The Churches of Vienna

There was not world enough and time to visit all the significant churches in Vienna, not even all of the ones in the old city. So we had to settle for a few. Let’s start with the one our friend and former student Christa Abhar took us to for a delightful Mozart Requiem concert…..

The name of this church is Karlskirche, and it was built by Franz Joseph the Emperor, who loved both Greco-Roman architecture and Christian architecture so he decided to mix the two together, hence the weird two columns beside the entrance to this church which are modeled on Trajan’s victory column in Trajan’s forum in Rome! Here is the latter…
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And here is the front of the Karlkirche….
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This is what happens when Emperors have far too much money and time on their hands, not to mention delusions of grandeur. Needless to say, Franz Joseph had his own little triumphs on his columns, not those of Trajan.
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The inside of the church is equally ornate, including a sunburst with the Hebrew name for God in its middle— YHWH!kirk12
kirk9 I’m willing to bet the pulpit in your church doesn’t look like this….kirk10

Nor the nave like this….
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Nor a vaulted ceiling like this…kirk13

The concert was a treat (thank you Christa), played with original instruments and original sized orchestra as well, more like an enlarged string quintet. Just outside you could buy some Christian art (and other sorts), if you liked….
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The first gigantic cathedral we visited was the closest to the main University buildings and was called the VotivKirche and it was simply massive with its neo-Gothic design and twin towers…
kirk15 God seems enormous and you seem totally dwarfed by this building. kirk16kirk19kirk20kirk21kirk18kirk22kirk23
What a different pulpit the Votivkirche has compared to the Karlskirche…
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There are of course smaller churches in old Vienna, and here is one which is more famous for its crypt where the royal family is buried, than for the church itself… This was actually a Capuchin convent at New Market….
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Another gigantic cathedral is the Domschatz…..kirk30kirk32kirk33kirk36

With this pulpit…
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You frequently have to scratch your head and ask…. how exactly did they do that? But then there are a lot of such connudrums in Vienna, for example, consider this pear and this bottle found in a Viennese specialty grocery store…… kirk39


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