Votivkirche Church (vows) in Vienna: how to get there and photos
The Church of Votivkirche is rarely included in the program of sightseeing tours in Vienna. Do not think that this attraction of the Austrian capital does not deserve attention, just in Vienna there are too many interesting places to have time to see them all in one round.
If you are thinking about how to spend your free time, then visiting this church is not a bad idea. We'll tell you what's interesting here to see how to get there, and how remarkable it is.
The Votivkirche church is often called a cathedral, which is not entirely true. The cathedral is a special status that is given to the Catholic church as the main one in the city, or as a place of service for a bishop or archbishop.
In Vienna there is only one cathedral, and this is St. Stephen's Cathedral, it is visited by almost all excursion groups, and we wrote about it a detailed article . By the way, there can be several cathedrals in the city, since this status is given to the temple for life, and it is not taken away even if the head of the diocese chose a new place of service.
Many do not know this, but Votivkirche is not the name of the cathedral. This word is translated as "the church of the vow," that is, a special temple, which is built as a gratitude for some happy deliverance or as a request to God.
They are also called "church churches". There are more than ten churches around the world, also called Votivkirche. To the name of the Viennese temple, it is correct to add the phrase "in Vienna", so as not to create confusion.
It is an active Catholic church in which services are held and cultural events are organized. The church is open, and the entrance is free for tourists, even during the mass. The main thing is, behave culturally and quietly, and no one will be against your presence.
The main "charm" of this attraction is precisely its small attendance by tourists. In the cathedral of St. Stephen often the number of tourists is such that it is not possible to look at many altars or pulpits. In the Votivkirche church, travelers are rare.
Despite the low popularity, this church was seen by all the tourists, well, except the blind, of course. Two of its towers 99 meters high rise above the center of the city and they can not be missed. The photo on the left is made from one of the viewing platforms in the center of Vienna.
The church is built in the Neo-Gothic style, in the same as the Town Hall of Vienna. Many confuse these two buildings. You can read about the Viennese Town Hall in this article .
Let's start with history. February 18, 1853 there was an interesting event. The young Emperor Franz Joseph I went for a walk around Vienna, and on this walk the young Hungarian Janos Libenius attacked him from behind with a dagger. The Emperor was wounded, he was rescued by the quick reaction of the adjutant Count O'Donnell.
In gratitude for the salvation of Franz Joseph, this church was built. It was built on voluntary donations of the citizens of the empire, construction began in 1856 and lasted 23 years. The first ceremony in the temple was a wedding for the "silver wedding" of the monarchy couple, and it is the day of April 24, 1879 that is considered the day of the opening of the church.
It is worth noting that from that moment the Votivkirche church has never undergone restoration, only repairs have been carried out there after the bombing of Allied aviation in World War II.
Restoration began recently, and now the temple is constantly being carried out different work. The church is not closed in this regard, but it is worthwhile to prepare that during your visit, for example, the museum will be closed, or the entire building will simply not be visible because of the scaffolding.
And yet this view (photo on the right) shocked many tourists from European countries. Directly in front of the church building of Votivkirche is a huge advertising poster Coca-Cola.
In Moscow, such a neighborhood would not come as a surprise, even if corporate parties are held in the Tretyakov Gallery. But in Vienna, where the cultural heritage is highly valued, it looks "wild".
At first we thought that Coca-Cola was a sponsor of the restoration, but there was no indication of this on the poster. It turned out that this is an ordinary advertising space and it is worth the pleasure to hang your logo there is 39 900 euros per month.
Of course, it's interesting to get to Votivkirch along with the excursion, but it's very difficult to get to it. First, they are held once a month on the last Saturday. Secondly, the group is limited to 25 participants, and it is necessary to register in advance.
The excursions are conducted in German, but even if you do not know this language, you will be able to see the building premises that are inaccessible during normal visits, and you will get to one of the towers, from where you can see a stunning view of Vienna. The cost of the tour is nine euros.
But even without a guide, it's very interesting. The first thing that you should pay attention to inside is beautiful stained-glass windows depicting biblical scenes. In Catholic grams, it is customary to surround the parishioner with such pictures in different forms, to recall at least the Sistine chapel in the Vatican . But there are murals, and here there are drawings on the glass.
At the time of lighting the church there were 78 stained glass windows with works by famous artists. All of them were destroyed during the bombing. What you see now is a modern restoration.
Because of the multicolored glass, the church makes a special impression when the sun's rays make their way through the windows. We wish you to get here at this very moment. In the photo below, we managed to capture this, but no photo will give you the impressions you get.
This church is remarkable not only for its appearance and decoration. There is a unique organ (accent on the second syllable), made in 1878 in the workshop "EF Walcker". It is called the "Great Body". In the 90 years of the last century it was restored, and now it pleases parishioners with its sound.
The sound of organ music is amazing, which is facilitated by the excellent acoustics of the main hall. The main hall also impresses with its high ceilings (pictured right).
This organ attracts in Votivkirch masters and fans of organ music. There are often concerts, and even performers' competitions. The program of these events is available on the official website of the church.
It is difficult to choose the time of visit so as to hear the organ. You will receive a guarantee only in two cases. The first is a mass, during which music is necessarily played. And the second is the contests and concerts mentioned by us.
In other cases, you may not hear the music. Of course, the organ also plays in cases when no events occur, it is necessary for the performers once to train.
The organ is considered the most complex musical instrument, and the art of playing on it many artists learn all their lives.
The most notable place inside is the main altar, which is called the "high altar".
Also in the church are four chapels (pictured left), one of which is a baptistery. Baptistry is a place specially designed for the baptism of children. Sometimes it is a separate building, you can recall the Pisa Cathedral in Italy , but more often it is a separate chapel inside the main church.
There is a museum in the Votivkirche church, but it is rather strange. There is a feeling that it was created only for the sake of one exhibit. This is the Antwerp altar. Or rather, one of them, which was made several dozen, and now there are 28 left in the world.
It was made in the 15th century and is a pictorial example of Flemish wood carving, but it's not so easy to look at it. The museum is open only a few hours a day, and not every day.
Operating time: from 7-00 to 18-00.
The museum operates from Tuesday to Friday from 16-00 to 18-00 and on Saturday from 10-00 to 13-00.
Entry price: free of charge.
Museum - 4 EURO
Excursion - 9 EURO (preliminary registration is required)
How to get there: take the subway Vienna to Schottentor station on the second line. From the metro, you go out on Maria Theresia Street, turn left and go along this street. After 100 meters you go to the park, and the church is right behind it.
This concludes our story. Read about other sights in Austria in our articles ( links below ).
Read about Austria on our website
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Dear Sirs creators of this page! Correct the date of the beginning of the construction of the church !!!! And, in my opinion, it is not very correct to refer to the fact that Moscow hosts corporate parties in historical places! In Vienna, too, this sin: the recent wedding celebrations in Hofburg that confirmation.
Alexander - GlavRed site
Thank you for noticing the wrong date. I corrected this typo.
But we will refer to corporate parties in the Tretyakov Gallery. The topic of corruption in our country is very important. If you keep silent, everything will remain so.