The Imperial Crypt (Die Kapuzinergruft)
This remarkable Imperial Crypt lies below the Capuchin Church and monastery founded in 1618 and dedicated in 1632. Since 1633 it has been the principal place of entombment for members of the Habsburg dynasty.
It is quite a morbid tradition the Habsburgs have on their burial rituals: Upon death their hearts are placed in the Augustinerkirche, their entrails in Stephansdom and the rest of them, here in the imperial crypt. Of the three burial sites, this is the one you want to go. The tombs are amazing, one after another! Once you are inside the crypt you will understand the power and wealth the Habsburg dynasty represented in Europe for more than 800 years - quite incredible!
The bodies of 145 Habsburg royalties are deposited here, including 12 emperors and 18 empresses - none of them is missing so far. The last one to be buried here was Otto Habsburg, the last Habsburg to still officially be born a "Crown Prince" of the Habsburg Empire - he was only aged 3 when the Austrian Hungarian Empire collapsed.
Otto was buried here with many Austrians expressing their sympathy to him and his family in July 2011. It was a semi official state funeral - after all, this was the last offspring of the Habsburg that held an official royal title - including lots of pomp and burial traditions; and with the presence of many royal households of Europe. Today there is room for only one more entombment. Austrians here wonder who of the Habsburg offspring will be the lucky one to be chosen next... Don't miss out on this incredible sight - the Imperial Crypt is one of the top attractions in Vienna.
Also, when you arrive at the Imperial Crypt - you will be able to spot some of the dozen resident Capuchin friars at the entrance. They continue their customary role as the guardians and caretakers of the crypt till today, as well as their dedicated pastoral work in Vienna. It is quite remarkable as you would think of them as taken a more discrete role in Vienna - here they are, ready to help and point you out in the right direction, always open for a chat and very charming, you only notice that they are members of the catholic church due to their clothing.