Vienna Photos: Piaristenkirche in Vienna's 8th District

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The Piaristenkirche holds the rank of a Basilica Minor


The Piaristenkirche is a late-Baroque/Rococo church associated with the Piarist monastery in the eight district or the "Josefstadt". It comes in a package with a neat piazza, some restaurants in its surroundings and a generally well-rounded neighbourhood. I have lived around the corner of the Piaristenkirche for a few months and the area has become my favourite for living in Vienna.

The eight district is well-hidden behind the Rathaus and even though it is probably the most "central" district after the first one, it is remarkable how few international tourists make it there. The Piaristenkirche is the only feature that does receive at least some attention. It was designed by Lukas von Hildebrandt and is considered to rank among the most important churches of its time in Vienna - if not Austria. It holds the rank of a "basilica minor", and the school of the Piarist is highly regarded.

The oldest sketches and even some detailed plans of the Piaristenkirche date back to 1700, but the construction started only in 1716. The playful Rococo fašade makes it one of the most recognisable churches of Vienna. The construction was finished in the 1750ies, so relatively late. I recommend international visitors a short walk through the Josefstadt to get an idea of what the "real" Vienna looks like - the non-touristy, residential areas. You can then combine the walk with a visit of the Piaristenkirche; do keep in mind, though, that the Josefstadt has a reputation for being expensive and exclusive. Therefore, it is only representative for the more central areas of the city. For a broader approach to Vienna, cross the Gürtel road and dive into Ottakring.



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