A church that mirrors the city with its long history and musical associations. Where once the Minoritenkirche echoed to the sound of Ottoman cannon, it now resonates to the softer tones of classical music.
- Imposing and working church dating back to the 14th century
- Home to an Italian catholic community
- Hosts various concerts, too
- See also:
A house of God & music
(The east end of the Minoritenkirche with the famous bell tower)
Visit the Minoritenkirche website and it offers a German and Italian version. For good reason: the Italian Congregation has its home in the church, with the group’s roots going back to the early 17th century.
Not that it was always so. The Italian Congregation began their association with the building in 1786, by which time the site had already enjoyed over 500 years of history.
Remarkably, the current church dates back to the 14th century, when The Canterbury Tales were still a glint in Geoffrey Chaucer’s eye, and Vienna didn’t even have its own bishop.
(The Minoritenkirche in a drawing by Salomon Kleiner published by Johann Andreas d. Ä. Pfeffel in 1724; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 31112; excerpt reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
The trademark bell tower, for example, went up back then and proved a useful observation post during the Turkish sieges of 1529 and 1683.
The interior is equally historic. For example, the 1786 organ sits in surrounds designed by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg. That same architect also built the Gloriette and other iconic features at Schönbrunn Palace.
(The arcade, a relatively new addition to the church from the late 19th century in the Gothic revival style)
Music lovers should take a look at the small monument to the Italian poet and librettist, Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782). Joseph Haydn, Antonio Salieri, and Mozart all feature on the monument’s front relief.
(Metastasio lived and worked for a long time in Vienna and is actually buried in the crypt of the city’s Michaelerkirche.)
A little more recently, the Minoritenkirche had a small role in The Third Man. The leading character, Holly Martins, takes a volatile taxi ride through the streets of Vienna that includes a sharply-taken curve around the church (which he passes twice, amusingly).
Classical music venue
The music connection continues today. Although a working church, the Minoritenkirche has built a reputation as a quality venue thanks to a repertoire of concerts.
During the run in to Christmas, the Minoritenkirche usually has additional Christmas concerts featuring Gospel singing, choral works, and brass music.
(The main entrance featuring a central Christ figure, and various biblical figures)
How to get to the Minoritenkirche
Subway: A short walk from Herrengasse station on the U3 line
Tram/bus: Also just a short walk from the ring trams (1, D, and 71). Get off at the Rathausplatz/Burgtheater or Parlament stops. The 1A and 2A bus lines both stop at Michaelerplatz, which is not far away, either
Address: Minoritenplatz 2A, 1010 Vienna | Website