St. Charles' Church
© WienTourismus / Karl Thomas

Belief, architecture and culture: seven impressive churches in Vienna

Churches in every town are among the most important contemporary witnesses of history and architecture. Many centuries or just a few decades old, the churches of Vienna also tell their own stories past and present. As silent witnesses, they have experienced and survived much. Apart from their history, many of them are particularly impressive for their architecture and cultural value.

St. Stephen's Cathedral is the undisputed big star among Vienna's churches, but what other impressive churches are there? We went on a pilgrimage from altar to altar and from organ to organ, and prepared a list of the seven most impressive churches in Vienna.

St. Rupert's Church

St. Rupert's Church is the oldest church in Vienna. The oldest official documents date to 1200. According to old traditions, however, its history could go back as far as the year 740. The church is dedicated to Saint Rupert, the patron saint of salt shippers and traders, and is located in the city's historic core. Almost nowhere else in Vienna do centuries of history get more lively.

Minoriten Church

The cornerstone for our next church was laid in 1276. Then as now, it plays an important role as one of the oldest and artistically most valuable churches in Vienna. That's because the Minoriten Church houses valuable art treasures, such as a mosaic depicting the famous last supper by da Vinci or the so-called "Familienmadonna", a painted stone statue of the Madonna from the year 1345.

Karlskirche (Church of St. Charles)

The Karlskirche is one of the most important Baroque buildings in Vienna. The giant dome stands quite clearly at its center. Impressive frescoes are to be found here at a height of more than 30 meters. Visitors can ride in a special panoramic lift to marvel at the frescoes from close quarters and at the same time enjoy an interesting view of the rest of the church's interior. Several times a year, the Karlskirche hosts a series of concerts with classical music or pre-Christmas gospel sounds.

Votive Church

The neogothic Votive Church is the second tallest church in Vienna and is located right on Vienna's Ringstrasse boulevard and next to the University of Vienna. Its name refers to the term votive offering, a gift of thanks, which the people of the monarchy financed with donations to celebrate the salvation of Emperor Franz Joseph I following an unsuccessful assassination attempt. After 23 years under construction, the church was consecrated right in time for the imperial couple's silver wedding. One of the most significant pieces in the Votive Church is the Antwerp Altar, considered to be one of the most important examples of its kind.

Church of the Most Holy Trinity (designed by Fritz Wotruba)

On the edge of the Vienna Woods, on Sankt-Georgen-Berg, a church that differs sharply from our previous candidates has stood since 1976. The unique, very special church building of the sculptor Fritz Wotruba comprises 152 irregularly placed concrete elements with a total weight of 4,000 tonnes. The church is also called the Wotruba Church in his honor.

Church of St. Leopold (designed by Otto Wagner)

The Church of St. Leopold, better known as the Kirche am Steinhof, was designed by Otto Wagner. It combines elements of Art Nouveau and Modernism. The church was built as an institutional church of the former Psychiatric Hospital (today: Social Medical Center Baumgartner Höhe). When designing the church, Otto Wagner considered everything very carefully, both outside and inside. For example, the rows of pews are particularly short to enable easy access to the patients at all times. Otto Wagner brought many of his artist colleagues, such as Koloman Moser and Othmar Schimmowitz, on board to assist with the furnishings.

St. Francis of Assisi Church

At the end of the Great Danube Regulation in 1875, new land was won and settled. All that was missing was a new church for the new town. For this reason, and to celebrate the 50th year in government of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the St. Francis of Assisi Church was built. It also owes its nickname – the Emperor's Anniversary Church – to this occasion. The church ranks among the most impressive religious buildings in Vienna and is surrounded by the Mexico Park, which in turn is part of the large Mexioplatz. Nowadays, the St. Francis of Assisi Church is a popular photographic motif for the Instagram profiles of many visitors to Vienna.

Rupertskirche (Ruprechtskirche)

Ruprechtsplatz, 1010 Wien
add to my travel plan

Minoriten Church Italienische Nationalkirche Maria Schnee

Minoritenplatz 2a, 1010 Wien
add to my travel plan

St. Charles' Church (Karlskirche)

Karlsplatz , 1040 Wien
  • Prices

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Tu, 09:00 - 18:00
    • We, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 12:00 - 19:00
    • on holidays, 12:00 - 19:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 14 Steps ( Door  300  cm  wide )
        Heavy wooden door
    • Side entrance
      • no steps (Automatic sliding doors )
        Argentinierstraße (Ramp)
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Visitors with ID for persons with special needs: free entry and elevator to the panorama.

    • Comments

      Interior: 11 steps. Ask staff for assistance.

      Last elevator showing of the cupola: 17:30 and Sun & public holidays 18:30.

       

add to my travel plan

Votive Church (Votivkirche)

Rooseveltplatz 8, 1090 Wien
  • Opening times

    • Tu, 10:00 - 18:00
    • We, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 09:00 - 13:00
    • The museum is currently closed for renovations.
add to my travel plan

Church of the Most Holy Trinity Wotruba Church

Ottillingerplatz 1, Georgsgasse/Rysergasse , 1230 Wien
  • Opening times

    • Sa, 14:00 - 20:00
    • Su, 09:00 - 16:30
    • on holidays, 09:00 - 16:30
    • Guided tours by telephone appointment
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 20 Steps ( Door  150  cm  wide )
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • 2 Parking spaces for people with disabilities
    • Elevator available
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Comments

      Interior: steps

add to my travel plan

Steinhof Church (Kirche am Steinhof)

Baumgartner Höhe 1 , 1140 Wien
  • Opening times

    • Sa, 16:00 - 17:00
    • Su, 12:00 - 16:00
    • Sunday and Holiday 9.30 a.m. Mass
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 12 Steps
    • Side entrance
      • no steps
        Back entrance on north side
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Comments

      Interior: no steps

add to my travel plan

Trinitarierkirche zum Heiligen Franz von Assisi (Trinitarierkirche zum Heiligen Franz von Assisi) Kaiser Jubiläumskirche

Mexikoplatz 12, 1020 Wien
add to my travel plan

 

Teilen, bewerten und Feedback
Rate this article
Feedback to the vienna.info editorial team

Please complete all the mandatory fields marked with *.

Title *