For one evening each year, Christian places of worship in Vienna and throughout Austria throw their doors open to visitors for the Long Night of the Churches (German: Lange Nacht der Kirchen).
- Numerous churches and other religious institutions in Vienna participate
- Events through the evening typically range from ecclesiastical-themed gatherings to jazz recitals and rooftop tours
- 2023 date: June 2nd
- See also:
What’s it all about?
(Poster advertising the 2021 event)
The Long Night of the Churches aims to engage people with the work and role of religious institutions in modern society, but the event is not nearly as formal as that sounds.
Many of Vienna’s churches put on tours, concerts, readings, and recitals, for example. 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 night cuts across all Christian denominations; it’s not just the Catholic churches that join in, but also evangelical and orthodox institutions, for example. Around 150,000 people typically attend each year.
2023 dates, tickets and tips
The 2023 Long Night of the Churches is set for Friday, June 2nd. The bells usually ring in the start at just before 6pm.
The good news is that all the events associated with the Long Night of the Churches are free. Though, obviously, you might want to dip your hand into your pocket and make a donation or two.
(Stephansdom cathedral joins in the fun)
Dozens of places in Vienna usually participate; over 150 did so in 2022, for example. Expect a considerable range of activities to choose from.
You might come across acapella jazz or a performance of a Beethoven string quartet.
Perhaps visit 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 a baroque church. (You can see what I mean with variety.)
English-speakers might feel most comfortable at events hosted by the following:
- The Anglican Christ Church Vienna at Jauresgasse 17-19, 1030 Vienna (whose evening activities include African drumming and jazz & gospel)
- The interdenominational Vienna Community Church at Dorotheergasse 16, 1010 Vienna (whose contributions in 2023 include tours of the church, an evening singalong, and a performance by the Bach-Händel choir)
See the official website (Google translate is your friend) for the programme for the whole city: the database grows with time as institutions announce their plans.