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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Vienna - Karlskirche (St. Charles's Church)

Date: 12th April 2014

Nova has captured a beautiful moment of us, 4 at the courtyard of St Charles's Church

Vienna is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Austria; its current Archbishop is Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. According to the 2001 census, 49.2% of Viennese are Roman Catholics, while 25.7% are of no religion, 7.8% are Muslim, 6.0% are members of an Orthodox denomination, 4.7% are Protestant (mostly Lutheran), 0.5% are Jewish, and the balance 6.3% are unregistered.


Beautiful building and advertisement flyer in Karlplatz

Tulips garden nearby the metro at Karlplatz

Many Roman Catholic churches in central Vienna feature performances of religious or other music, including masses sung to classical music and organ. Some of Vienna's most significant historical buildings are Roman Catholic churches, including the St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), Karlskirche, Peterskirche, and the Votivkirche.




The proportion of Viennese who were identifying as Roman Catholic has dropped over the last 50 years, from 90% in 1961 to 39.8% in 2010. Surprisingly, on the banks of the Danube, there is a Buddhist Peace Pagoda, built in 1983 by the monks and nuns of Nipponzan Myohoji.


Karlskirche (St. Charles's Church) is a baroque church located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, Austria. Widely considered as 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 reformers of the 16th century.


The Church is located on the edge of the Innere Stadt, approximately 200 meters outside the Ringstraße. Karlskirche contains a dome in the form of an elongated ellipsoid. Since Karlsplatz was restored as an ensemble in the late 1980s, Karlskirche has garnered fame due to its dome and its two flanking columns of bas-reliefs, as well as its role as an architectural counterweight to the buildings of the Musikverein and of the Vienna University of Technology. The church is cared for by a religious order, the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, and has long been the parish church as well as the seat of the Catholic student ministry of the Vienna University of Technology.



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. An architectural competition was announced, in which Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach prevailed over, among others, Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena and Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. Construction began in 1716 under the supervision of Anton Erhard Martinelli. After J.B. Fischer's (the architect) death in 1723, his son, 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.


Metro line passageway from St Charles's 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. Our group did not had any of insight views of the church as we have list of places to go to. Nevertheless, to share the history facts of the church would not neab any harms, its part of the education.



The attic is one of the elements which the younger Fischer introduced. The columns display scenes from the life of Charles Borromeo in a spiral relief and are intended to recall the two columns, Boaz and Jachim, which stood in front of the Temple at Jerusalem. They also recall the Pillars of Hercules and act as symbols of imperial power. The entrance is flanked by angels from the Old and New Testaments. It’s interior, above all in the dome fresco by Johann Michael Rottmayr of Salzburg and Gaetano Fanti, which displays an intercession of Charles Borromeo, supported by the Virgin Mary. Surrounding this scene are the cardinal virtues. The frescos in a number of side chapels are attributed to Daniel Gran.

The large round glass window high above the main altar with the Hebrew Tetragrammaton/Yahweh symbolizes God's omnipotence (ubiquitous) and simultaneously, through its warm yellow tone, God's love.

All photos shared in this entry were snapped at the St Charles’s Church compound. Not to forget, source of information for this entry is from Wikipedia.

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