sights / Religious

Karlskirche information

Vienna , Austria
Getting there
Metro: Karlsplatz
More information
adult/child €8/4
Opening hours
9am-5.30pm Mon-Sat, 11.30am-5.30pm Sun
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Karlskirche rises at the southeast corner of Resselpark and is the finest of Vienna’s baroque churches. This dramatic structure was built between 1716 and 1739, after a vow by Karl VI at the end of the 1713 plague. It was designed and commenced by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and completed by his son Joseph.

The enormous twin columns at the front are modelled on Trajan’s Column in Rome and show scenes from the life of St Charles Borromeo (who helped plague victims in Italy), to whom the church is dedicated. The huge oval dome reaches 72m. The admission price includes entrance to Museo Borromeo and a small museum with a handful of religious art and clothing purportedly from the saint, but the highlight is the lift to the dome for a close-up view of the intricate frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr. The high altar panel shows the ascension of St Charles Borromeo. In front of the church is a pond, replete with a Henry Moore sculpture from 1978.