Vienna, Austria

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

Eric Clermont (13 months ago)
St Charles Church is where we attended a Vivaldi concert. We were awed by the decor on the outside so you can imagine how jaw-dropping the experience was inside. Magnificently ornate and grand, with decent acoustics despite some repairs under way.
AnJa Mack (15 months ago)
What an amazing church. You have to pay entrance fee. The panorama few with the elevator is unique and just till 2.11.22 there. It’s worth it. I really love the St. Agnes chapel just to sit and pray, meditate or be alone with your thoughts. I love the architecture and the spirit this place has for me. I could spend hours there just to sit and enjoy the music when they play the Orgel and look at the paintings
lisa (15 months ago)
I am not going to lie: entering this church feels like entering heaven. We went there close to the opening so there was nearly nobody and it might be the best decision I have ever made. Few can rival Vienna's magnificent churches and this one is another proof of that. In addition to the main altar, the panoramic terrace of which we can observe the city is also gorgeous. Totally worth the entry fee.
Manjit Dhillon (17 months ago)
Visit this beautiful church, its amazing inside, there is some renovation works being carried out, but its still worth visiting. There is a small charge to pay, but its completely worth it. The church was built to remember the victims of the black plague. The architecture inside is amazing, outside is beautiful too especially with the reflections from the water feature. Also take the elevator to the dome at the top, there is a viewing window with far reaching views of the city. Although it's not in the centre of Vienna, it's definitely worth seeing, especially inside ?
Irene Lidoriki (22 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.
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