The Charm of Karlskirche

February 16, 2013

Vienna boasts of many religious landmarks that never fails to attract ourists each year from around the world and one of them is Karlskirche. Karlskirche is the Viennese name of St. Charle’s Church, a baroque church situated on Karlsplatz. It is one of Vienna’s greatest buildings of all time. 

Opened in 1737, the church was commissioned by then Emperor Charles VI as a thanksgiving for sparing the city from the  Black Plague that struck in 1713. At the height of the plague, the emperor promised to build a church to honor St. Charles Borromeo (the Italian bishop known for ministering to Milanese plague victims) if the plague left the city. Construction of the church began in 1715 courtesy of Baroque master Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach and his son.

Inside this beautiful religious structure are detailed frescoes painted by J.M. Rottmayr. The frescoes were created for five years from 1725 to 1730. St. Charles Borromeo is depicted in the vault frescoes while begging the Holy Trinity to end the plague that swept Vienna. 

Other than the amazing paintings, the architectural design of the church is also a thing to behold. It is a combination of ancient Greece as evident in the columbed portico, ancient Rome through the two Trajanesque columns in the facade and contemporary Viennese Baroque as evident in the dome and towers.

The dome of St. Charle’s Church is made from green copper and is 236 feet high. Owing to its height, this part of the religious landmark is one of those that standout in the Vienna skyline.

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