Karlskirche

Karlsplatz 10, 1040 Wien, Austria

Out of the tragedy of the plague arose the Karlskirche, perhaps the most magnificent of Vienna’s baroque churches. One of the final designs by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, the genius behind the Schönbrunn Palace, Karlskirche commemorates the outbreak of 1713. The Karl who gave the church its name was the Counter-Reformation’s Saint Charles Borromeo, who cared for plague victims in 16th-century Milan. The church dome, rising above two columns inspired by Trajan’s Column, is illuminated at night and is a prominent Vienna landmark which be seen from many points in the city. A vibrant fresco in the cupola by Johann Michael Rottmayr glorifies Saint Charles. On Karlsplatz, in front of the church, two of the legendary architect Otto Wagner’s finest art nouveau metro stations remain; one of them now houses a café.

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