St. Charles’ Church, Vienna

The imposing baroque church was built in 1716–1739 by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and completed by his son Joseph Emanuel.

© Matthew Dixon/
© Wehr & Wehr OG
© Alberto Fernandez Fernandez
© Wehr & Wehr OG
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It was built on the basis of a vow made by Emperor Charles VI. during a plague epidemic. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of the Habsburg emperor, St. Charles Borromeo: the small Museo Borromeo in the church exhibits travel clothes from this Bishop of Milan, among other things.

The high altar shines again in full splendor after its renovation. Johannes Michael Rottmayr’s lavish dome frescoes cover 1250 m² of color and show the glory of St. Charles Borromeo. A panoramic lift takes visitors to a platform at a height of 32.5 meters, where you can see the frescoes close up. The view into the church from above is breathtaking.

Tip for music lovers: Church concerts regularly take place in the Karlskirche (Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons). In the Advent season, atmospheric gospel singing fills sacral buildings.