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.



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Karlsplatz 10, Vienna, Austria
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Founded: 1716-1737
Category: Religious sites in Austria


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Irene Lidoriki (12 months ago)
A very beautiful church.It is most impressive and not at all crowdy.You have to buy a ticket in order to enter the church, but it is strongly recommend to do so! A place worth visiting.
Colleen M Wagner (12 months ago)
Beautiful Baroque style church to visit. Currently undergoing some renovations but still amazing. There is an elevator inside that takes you up into the dome to view the amazing murals of the dome up close. From the dome elevator it’s a slight walk up spiral steps to access the outside base of the dome. Amazing views of the city from this vantage point. Cost of admission is 8 Euros
Elvis Jansons (2 years ago)
A very nice place and park to hang out. I was there in summer so some food vans were there, people hanging out. In the night there are A LOT of people having a good time – many friend groups gathering around.
Lucile Moncrieff (2 years ago)
This place is beautiful and alive all day long. However you must know that this place may clause at 18h but the entrance will close a little bit before 17h30, moreover you have to pay to visit this church unlike most in town
Ramkumar N (2 years ago)
Huge church with beautiful architecture. The water in the fountain outside was very dirty though. So was the pathway all around the church. It could've been kept cleaner and better maintained for such an important monument of the city.
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