Church Annakirche Breitenlee:
For the Unlikely Case you Fancy Transdanubia...
Vienna is a city in Eastern Europe which pretends to be in Western Europe and it is divided into two parts by the mighty Danube; this has been the case for centuries and resulted into the differentiation between the "cis-danubian" ("this side of the Danube") and the "trans-danubian" ("the other side of the Danube") Vienna - referring to a general division that was used by the Roman Empire. Most international visitors of Vienna never ever cross the Danube; if they do, they usually stop at the "Vienna International Center" for a conference or the Donauturm to enjoy the view.
It is the core idea of this website to provide information on off-the-beaten-track things to do; however, transdanubian Vienna really doesn′t offer an awful lot to do or see. It comprises almost only of suburbs with limited appeal. One exception is the area of Breitenlee, once unitl 1938 an independent village. Today, the village is drowning in suburbs, but its old parish church still maintains the pride of independence: The Annakirche Breitenlee is one of only a handful of sightseeing attractions in the 22nd district of Donaustadt. Locals proudly point out that it is the only Viennese church with two towers north of the Danube. Now isn′t that quite something? But wait, there′s more.
History of Annakirche Breitenlee, Vienna
The Annakirche Breitenlee was built on land that belonged to the Schottenstift Abbey, probably since around 1100. A Hungarian invasion in 1458 and the first Turkish Siege of Vienna in 1529 resulted in the complete devastation of the area. The monastery in then distant Vienna decided not to revive its transdanubian properties. Probably a good idea, given that there was a second Turkish Siege in 1683. Only after that one, the Schottenstift considered Breitenlee a worthwhile colony again. In 1696, the Abbot Sebastian Faber gave orders for the erection of a church, a farmhouse and an inn. The church - today′s Annakirche - was modelled after the Schottenkirche. In fact, it is a mini-version of it. This explains the rather unusual twin-tower.
In 1699, the Schottenkirche′s mini-me was opened by the Archbishop of Wiener Neustadt, Count Franz Anton of Puchheim. Under the rule of Emperor Joseph II (he of the merciless reforms and dissolution of monasteries), the Annakirche Breitenlee was made an independent parish church. The interiors of the church are plain and nothing to shout about; a few items date back to the late 17th century. Noteworthy is rather the small cemetery outside of the Annakirche, which was built in 1807. It was used for the monks of the Schottenstift after cemeteries within Vienna′s city walls were banned by Emperor Joseph II for hygiene reasons.
There are no attractions nearby that I could think of. In case you want to explore more of the Donaustadt (the 22nd district) and transdanubian Vienna, watch out for the Lobau area, which provides direct access to the National Park Donauauen. Note also the Museum im Schüttkasten in Aspern and the museum Aspern-Essling, commemorating Austria′s first victorious battle fought against Napoleonic France.
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