The Triumphpforte, also commonly known as Triumphal Arch, is one of Austria's treasured gems. Built in 1765, the Triumphpforte is surrounded by sleepy mountains and historic charm in Innsbruck, Austria. Though Innsbruck has that old town charm, the Triumphpforte is grand.
When Empress Maria Theresa envisioned the Triumphpforte, she knew that it had to be splendid. In the spirit of greatness, the Triumphpforte harks back to the aesthetic of the mighty Roman Empire. Empress Maria Theresa would have nothing less than great because the Triumphpforte was originally commissioned to commemorate the matrimony of her son, the Duke of Tuscany. The Duke of Tuscany, who would eventually be known as Emperor Leopold II, was to wed Princess Maria Ludovica from Spain.
The creation of the Triumphpforte is a bit unusual. Unlike other royal monuments, the Triumphpforte was not built from scratch; many believe that the Triumphpforte was not built from scratch because of bad planning and time management issues. Since the original Triumphpforte already followed Roman architecture fundamentals, centuries earlier the monument had been surrounded by defense ramparts, Empress Maria Theresa personalized and embellished the monument. The Empress was quick to incorporate marble reliefs and sculptures to create a sophisticated Rokoko monument. The name, Triumphpforte, was officially given when the project was completed.
While the Triumphpforte was originally intended to be a monument of joy, the Triumphpforte would go on to take another meaning. During the marriage festivities, Empress Maria Theresa's husband, Kaiser Franz I, died. The occasion quickly took on a somber tone. The Triumphpforte captures both emotions effectively. The northern façade of the monument is dedicated to mourning the late Kaiser Franz I. The southern façade is dedicated to the nuptial union. A marble relief of the late Kaiser Franz I was created on the east façade of the monument; a marble relief of Empress Maria Theresa is on the west façade.