1) Austria: Innsbruck Cathedral © etva
Innsbruck Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. James (German: Dom zu St. Jakob), is an eighteenth-century Baroque cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Innsbruck in the city of Innsbruck, Austria, dedicated to the apostle Saint James. Based on designs by the architect Johann Jakob Herkomer, the cathedral was built between 1717 and 1724 on the site of a twelfth-century Romanesque church. The interior is enclosed by three domed vaults spanning the nave, and a dome with lantern above the chancel. With its lavish Baroque interior, executed in part by the Asam brothers, St. James is considered among the most important Baroque buildings in the Tyrol.
Innsbruck Cathedral, with its two bell towers and impressive dome, creates a dominant profile over the Altstadt (Old Town) skyline amidst the many green copper roofs. The stunning backdrop of the Karwendel Alps adds a dramatic effect.
The facade, which faces west over the Pfarrplatz, is constructed of Hötting breccia and Hagau marble and is dominated by its two towers. The round arched wall niches in the concave curve of the façade contain limestone statues of saints from the Tyrol: Hartmann, Cassian, Ingenuin, Albuin, Notburga, Romedius, Magdalena of Austria, and Heinrich von Bozen. These statues were created between 1941 and 1960 by Hans Andre, who also created the statue of the Virgin in the façade gable and the equestrian statue of Saint James above it.
The ground plan of the structure is traditional and cruciform with two west towers, a twin-bayed nave, a semicircle transept, and a straight-ended choir, framed by the sacristy and two concluding passages. The nave and transept are covered by saucer domes completely decorated with frescos—the first time in the Tyrol where this decorative technique was used. Another unique element of the building is the placement of the dome above the choir, and not above the crossing which is customary. The architect Herkomer, who was known for bringing together "all the church beauty from German and Latin lands", chose a Renaissance approach by giving the church a unique architectural element that helped create a symbolic focus on the high altar and tabernacle—a focus later enhanced by the inclusion of the painting Maria Hilf.
Texture 164 by Anna Lenabem: www.flickr.com/photos/42396059@N07/5658372012/in/photolis...