St Charles’ Church, also known as Karlskirche, is one of the most beautiful and most interesting buildings found in Austria. The building was constructed by the order to the Emperor of Austria and followed the Baroque architectural style.
According to history, Emperor Karl the VI made a vow to erect a church if Vienna were to rid itself of the plague. In 1715 it seems that everyone’s prayers had been answered as the festering disease had left the city. Thus the construction work for the church was initiated. The building process took 22 years to be completed, but when it was finally inaugurated, in 1737, the church appeared as an architectural jewel before everyone.
The elements which have been incorporated in the design are reminiscent of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Baroque style. The structure consists of two arches, located on each part of the church, two columns, a dome and several towers.
It is definitely curious the way in which the architects decided to integrate these details together. No one had ever ventured on this path, so the church is unique in its stylistic design. The view is almost mesmerizing, especially at night, when the building is lit.
St. Charles’ Church is located in the southern part of Karlplatz, in Vienna, and has become renowned precisely because of the plan it follows: the impressive dome being flanked by two columns. When the Roman Emperor announced his plan to build a church, several famous architects competed in order to undertake the project. From the three architects, Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, which engaged in the competition, the latter won.
The façade consists of two columns, specific for the architectural designed used in Ancient Rome, which are adjacent to two pavilions designed in the contemporary Austrian Baroque. While the exterior is remarkable in its entirety, the interior does not stand out as much.
The interior decoration is in fact artistically performed, in the Baroque style, but there is a contrasting differentiation between the exterior and the interior of the edifice. It is as if once gazing at the building, you would expect to find something equally outstanding, in terms of architectural innovation, when entering the church. Be that as it may, St. Charles’ Church should definitely occupy a primarily position on your list of must-see places in Vienna.