Augustinian Church

Vienna, Austria

Augustinian Church was originally built in 1327 as the parish church of the imperial court of the Habsburgs. In 1634, the Augustinerkirche became the parish church of the imperial church. As imperial church, many Habsburg weddings took place there, including the wedding of Archduchess (and future Empress) Maria Theresa in 1736 to Duke Francis of Lorraine, the wedding of Archduchess Marie Louise in 1810 to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France, and the wedding of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1854 to Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria.

The nave was built under architect Dietrich Landtner from 1330 to 1339, but not consecrated until 1 November 1349. As the nearby Hofburg expanded, the Augustinerkirche gradually became engulfed by it and today is a part of the complex. Although inconspicuous from the outside, the inside is more ornate. During the reign of Emperor Joseph II, 18 side altars were removed in 1784 when the church was restored in the gothic style. A new side altar was added in 2004, dedicated to Emperor Karl I of Austria (1887–1922) who is on the path to being recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Loreto Chapel, to the right of the main altar, holds the silver urns containing the hearts of Habsburg rulers, while their bodies are kept in the Imperial Crypt. Herzgruft contains the hearts of 54 members of the imperial family.

Notable among the church's monuments is the memorial to Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria sculpted by Antonio Canova, in 1805.

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Details

Founded: 1327
Category: Religious sites in Austria

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gregory Blackley (12 months ago)
I find quiet time with God here..... excellent place to escape to for praying bon a daily basis!
Thea (18 months ago)
This church is really impressive, thanks to its massive architecture and its marble-like walls and columns, that make the building look optically much higher. One of the main reasons why you should visit this church is the funerary monument for Maria Christina of Austria, a beautiful masterpiece of Canova, so meaningful and aesthetically pleasing, and so realistic too, thanks to Canova's talent.
Maire Sheehan (18 months ago)
The 3 stars reflect the plainness of the church rather than an indication of value of visit. As it was Sunday afternoon you could still smell the incense, added to the atmosphere. Useful 1 euro information machine which fills the information gap.
Alice H (19 months ago)
Great Sunday church service with free concert at 11am. Nice experience even if you observe other religions
Dr. Steven Warren Suddath (20 months ago)
The Augustinian Church is a venerable place with a great history. It was the wedding church of the Imperial Family of Habsburg. I had the extraordinary honour that I could marry there myself, at Silvester 1919. It was a very romantic wedding with great organ music from Bach and Widor. A lot of tourists were that much fascinated by the wedding that they filmed, photographed and entered the chapel where the holy covenant took place, for watching the whole cerenony...
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The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

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Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

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20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

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Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.