Monday, April 23, 2012

DBSB '12: Church Hoppin'

Some people go bar hopping, we go church hopping.

This is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, also known as the Jubilee Church, as it was constructed in 1898 to mark the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz-Joseph I. And to be quite honest, this is all the information I've been able to find on this building. We wouldn't have even known about it if it hadn't been for my mum calling me while we were in Vienna because she'd seen a picture of it somewhere and thought I'd like it.

As you can see, we were lied to! The Danube is not very blue at all.

The structure of Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) was initiated by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first being a parish church consecrated in 1147.

In 1137, the Bishop of Passau Reginmar and Margrave Leopold IV signed the Treaty of Mautern, which granted Leopold territory allocated for the new parish church which would eventually become St. Stephen's Cathedral. The site, a cemetery dating to Ancient Roman times, contained graves carbon-dated to the 4th century.

The partially-constructed Romanesque church was dedicated in 1147 to St. Stephen, and although the first structure was completed in 1160, major reconstruction and expansion lasted until 1511, and repair and restoration projects continue to the present day. In 1258, a great fire destroyed much of the original building, and a larger replacement structure, also Romanesque, was constructed over the ruins of the old church and consecrated on April 23, 1263.

In 1304, Albert I ordered a Gothic three-nave choir to be constructed east of the church. Work continued under his son, Albert II, and the choir was consecrated in 1340 on the 77th anniversary of the previous consecration. The choir was again expanded under the reign of Albert II's son, Rudolf IV; this expansion would eventually encapsulate the entirety of the old church, which was removed from within in 1430 as work progressed on the new cathedral. Work begun in 1365 eventually led to the Diocese of Vienna being canonically established on January 18, 1469, with Stephansdom as its mother church.

Stephansdom was almost destroyed during World War II, and was saved only when Captain Gerhard Klinkicht disregarded orders from the city commandant, Sepp Dietrich, to "fire a hundred shells and leave it in just debris and ashes." Unfortunately, fires caused by civilian plunderers as Russian troops entered the city on April 12, 1945 were carried to the structure by wind, damaging the roof and causing it to collapse. Rebuilding began immediately, and the cathedral reopened on April 23, 1952.

While there, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the catacombs, which was bizarre and amazing, though we weren't able to take any pictures.
These are from later in the day:

While we waited for the Stephansdom catacombs tour to start, we walked around a little bit, and eventually stumbled upon St. Peter's Church.

The first structure created on this site, of which nothing remains today, dates back to the Early Middle Ages. The construction of the new Baroque church was begun in 1701 under Gabriele Montani, who was replaced by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt in 1703, and its design was inspired by the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In 1733, the Peterskirche, the first domed structure in Baroque Vienna, was finally consecrated to the Holy Trinity. In 1970, it was transferred to the priests of the Opus Dei by the Archbishop of Vienna, Franz König.

This is the Albertina museum, where we thought we'd be able to see this:

Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare

Alas, the museum was busy moving things around and so most of it was closed, excepting a lovely exhibition on Impressonism.

Edgar Degas, Woman in a tub

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Nude Bathers Playing with a Crab

Edgar Degas, Harlequin and Columbine

Odilon Redon, Limnanthes

Odilon Redon, The Crying Spider

The Karlskirche (St. Charles's Church) was commissioned by Charles VI in 1713, one year after the last great plague epidemic, as a tribute to Saint Charles Borromeo, who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. After an architectural competition, in which Johann Bernard Fischer was victorious, construction began in 1716 under the supervision of Anton Erhard Martinelli. J.B. Fischer's son, Joseph Emanuel Fischer, completed the project in 1737 after his father's death using partially altered plans.

Funny story: Sarah and I rode an elevator up to the dome, where we were able to see all this,

Gorgeous, correct? Well, we're sitting there, admiring the dome, and then we see that there are additional scaffolding stairs leading up to the oculus of the dome, where I can only assume we would have enjoyed a gorgeous view of Vienna. Only we didn't, because as we began climbing up the stairs, the creaking of the wooden planks and metal bars making up said scaffolding was such that our fear and sense of self-preservation overtook us and we rushed back down to a laughing tour guide.

After this, we went over to little cafe we caught on our way over to Karlskirche with the name Cafe Museum, though the sign made it seem as if it were called Cafe Museum Cafe, which we found amusing to no end.

My cake was the most delicious; Sarah's...? Well, it smelled like dog food.
These pictures are from the Cafe Museum website.

Also, apparently Cafe Museum was frequented by "many geniuses" of the like of Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele. Who knew?

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