Pfarrkirche Ober-St. Veit, Vienna
Baroque Church in St. Veit, Hietzing

The Pfarrkirche Ober-St. Veit, also called "Maria Zuflucht der Sünder", is a parish church in Ober St. Veit, a neighbourhood in the district of Hietzing in Vienna. It is a pretty, Baroque church, situated in an exposed location on a hilltop. The origins of sacral buildings on this site can be tracked back to the 12th century. The oldest written record of the parish in St. Veit (including the necessary parish church) can be found in a latter by a local priest, which was written at some point between 1260 and 1298. The foundations of the current church were probably part of this first building. At least of the Unterkirche section, which was segregated from the Oberkirche section in 1904.

In 1433, a new church was built with a dual nave. It was ordered by the high-ranking clergy man Wilhelm Tuers. Back then, the church was associated with a little castle, of which nothing is preserved anymore. One side of the Pfarrkirche Ober-St. Veit was thus protected, the other three were covered through walls. The side that was leaning against the castle showed some resemblance of fortified stonework, until it was demolished in 1962.

At the first Turkish siege of Vienna in 1529, the church was destroyed. The bishop of Vienna, a man called Johann Fabri, ordered the reconstruction; in 1553, the church got a new set of bells. In 1609, the Pfarrkirche Ober-St. Veit received three new altars, six years later, yet another set of bells was endowed. In the course of the Second Siege of Vienna through the Ottoman Empire, the church was battered once again.

Construction of the Current Parish Church in Ober St. Veit

The current Baroque church was built in the three years after 1742. The architect was Matthias Gerl. The entire parish was required to serve a certain amount of time at the construction site to keep the costs low. The "chairman" of the project was Archbishop Cardinal Sigmund, Count Kollonitsch. His coat of arms is displayed at the southern entrance of the Pfarrkirche Ober-St. Veit.

In 1887, the church was extensively renovated. Between 1901 and 1908, several major changes were made especially to the interior: New floors were built, the staircase to the crypt was sealed and a new chapel was built into a former sacristy. Two major windows received new stained glass in a contemporary style, which remained there until 1958.

In 1965, a new chapel was built which is now used for baptism ceremonies. In 1994, the fašade of the Kirche Ober-St. Veit was renovated. At the same time, the 1965 chapel was re-built. The architect in charge was Hermann Bauer, who created a noteworthy, modern building. The floor of the chapel was made of Greek marble, the base of the Altar is made of marble from the Wachau valley. A relief in the altar depicts the twelve apostles. The altar was made by the artist Peter Niederscheider from Lienz. The opening hours of the chapel differ from those of the church, which you might take into consideration when you are planning to go there.

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Further Reading

Website of the Parish Ober St. Veit

German article with nice pics on Pfarre Ober St. Veit



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