Votivkirche

Church in Alsergrund & the University District

In 1853 Franz Josef I survived an assassination attempt when a knife-wielding Hungarian failed to find the emperor’s neck through his collar. The Votivkirche was commissioned in thanks for his lucky escape; in stepped Heinrich von Ferstel with a twin-towered, mosaic-roofed neo-Gothic construction, completed in 1879. The prize exhibit of the small church museum, closed for refurbishment in 2019 with an uncertain reopening time, is the Antwerp Altar from 1460.

The rather bleak church interior is bedecked with frescoes and bulbous chandeliers, and the tomb of Count Niklas Salm, one of the architects of the successful defence against the Turks in 1529, is in the Baptismal Chapel.