»From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance up to the most recent past«

St Nicholas Chapel


The Chapel of St Nicholas was first consecrated in 1330.

The Chapel of St Nicholas, oriented to the east, is a square-plan building spanned with mesh rib vaults with a 5/8 choir termination. The chapel is connected to a single-storeyed vestibule via two large arcuated openings, resting on a central round pillar of sandstone and two half-columns at the sides. 

Above the vestibule lies the oratory, separated from the chapel space by two pointed-arch windows. The exterior walls of the nave and the foundations of the choir of the chapel still belong to the Medieval building elements of the castle. 

The glass windows were created by the Neuhauser brothers from the Innsbruck stained glass school, based on designs by August Wörndle.

In the sixteenth century Archduke Ferdinand II caused renovations to be made under the direction of the master builder Giovanni Lucchese: the vestibule received two new entrance doors, one for the approach from the castle courtyard, the other over the sacristy adjacent to the west. Further structural alterations occurred first in the nineteenth century, when Ambras Castle was adapted into a residence by Archduke Karl Ludwig, who had become governor of Tyrol in 1855.


The vault of the nave was renewed and the very damaged wall frescoes of the sixteenth century were removed. The Innsbruck painter August Wörndle received the commission to redesign the chapel. He thereby oriented himself stylistically on the Nazarenes (a group of German painters of the early 19th century who tried to revive the art of medieval Germany and Renaissance Italy), and iconographically on the original paintings of the sixteenth century, which had been ‘copied in outline’ by the Innsbruck bookbinder Franz Vischer in 1834. 

The birth of Christ, the teaching of Christ, and the crucifixion are depicted below the nave window on the north wall, while on the south wall are shown the resurrection, the ascension, and the arrival of the Holy Ghost. Saint Joseph and the immaculate conception appear in the choir arch, in a painted niche with pointed gable.