The Mausoleum

“That’s much too big for my lad Hans”, once said Anna, Countess of Meran, referring to the Mausoleum of Schenna where her deceased husband, Archduke John, was buried in 1869. And just as its dimensions are inappropriate to the modest Archduke, its stylistic features scarcely blend into the architectural world of the old Tyrol: neo-Gothic, built of reddish sandstone according to the design of the Viennese architect, Professor Moritz Wappler, and highly exposed at the outermost edge of the Schenna church hill. But it is of special importance in artistic and historical terms, as the Mausoleum is nevertheless one of the first and most remarkable neo-Gothic religious buildings of the 19th century. The artistic design is the work of local artists: brightly-coloured windows, a fanciful altar, numerous figures and the sumptuously decorated sarcophagus. Here at John’s side rests his beloved wife Anna, Countess of Meran – my “Zirkoon”, as he affectionately called her – and, in two separate graves, their only child Franz, Count of Meran, and his wife Theresa, Countess Lamberg.