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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Details

Founded: 1276
Category: Religious sites in Austria

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karl Meyer (19 months ago)
In an unassuming church away from the crowds, the mosaic of the last supper is an awe-inspiring piece of work. It is huge yet the mosaic tiles are tiny.
Andrea Argnani (19 months ago)
Italian Catholic community in Vienna. Holy mass every Sunday at 1100 am. It often host concerts
Anna Fedorina (20 months ago)
Beautiful Italian church with the copy of mosaic "Last Supper" from Leonardo da Vinci. Service in a church available in Italian language. Concerts of classic music in the evening.
Tihomir Ivanov (20 months ago)
The last supper replica is amazing and a must see. We also visited a new year's concert which was magical and probably the best thing we experienced in Wien. Definitely go if you have the chance. Bonus is that it is not crowded with tourists :)
Toqa Kamel (2 years ago)
The church is great from inside. I attended an Austrian Chamber Orchestra concert at Christmas and it was magical. Really loved it.
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The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

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The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

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