For one evening each year, Christian churches in Vienna (and throughout Austria) throw their doors open to visitors for the Long night of the Churches (Lange Nacht der Kirchen)…
- Around 190 churches and other religious institutions in Vienna participate
- Events through the evening range from jazz recitals to rooftop tours
- 2019 date is May 24 (free entry)
- See also: Long night of Museums
What’s it all about?
The participating churches put on a slew of events; the aim is to engage visitors with the work and role of religious institutions in modern society. But the Long Night of the Churches is not nearly as formal as that sounds.
Many churches put on concerts, readings, and recitals. Others present their social and charitable projects. Some simply let you enjoy the evening ecclesiastical atmosphere. And that’s just scratching the surface of the variety of options available.
The event cuts across all Christian denominations, so it’s not just the catholic churches that join in, but also institutions affiliated with, for example, the Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, and Baptist churches, to name but a few.
The 2019 Long Night of the Churches takes place on Friday, May 24th. The bells ring in the start at just before 6 pm.
Around 190 places in and near Vienna will participate in the 2019 event. The full programme for the city is here (Google translate is your friend) and there’s a considerable mix of events to choose from. Around 150,000 people found their way into Vienna’s churches on the same date last year.
So you might find acapella jazz or a performance of a Beethoven string quartet. A dance workshop or an organ recital. Taste food and wines from the orient, witness a live recording of a radio show, or enjoy views of nighttime Vienna from the balcony of Karlskirche or the tower of the Votivkirche. You can see what I mean with variety.
English-speakers might feel more comfortable at the events hosted by Vienna’s Anglican church: Christ Church Vienna (address Jauresgasse 17-19, 1030 Vienna):
- Snacks through the evening
- A presentation on the first Anglican bishop in Africa, with drum accompaniment
- Victorian stories and organ music, and a celebration of Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday
- Scenes from the works of Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens
- Gospels and spirituals with jazz singer, Carole Alston
- Late-night prayers
Ticket & visitor information
The good news is that all the events associated with the Long night of the Churches are free: just turn up. Though, obviously, you might want to dip your hand into a pocket and make a donation or two.