Minoritenkirche

Vienna, Austria

The Minoritenkirche is a church built in French Gothic style in Vienna old town. The site on which the church is built was given to followers of Francis of Assisi in 1224. The foundation stone was laid by King Ottokar II of Bohemia in 1276. Duke Albrecht II later supported the building process, especially the main portal. The Gothic Ludwig choir was built between 1316 and 1328, and used as a mausoleum in the 14th and 15th centuries. Construction of the church was completed in 1350.

The whole building follows the pattern of French Cathedral architecture but the building masters are unknown. The portal follows a French pattern, rare for Austria. The Tympanum is divided by circle impacts into three fields, whereby in the middle field, Christ on a branch cross is displayed. On the left, is Mary with Mary Magdalene and other female figures; on the right, John the Evangelist, Saint Longinus the soldier, and other male figures. The outermost male and female figures could represent Duke Albrecht II and his wife Johanna of Pfirt, particularly since the male figure seems to wear a Duke hat.

The top of belltower was damaged during the first Austro-Turkish war, rebuilt, then again destroyed again during the second Austro-Turkish war; the top was then replaced by a flat roof. In the following centuries, the church remained to a large extent unchanged, only that in different wars, the tower suffered damage several times. Around 1900, the last major changes took place.

The Neo-Gothic high altar was made by Ferdinand Hohenberg. There is a life-sized copy of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper on the church's northern wall. It is a mosaic made by the Roman mosaic artist Giacomo Raffaelli, commissioned by Napoleon I in 1809, but it was not finished before Napoleon's abdication.

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Founded: 1276
Category: Religious sites in Austria

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