Widely considered the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna, as well as one of the city's greatest buildings, Karlskirche is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great counter-reformers of the 16th century. In 1713, one year after the last great plague epidemic, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, pledged to build a church for his namesake patron saint, Charles Borromeo, who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. Construction began in 1716 under the supervision of Anton Erhard Martinelli. Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach completed the construction in 1737 using partially altered plans. The church originally possessed a direct line of sight to the Hofburg and was also, until 1918, the imperial patron parish church.

As a creator of historic architecture, the elder Fischer von Erlach united the most diverse of elements. The façade in the center, which leads to the porch, corresponds to a Greek temple portico. The neighboring two columns, crafted by Lorenzo Mattielli, found a model in Trajan's Column in Rome. Next to those, two tower pavilions extend out and show the influence of the Roman baroque (Bernini and Borromini). Above the entrance, a dome rises up above a high drum, which the younger J.E. Fischer shortened and partly altered.

The high altarpiece portraying the ascension of the saint was conceptualized by the elder Fischer and executed by Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokoff. The altar paintings in the side chapels are by various artists, including Daniel Gran, Sebastiano Ricci, Martino Altomonte and Jakob van Schuppen. A wooden statue of St. Anthony by Josef Josephu is also on display.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Karlsplatz 10, Vienna, Austria
See all sites in Vienna

Details

Founded: 1716-1737
Category: Religious sites in Austria

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tanya Lucas (18 months ago)
Watched Vivaldi Four Seasons and it was very atmospheric. Opera singer interludes also who had an amazing voice! Freezing in the church but they supplied blankets, which was a nice touch- wear lots of layers too! Worth paying for the top tier.
Cristina Andreea Galagan (18 months ago)
One of the most beautiful churches in Vienna, with a nice square and a cosy park. On Christmas they have a lovely Christmas market here. Highly recommended.
Brian Hoff (18 months ago)
Easily reached by foot. Easy views of such a historical place. For the best views, visit Earl in the morning before the tourists awake from their foolish slumber.
Flavy T (19 months ago)
It is a very beautiful church but there are consolidation works inside and there's an elevator inside that ruins the atmosphere. The elevator offers access at the upper part of the church so that you can see the paintings on the walls better. The ticket is 8 Eur/adult and it includes the elevator and a small museum that can be seen if you climb the stairs.
Sydney Candelario (19 months ago)
It was beautiful! The elevator did ruin it for me at first as it takes to so much space, but it was amazing that I was able to see the ceiling up close because of it. It truly made the experience one of a kind!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.