Emperor Frederick III commissions his tomb 30 years before his actual death. The most famous Dutch sculptor of the day, Niklas Gerhaert van Leyden, starts work in 1468 but only manages to complete the portrait of the emperor on the lid of the tomb before dying in 1473. However he leaves behind a coherent concept for the project to which his successors stick. Max Valmert realises the side reliefs, Michael Tichter the balustrades. But the process is drawn out and Frederick dies before he can see the final result. When his body is finally moved from the crypt under the central nave to his tomb he has been dead for 20 years.