Vienna Photos: Frescos in the Karlskirche Church

previous picture         back to "vienna pictures"          next picture

Baroque frescoes by Rottmayr in the Karlskirche church

The Karlskirche is the biggest Baroque church of Vienna and was designed by the legendary architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The Karlskirche occupies a very prominent location on the Karlsplatz in central Vienna. When the interiors were refurbished in 2008, a lift was built that allowed tourists to go up to the central cupola and study the enormous frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr from unknown vicinity.

The frescoes, too, had just been renovated and now they look impressively vivid and expressive - as you can see from the picture above. When Rottmayr painted the frescoes, he was already in his 70ies. The scene above depicts allegorical figures and good deeds; other parts glorify St. Karl Borromäo, to whom the church is dedicated. My personal favourite, however, is the part in which an angel sets fire to the German bible by Martin Luther and kicks the devil and Luther out of the cupola - the frescoes were painted at the prime of the counter-reformation and protestant ideas were not very popular in the Habsburg Empire.

Apart from the frescoes, the Karlskirche has a little museum to offer; the interiors are still the original Baroque ones, making it a unique ensemble worth being explored with a bit of time. If you decide to visit Karlskirche, don′t rush through it.