity because it is the only remaining fully preserved bathing facility from the 16th century. The bathroom is true wellness temple, complete with a giant bathtub, sauna and boiler room. This highlight is also open to visitors during an anniversary visit but all of the wonderful things that Ferdinand II gathered remain the real stars of the show. The exhibition has been excitingly staged in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and expanded to include pieces that cannot be seen elsewhere.