Karlskirche or the Church of Saint Charles in Vienna

The Church of Saint Charles in Vienna

The Church of Saint Charles in Vienna ©Yaisog Bonegnasher

The Karlskirche is a Vienese church designed by J. B. Fischer von Erlach and his son. It is the most impressive Baroque religious buildings of the Austrian capital. Emperor Charles VI promised to build the church in 1713 when the plague hit Vienna, and the church was dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, a patron saint of those who suffered from the plague.

The huge baroque building has a length of 80 meters and a width of 60 meters. The 72 meters high dome is a spectacular tourist attraction of the Viennese landscape. In 1715 the prayers of Charles IV were listened, and began the construction of the Church of Saint Charles.

It was completed 22 years later in 1737. The church building cost 304,000 guilders. All countries that were subordinated to the Crown were forced to contribute, as a fine for the deliberate destruction of the Austrian Embassy chapel.

The Karlskirche in Vienna

The Karlskirche in Vienna © jmenard48/Flick

The church architecture

There are many things that worth to be seen in this church with its oval and high central place, two large chapels on the two sides and four smaller in the corners. The relief from the metopes depicts that the plague was defeated. The inscription in Latin means “I fulfill my vow in front of those who fear of the Lord.”

The Karlskirche combines architectural elements from the ancient Greece (the two arches on both sides of the church), from the ancient Rome (two columns), and from the contemporary Viennese Baroque style (dome and towers). The form of the church wasn’t copied and is considered to be an architectural curiosity. This gives a greater interest among the other Baroque churches in Austria and is an almost magical place especially when it is illuminated at night.

Undoubtedly the most interesting aspects of the Church of Saint Charles in Vienna are the two columns that were inspired by the Column of Trajan in Rome. The spiral relief describes scenes from the life of St. Charles Borromeo and on their top is carved the imperial crown just above the lamps. Bright interior is dominated by the dome frescoes of Rottmayr. The interior is more conventional than the exterior.

The dome and the columns of the Karlskirche

The dome and the columns of the Karlskirche ©babasteve/Flick

Visiting the Church of Saint Charles in Vienna

The Church of Saint Charles is located at the address: Kreuzherrengasse January 1040 Wien, Austria and can be reached by subway (U1, U2, U4 Karlsplatz station), bus (lines 59A, 4 °, Karlsplatz station) or tram (lines 1, 2, D, J, Karlsplatz station).

The church is open from Monday to Friday between 7:30 and 19:00, Saturday from 8:30 to 19:00 and Sunday from 9:00 to 19:00. To see the interior of the Karlskirche you have to pay a fee of € 4.00 for adults, € 2.50 for children between 6-18 years and it is free for children under 6 years.

The Church of Saint Charles in Vienna

The Church of Saint Charles in Vienna ©Yaisog Bonegnasher

 

Leave a Reply