The Stadtbahn was the predecessor of todays U Bahn, U 4 and U 6 (and also todays S 45) are running on the tracks of the Stadtbahn. The first line opened 1898 as a steam railway, the stations where designed by Otto Wagner partly in Jugenstil, particulary the Station Karlsplatz, partly in Historismus like the private (and never used) station of Kaiser Franz Josef in Schönbrunn. The Stadtbahn was electrified in 1925 and changed to U Bahn in the eighties. The Karlsplatz station changed completely and the old station became partly a museum for Otto Wagner and partly a cafe and party event location.
Coming out of the Karlsplatz important underground station (3 lines U1, U2 & U4) we first saw the Subway Pavilions built by Otto Wagner in 1898. He was an architect who worked for the Vienna Stadtbahn (the metropolitan railway network). The two Pavilions in Art Nouveau - Jugendstil were disassembled, renovated, and then reassembled in the 1980s. One is now used as an exhibition space by the Vienna Museum; the other is used as a café.
Walking through the garden we discovered behind a nice basin with fountain the Karlskirche and then we were surprised!
We had read a French critic describing the church as a "huge pastry monstrously Kitsch"!
My usual French dictionary "Le Petit Robert" defines "kitsch" by extension as "baroque bad taste and provocative."
We thought therefore that this French negative critic was inspired by some chauvinism as the Karlskirche is considered as THE famous baroque church of Vienna!
My wife and I don't consider our taste to be "the good taste" so that we will limit our comment to the fact that this church combines, for us in a surprising way, two Trajan columns with at the top a minaret structure, an antic Greek temple and a baroque church behind.
We did not get in as we feared that the inside might be like the outside.
There are indeed much nicer baroque churches on the Old Continent. Have you seen the Baroque churches in Rome?
At the Karlsplatz, left of the church, stands also one of the Vienna Museums with a collection of Arts and History.
Extending in front of Karlskirche, Karlsplatz is home to a lovely little park surrounded by some true architectural gems. On top of the remarkable Baroque church, walking around Karlsplatz will allow you to see the Musikverein, completed in 1869 and home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Künstlerhaus, built in 1868 for the Vienna Artists' Society. But the most interesting ones in my opinion are the Karlsplatz pavilions designed by Otto Wagner in 1898 for the former Karlsplatz underground railway station. Working with a theme of gold and green, Wagner used a sunflower motif to decorate the two Art Nouveau buildings that stand facing each other. When the station was closed in the late 1960s, a lot of pressure was put on the city to preserve the two pavilions. One was eventually transformed into a cafe while the other is used as exhibition space by the Wien Museum.
Karlskirche is the famous baroque church of Vienna. It is the largest Baroque cathedral to the north of the Alps and was designed by the architect Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and the frescos were done by Michael Rottmayr and the paintings came from Italian Baroque painters Sebastiano Ricci and Giuseppe Antonio Pellegrini and the Austrian painter Daniel Gran. The Church is close to the Belvedere palace and the Karlsplatz metro station and is situated amidst a peaceful and beautiful garden. It is open Mondays through Fridays from 09.00-12.30 and 13.00-18.00 and on Sundays and holidays from 12.00-17.45.
The church is situated at one of Vienna's central nodes, called 'Karlsplatz'. The building of Karlskirche was started in 1715 following plans of one of the most famous Austrian Baroque architects, Johann Fischer von Erlach. The church is spectacular. It is the biggest cathedral in Baroque style north of the Alps.
If you are remotely interested in art and architecture then you should check out the twin U-Bahn station entrances at Karlsplatz. Designed by secessionist architect Otto Wagner they are more reminiscent of Parisien art nouveau than anything you would expect to find in Vienna. Erected in 1898 they no longer serve as station entrances but have been retained for their charm and elegance.
Karlsplatz was the city tram stop, designed by Otto Wagner, and build in the 1890s. It was a part of the infrastructure for Vienna's first public transport system. It is located near the Karlskirche, close to the park. Otto Wagner was one of the most famous architect in Vienna and this pavilion is one of his most famous designs. Originally built as tram stations, now they have been converted into metro stations and inside, there are also cafes and shops.
A superb example of the Jugendstil style (Art Nouveau), the two stadtbahn stations found in Karlsplatz were designed by Otto Wagner and Joseph Maria Olbrich (he of The Secession fame). They opened in 1899 as Akademiestrasse. But the change from stadtbahn to U-bahn in 1981 resulted in their closure as train stations. But they were saved from demolition and now one is a cafe and the second (pictured) is the Otto Wagner Pavilion, now part of the Wien Museum Karlsplatz.
Karlsplatz is a nice park with some nice architecture surrounding it. Also make sure you check out the entrances to the underground station here in the park. They are unusual and the most attractive in the city.
Dominating Karlsplatz is the gorgeous Charles Church. I could not look around when I visited but I've heard it is very nice inside. The exterior is stunning and there are some interesting reliefs on the pillars depicting various scenes.
Karlsplatz is home to the very impressive Karlskirche. Construction on the church took from 1715 to 1739, and the structure was dedicated to Saint Karl Borromeo. The two tall, freestanding pillars in front depict the life of Saint Karl. The elegant dome stands 72 meters high. It is the largest Baroque cathedral north of the Alps.
Karlsplatz was originally created in 1862 and was called the Resselpark. In the 1970s the park was redesigned to today's Karlsplatz. This park is home to two pavilions which were built in 1899.
The Charles' Church (Karlskirche) commemorates the plague epidemic of the year 1713. The Church was built in Baroque style between 1715 and 1737. Its huge cupola is 72 m tall and flanked by two 47 m tall columns.
The Charles' Church is situated at the Karlsplatz; just south of St. Stephen's Cathedral. The nearest metro stop is Karlsplatz (U1, U2, U4).
There are two buildings designed in 1899 year by Otto Wagner there. In the past they were the entries to the city trains. Now there are the cafe and the small museum of Otto Wagner there.
They are nice art nouveau's works.
Part of the original underground system designed by Otto Wagner in 1899, there are two identical buildings which were the exit/entrance to the undergound. Now one is used as a cafe, the other for exhibitions. There is a stylized sunflower design around the top and lots of gilt ornamentation.
Karlsplatz is an open square to be enjoyed when the weather is warm. At its northern edge of Resselpark stands Wagner's Stadt Pavillons, the station buildings from Vienna's first public transport system, built between 1893 and 1902. Wagner was in charge of the design of the metro lines, bridges and buildings.
Not only is this place beautiful, it was also our favorite subway stop. The church was built on a comission by Emperor Karl VI, should the plague ever cease. As we all know, it did, and construction was began in 1716. It was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo.