The Franciscan monastery in Schwaz was founded in 1507 by Emperor Maximilian I. Built by Christof Reichartinger in the style of the "Bettelordenskirchen", the church of the monastery is one of the most beautiful and largest Gothic churches in Tyrol. The choir windows are decorated with colourful stained glass. They are a work of the black artist Prof. Fred Hochschwarzer and depict scenes from the life of St. Francis.
The stone altar is dedicated to the painful Blessed Mother: a late Gothic sculpture of the Mater Dolorosa marks the central part of the church. This sculpture is a work from the early 16th century from the Swabian region. The altar of St. Joseph is decorated with a statue of Johann Michael Fischler, a sculptor from Schwaz, who made it for the former baroque altar in 1736. The cross altar of the church is in the middle of the right aisle. On this altar is the expressive stone crucifix of the famous Loy Herring.
The cloister of the monastery is a unique jewel decorated by Father Wilhelm of Swabia with scenes from the Passion of Christ. The cloister is one of the oldest parts of the monastery. The rectangular central courtyard is surrounded by 22 arcades with cross vaults. Five further arcades extend the cloister to the west to the present main entrance of the monastery. At the vertices of the cross vaults there are 25 shields. The architectural design increases the rarity of the Kreuzhof. The court thus provides a worthy setting for the summer serenade concerts. From the cloister you reach the Bonaventura Chapel, which served as a temporary monastery church during the construction period.
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