Vienna Photos: Karlskirche, Central Vienna

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The Karlskirche church from outside

The Karlskirche is Vienna′s most outstanding Baroque church - and that means quite something, considering that Vienna is a city full of Baroque churches. The Karlskirche is situated on a prominent location on Karlsplatz, the city′s "second church" after the Stephansdom and was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The church has an Italian-style cupola and two columns at the front gate resemble the Trajan Columns in Rome.

The Karlskirche was built until 1737 under the rule of Emperor Karl VI. The church was dedicated to St. Karl Borromäo, conveniently bearing the same name as the Emperor. The building is typical for the time of counter-reformation, when peasants needed to be impressed and the supremacy of the one and only church had to be underlined. Therefore, the Karlskirche can be seen as a monument for both the Habsburg rule and the dominance of the Roman Catholic church.

You can easily combine your visit of the Karlskirche with one at the Wien Museum, the city museum of Vienna - it can be found right next to it. Both the Belvedere and the Secession are within walking distance. The Karlsplatz Square is in fact boasting with attractions, including the Musikverein and the Künstlerhaus.