The Augustinian Church is one of Vienna’s many places of worship and a must-see for visitors. Situated on Josefsplatz, this 14th century palace church was constructed in the Hofburg complex originally to serve the imperial court.
Completed in 1339, it hosted burials and weddings of the royal family and was also the starting point for processions and pilgrimages. However, it was only in 1634 when it became the parish church of the imperial church.
Among the royal weddings that took place here are those of Maria Theresa and Francis Stephen of Lorraine in 1736, Maria Antoinette and Louis XVI of France in 1770, Marie-Louise of Austria and Napoléon in 1810 and Franz Joseph and Elisabeth of Bavaria in 1854.
The Augustinerkirche or the church of the Augustinian friars boasts of a Gothic interior dating back to the 18th century. From the entrance, one can already view the splendour of the church with its ribbed vaults and hanging chandeliers.
Also within the church are the Loreto and St. George’s chapels. They are open only after the Sunday mass as well as on Mondays and during guided tours. The Sunday 11 a.m. mass is highly recommended to visitors as it features a spectacular mass with full orchestra including two organs and choir featuring the music of Mozart or Haydn.
Interestingly, the high altar to the right of the Loreto Chapel is where the hearts of the Habsburg rulers are stored. They are contained in 54 silver urns which can be seen through a window in an iron door.
Additionally, the monastery of six Augustinian monks within the complex continues to function until today.