Minoritenkirche dates back to the 14th century, although the site on which it was built was officially given to the Minor Friars in 1224. These monks were followers of St. Francis of Assissi, and to this day the church remains closely linked to the Italian community of Vienna. The church is mostly famous for its mosaic reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper", which was originally commissioned by Napoleon, but as it had not been completed by the time Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, it was eventually bought by the Habsburgs. The church also features other interesting art work, such as the beautiful stained glass window located on the wall behind the organ. Minoritenkirche is also known for being featured in one of the watercolours Adolf Hilter painted during his years in Vienna.
To be honest, never before I have seen such a church building, to me it looks alike construction composed of several different buildings put together.
The church is strongly connected with the Minoriten - Franciscans monks who appointed in Vienna in 1224. The construction of the church started in 1276, in French Gothic style, and was completely finished in 1350. The masters who built the church are unknown, however, it is commonly attributed to Jacobus Parisiensis. The building follows the pattern of the French Cathedral architecture.
The top of it's bell tower was damaged during Austro - Turkish war, rebuilt and then again destroyed in another war. Finaly the top was then replaced by a flat roof.
Later on the church become Italian National Church and was named Santa Maria Maggiore.
Built starting in 1784, the rock like finish is in stark contrast to the gothic churches that abound in Vienna. The arched walkway on one side is very interesting. There was on other photographer waiting for the light to reach a certian point.
During my visit in Vienna I passed by the gothic Minoritenkirche several times and liked the architecture with the arcades and the light brown limestone very much.
In the arcades you will find several tomb stones and reliefs collected for the interested visitor. Inside the church you will notice that it feels much larger here than when looking at it from the outside.
Have a look at the walls were you will find several paintings and a huge picture of the last supper. This is an exact copy of the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci. Don't think it is painted, but it is a mosaic of very tiny parts. It has the size of 9,18 meters in width and 4,47 meters in height.
In the corner of the church you will find a chapel.
This French style gothic church dominates the Minoritenplatz near the Hofburg and receives its name from the Minorite Franciscan monks who first came to Vienna in 1224. The first major building was constructed between 1276-1350 begun under the rule of King Ottokar of Bohemia. His death on the battlefield of Marchfield Plain led to Habsburg rule which lasted till WWI. This first Habsburg and many of his successors wavered between Baroque and Gothic architecture, with intervening reconstructions after the first and second Turkish sieges. The flat-top on the truncated tower was placed after it was destroyed during the siege of 1529, making for a unique hexagonal structure with nothing on top.
In 1782 Emperor Joseph II threw the Minorites and many other religious orders out of Vienna for fear they had become to powerful for him to control, using the excuse that they did not teach or treat the sick and invited the Italian community to take over the church. He also returned the church to its original gothic appearance removing all the frippery. It was renamed The Italian National Church of Mary of the Snow ( Santa Maria Maggiore ), its official name even today, but Minoriten church is the commonly used name.
The most famous attraction in Minoriten is the Last Supper mosaic commissioned by Napoleon to the Roman artist Giacomo Raffaelli in 1806. 9 x 4.5 m in size, it weighs 40000 lbs and is notable for the extremely bright colors and backgrounds, almost a parody of da Vinci. Napoleon originally wanted it for the Belvedere Palace, but it was too large and became the property of Emperor Franz II after Napoleon's fall. The high altar depicts Madonna of the Snow.
Adolf Hitler entertained early thoughts of becoming a painter. What is considered his best effort is a 1910 water color of the Minoriten Church.
Day 2 : Ringstrasse
Halfway the Bankgasse (with its beautiful Palaces), I followed a small street towards the Minoritenplatz wwhere I visited the Minoriten kirche (church).
On this Minoriten platz there also are some beautiful Palaces, like the Dietrichstein Palace which dates from 1755. This Palace houses the offices of the Federal Chancellor and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the middle of this square there is the Minoriten kirche (church). This old church was founded around 1244 by the order of the Minorites, but this Gothic building dates from 1339.
The clock tower has a remarkable pyramid shape, during the Turkish siege in 1529; the original tower was shot down.
Around 1780 this church was rebuild in its Gothic style, and given to the Italian community in Vienna by Joseph II.
However that this church does not looks very big from the outside, it wasreally surprising to see how big it is from the inside.
The interior looks very bright and there are some beautiful pieces of art, like the Mosaic copy of the Last Supper made by Leonardo de Vinci.
This Masterpiece was made by Giacomo Raffaeli in command of Napoleon. Napoleon gave this command, as he wanted to replace the original painting in Milan by this piece, and the original had to move to Paris, France. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Habsburgs bought this piece of art from Raffaeli.
There is also a small St Antonius Chapel.
The church of the Minoriti, after Stephansdom, is a religious buildings of greater historical importance for the city, and in the 1691was celabrated the solemn Te Deum for the Vicotry of Karlowitz, that marked the definitive defeat of the Ottoman empire. This church is the national church of the Italians, its immense construction was erected in French ghotich shapes in the first half of the sec. XIV, consecrated in 1447, until 1784 (when Joseph II donating it the Italian community of Vienna) it was dedicated to S. Croce. It was modificated many times, were altered from H. Hetzendorf in 1784-89, that he faithful to the directives of Joseph II, he realized the greater altar, made to demolish the ghotic chorus of S. Lodovico, he replaced great part of the furnishings and removed the tomb of White of Valois (sec. XIV). The central door to strombo, is work of the Minorita Giacomo from Paris, which he also is attributed the paternity of the total plan of ghotic building (1340): it is adorned of statues of the Madonna and Saints. In the two lateral door, relief of the Stimmate di S. Francisco (XII century), inserted in the skillful eardrum; on the skillful side of the church, there was the chiostro of the convent; behind the building, between the two apses, the Romanesque-ghotic bell tower is raised, to octagonal section, beheaded from one storm in 1733.
Although not overly attractive from the outside, inside it is more so. The highlight is a large replica copy of Da Vinci's The Last Supper by Raffaeli. Admission free (donations).