If you’ve seen our blog about 15 amazing buildings to see in Vienna… then you’ll know that it is steeped in incredible architecture.
Yet, as well as those incredible buildings… there are some stunning Vienna churches to check out too.
And, Vienna has many churches from massive to small, dating as far back as the 700’s! Plus, there are many styles from Gothic, to Romanesque through to Baroque.
But, if we were to cover all these churches in one blog, it’d be a huge blog!
So, if you ever decide to travel to Vienna, and are keen to see some picturesque churches… then in this blog we’ll share 10 of them to feed your wanderlust!
So, we’ll get started with this one…
Franz von Assisi Kirche (St Francis of Assisi Church)
Then, one morning Max and I walked towards the Danube River… where the St Francis of Assisi Church dominated the skyline.
The St Francis of Assisi Church… built between 1898 and 1913 is a Neo-Romanesque styled Catholic church.
And the design was by architect Victor Luntz. Plus, its construction was to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of Emperor Franz Josef’s reign. So, that’s why it’s also known as the Jubilee Church.
So, when looking at this Vienna church, it reminds us of like a castle out of a fairytale. And, the view of the St Francis of Assisi Church is amazing to look at from the Danube River side.
And, on the inside… the Elisabethkapelle (Elisabeth Chapel) was built using funds from the Austrian Red Cross. Yet, more funds were collected than was needed to build the chapel… which is most likely why it looks so spectacular inside too.
Votivkirche (Votive Church)
And not too far from the Rathaus is another Neo-Gothic building, the Votive Church.
So, this magnificent church was created… following an assassination attempt of Emperor Franz Joseph I on 18th February, 1853.
Then, this church was to be built as a “gift of thanks” for saving Franz Joseph’s life. And, following thousands of donations… the construction of the Votive Church started in 1856.
Then, the church was consecrated on 24th April 24, 1879… which was the silver anniversary of Franz Joseph and his wife.
Plus, the Votivekirche was one of the first buildings to be built on Ringstrasse. And, surrounding it are gardens, trees and Sigmund Freud Park.
So, the Votive Church is made from white sandstone. Thus, it needs constant upkeep to protect it from pollution and nature’s elements… which can dis-colour and erode the sandstone.
So, while the architecture of this Vienna church is stunning on the outside… on the inside it’s worth taking a sneak peek too…
Karlskirche (St Charles Church)
In Karlsplatz, is a Baroque style building of St Charles Church. The major difference with this church compared to others we saw, and have mentioned in this blog… is the dome roof, which is more elongated than others.
Plus, the design is a mix of styles including ancient Greek and Roman… together with Byzantine, Renaissance, and even Baroque styles. Thus, making it a unique-looking church!
The designer of this church was Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, which happened to be his last.
Yet, the completion of the Church of St Charles was in 1739 by his son, following an outbreak of the black plague.
So, as a vow by Emperor Charles VI History, he would create a church in honor of St Charles Borromeo… who was known for caring for people who suffered from the plague.
Now, when we were visiting Karlskirche, there were people selling tickets for concerts. And, we discovered that Karlskirche is another historic concert venue in Vienna.
So, the performances are mainly around the works by Mozart and Vivaldi. Plus, it’s home to the renowned Orchestra 1756 that showcases concerts here.
Stephansdom (St Stephan’s Cathedral)
When we were sightseeing around Vienna, we had to stop by and check out one of the most famous buildings. And, towering over the city stands the Roman-Gothic St Stephan’s Church.
So, it’s said that the original cathedral commenced construction in 1137. Yet, due to war, fires and even vandalism… St Stephen’s Cathedral Vienna suffered a lot of damage.
Thus, over time, the cathedral has had many works done… as well as additions to the original building including multiple towers.
Then, on 26 April 1952, the church was re-opened with the festivities in Vienna city.
And, while the church looks incredible, the roof is made up of over 230,000 individual tiles! What a job that would’ve been to put together.
Plus, the massive Pummerin bell is one of the largest free-hanging bells in the world… and weighs in at 21,100 kilograms and is almost 3 metres high.
So, with St Stephan’s Cathderal being such an impressive building and steeped in history… to take a real good look inside you will have to buy tickets. So, this varies depending on what you want to see.
And, this can be in form of a self-guided tour of St Stephen’s Cathedral Vienna… or guided tours for areas such as the catacombs.
Yet, even from the outside of this famous church in Vienna… it’s an architectural masterpiece, and a must see.
Michaelerkirche (St Michael’s Church)
St. Michael’s Church is one of the oldest churches in Vienna… and one of the last few remaining Romanesque style buildings.
This church, dedicated to the Archangel Michael… is at Michaelerplatz, which is nearby St. Michael’s Gate at the Hofburg Palace.
To us, it is the tall tower that makes this church stand out amongst the other buildings.
St Michael’s Church is 800 years old, and has hundreds of visitors each day.
The construction of this church commenced in the Romanesque period, in the early 1200’s. And, it used to be the parish church of the Imperial Court… when it was called Zum heiligen Michael.
Over time there has been additional changes to the church… with the last being in 1791 when the west façade was re-constructed in classicist style.
Then, after the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy… the Barnabites handed over the parish and cloister to the Salvatorians.
So, we’re halfway through our spectacular Vienna churches! And now, let’s get into the home stretch…
Peterskirche (St Peter’s Church)
St Peter’s Church is a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church in Vienna, Austria. And, it sits on one of the oldest religious sites in Vienna.
So, records state that the first church on this site was in the late 4th century. And, that church was said to have been much larger than the one we see today.
St Peter’s Church was built in 1733, from the designs by architect, Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. So, while St Peter’s Church is smaller than others in Vienna… it is a magnificent site to see.
And, when we saw St Peter’s Church it looked like it was squashed amongst the other buildings around it. Plus, after taking the photo… it almost looks like the 2 towers on the outer side of the church are hugging the dome!
Yes, please use your imagination here… LOL!
And, while the outside of St Peter’s Church is pretty, the inside the church is elaborate too. Plus, there are paintings that date back to the 1700’s, that can be viewed too.
Maria vom Siege Church (Mary of the Victory Church)
After Max and I went to see the incredible Schönbrunn Palace… we were taking a long walk to the Mariahilf area. And, along the way we had to stop and look at this imposing church…
The Maria vom Siege Church is in Fünfhaus, District 15 of Vienna… and close to Westbahnhof train station. This 68 meter tall, dark brick building is very different to other churches we’d seen in Vienna.
So, the designer of this Neo-Gothic styled church was Friedrich Schmidt… who was also the architect who was the designer for the Rathaus. And, the Maria vom Siege was built between 1868 and 1875 on land that was mainly for agricultural uses.
So, it’s said that because the Fünfhas area was becoming a prosperous working-class suburb with a growing population… it needed a bigger church. And it sure is a big church!
Yet, when we were there major works must have been taking place… as there was plenty of scaffolding. Plus, what ruined the view of this Vienna church… were massive advertising signs on the side of it!
The Church of Mariahilf
When Max and I were in Neubau, Vienna District 6… we were walking down the popular shopping street of Mariahilferstrasse. Then, we saw this pretty church…
The Church of Mariahilf is in Baroque style… was built by Sebastiano Carlone in 1686 to 1689 for the Barbanite Monks. Then, the church was re-designed by Franz Jänggl.
And, it’s also know as Barnabitenkirche… because the church is on the street called, Barnabitengasse.
So, the statue in front of Mariahilf Church built in 1887… is in memory of the composer Joseph Haydn, who lived and died in Mariahilf.
Yet, did you know that the Church of Mariahilf had been starting to lean forward? So, the underground was being built in Mariahilferstrasse… at the same time as the renovation of the church’s interior in the 1990’s.
And, this caused the Mariahilf Church towers to lean forwards toward Mariahilferstrasse. Plus, the nave was leaning in a different direction!
So, to combat this movement, four steel anchors were put in place, to join the nave and towers together. Phew, thank goodness for that!
Kirche am Hof
So, while Max and I were exploring around Vienna city, we kind of got ourselves lost… because after seeing an amazing building, we could see more around every corner!
So, after foregoing the map for a little while, we saw this beautiful building next to the Park Hyatt Hotel…
Yet, we weren’t sure what is was and thought maybe a museum. But then we discovered that it was a church! And, that surprised us as the churches we’d seen all had a bell tower of some sort.
So, the Kirche am Hof with its Baroque style façade, was built between 1386 and 1403 by the Carmelite Order.
The Kirche am Hof is in Am Hof Square. So, the significance of Am Hof is that it’s the largest square in Vienna’s inner city. Plus, this was where the first palace of the Babenberg Dynasty was… before the Habsburgs reigned.
Originally, the square was used for jousting tournaments… but then became a market square.
Plus, nowadays the Kirche am Hof is the main church for the Croatian community in Vienna.
Schottenkirche (Church of the Scots)
The Schottenkirche is a parish church attached to the Schottenstift… which was founded by Hiberno-Scots Benedictine monks in the mid 1100’s.
Then, in the early 1400’s, Duke Albert V of Austria transferred the church to the German-speaking Benedictine monks… who were from Melk Abbey.
Yet, over time the church was damaged by natural disasters… including fire and earthquakes.
So, from 1638 the Schottenkirche underwent re-construction from 1638, in Baroque style. And, the original designers who created the church… was Carlo Antonio Carlone and Marco Spazzio.
So, inside the Schottenkirche is a museum, which shows works from the 15th to 19th centuries. Plus, there is an ancient statue of the Virgin Mary from the mid 1200’s, which stands in the church.
So, that was a taste of some of the most important and picturesque Vienna churches. So, for some of the churches you will need to pay to see them in all their glory. Yet, even from the outside you can admire their amazing architecture.
And, it’s mind-boggling to discover the history of these churches… and why they play a significant part in Vienna’s culture.
Plus, with so many more churches to see in Vienna city and the surrounds… you’ll never be short of architectural delights here. And, with so many churches there are always bells ringing like a beautiful chorus.
So, go out there, explore Vienna and ENJOY!
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