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Karlskirche - St Charles Church Tips (101)


Karlskirche is certainly one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Vienna and besides the times of church-service it is used as a museum and you have to pay an entrance-fee in order to see the great works of art there.
On the other hand there are construction-works going on there at the moment and a giant construction including a lift takes up visitors and restaurators to the very top of the church - a unique possibility to see these great works of art from a short distance !! Photography only without flash or tripod !!
Karlskirche was constructed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, who was also the architect of Schoenbrunn and Palais Trautson. The frescos in the dome were made by Johann Michael Rottmayer in 1725, showing the glory of holy Karl Borromäus, that is where the name Karls-Kirche comes from.
The church is open to the public against a fee of 6 Euros
mondays-fridays 07.30a.m. - 07.00p.m.,
saturday it opens at 08.30 and sunday at 09.00a.m.

globetrott's Profile Photo
Jul 30, 2012


You ought not to miss this fantastic building if you're interesting in style and baroque paintings. Karlskirche, or St. Charles' Church (Roman Catholic) was completed in 1737 with its Dome height 70 m . In the church there was an opportunity to first take an elevator and then walk the stairs up into the very ceiling of the church. This was made possible by a ramp becuase the church and its painting was under construction during this period. A fantastic experience to admire all the art and get close ups on the architecture of the Karlskirche.

yvgr's Profile Photo
Apr 10, 2012


The Karlskirche - at first glance - reminds me of ancient Roman temples, with its pearl-white facade, the classic portico, monumental columns and martial Angel statues. The grandiose baroque ceiling of the Karlskirche can be appreciated from a scaffold (not for those with fear of heights). While I appreciate the opportunity to view the ceiling from close-up, the scaffold itself disrupts the beauty of the interior in my opinion.

MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
Jun 30, 2011


The Karlskirche is a very beautiful church. Already before coming to Vienna I have seen it in my guide and thought that I need to see it in real life.
During the plague in 1713, which killed about 8000 people in Vienna, Karl VI. swore that he would order the construction of a church devoted to the plague saint if the plague would disappear. The following year the plague stopped and in 1717 the foundation was set for the Karlskirche. In 1733 the church was ready. The Karlskirche is the second most important and largest church of Vienna after the Stephansdom. The highest point in the cuppola is 82 meters above ground. The reliefs on the columns show scenes of the life of Karl, the plague saint.
Entering the Karlskirche you will need to pay a small fee, which is used for restauration of the church. Inside the church a (slightly disturbing) elevator gives you the unique chance to get very close to the cuppola. The elevator was left after restaurations.
I recommend to visit this church!

gubbi1's Profile Photo
Jun 21, 2010
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Take a leisurely walk around the whole area

The area around is filled with so many beautiful buildings -- the museum,the opera house,the rathouse,the parliament and so on that it is a good idea to take a walk and admire the buildings.While at it,you could take a break/picnic at the bundesgarten.Dont forget your camera!

vpas's Profile Photo
Jun 06, 2010

St Charles Church

This magnificent Baroque church with its dome and two giant pillars is such a beautiful building. The church was built as a vow taken by Emperor Charles VI during the plague of 1713, it was completed in 1737. It's dedicated to the patron saint of the Habsburg Emperor, St Charles Borromeo.

Inside the church the dome is covered in colourful frescoes depicting St Charles Borromeo ascending into heaven.

tim07's Profile Photo
Feb 25, 2010

Beautiful baroque

The beautiful Karlskirche is the only church I will mention, for the simple reason that it is not within the Ring. The other most beautiful churches of Vienna are in that area, so they are virtually impossible to miss.
The St. Karl it is dedicated to is actually an Italian, San Carlo Borromeo, from the aristocratic family that owned the beautiful little islands in the Lago Maggiore.
Built in the baroque style, it has an unusual feature in the two big columns, modelled on the example of the Trajan Column in Rome.

Manara's Profile Photo
Oct 12, 2009

Karls Kirche

This church was built in 1739 by Emporer Karl VI in thanks for the end of a plague outbreak in Vienna in 1713. Admission to the church is free but there is a charge to go up to the dome, which is well worth it not only for the views of Vienna but also for the friezes painted on the inside of the dome.

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Jul 26, 2009
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The Karlskirche

A wonderful baroque church that is situated on Karlsplatz. The church was built in the first part of the 18th century by King Charles 6th who promised to build a church to St. Charles Borromeo, an Italian bishop from the 16th century who helped plague victims, if the plague in Vienna stopped. It's a slightly odd looking building as it has 2 towers in front of the church but not part of it, depicting scenes from St Charles life.
The interior is no less impressive with marble and gilt decoration and beautiful frescoes on the upper walls and dome.
When I was there in May 2009 it was possible to take an elevator up into the heart of the dome and then proceed by stairs to the very top to view the frescoes. I'm not sure if this a feature there all the time or if it was there while work was being carried out.
Entrance to the church and lift was 6 euros.
There is also a museum dedicated to Borromeo.

Andrew_W_K's Profile Photo
May 23, 2009


Fischer von Erlach designed Karlskirche in 1737. The church is dedicated to St Charles Borromeo, who was the patron saint of the plague. The church is 236 feet high and is the tallest baroque church in Vienna. The dome was inspired by St Peters dome in Rome.

alyf1961's Profile Photo
May 10, 2009

It is a must to see it....

We had the chance to stay in a hotel near the Karlskirche for few days and we couldn't miss it.
My son was happy to climb the stairs to the “lantern” on top of dome and enjoy the view of the city from that place.
The church itself has a nice architecture, with the two columns (so similar to the Trajan's Column in Rome) "protecting" the main neo-classical entrance (one of the first signs of the neoclassical architecture), and the wonderful Baroque dome and towers.
It will be easy for us to remember the unique, unusual architecture.
The nice church was built at the beginning of 18th century as the Emperor Charles VI has promised during the Black Plague.

If you feel good at height don’t hesitate to go up to the top using the lift. Up there try to see everything as I did, like one of the Master J. M. Rottmayr’s apprentice, painting the huge dome, sitting on the wooden scaffolds and hanging his legs at 70 meters above the floor.

adema29's Profile Photo
Feb 14, 2009

Don't miss the Karlskirche (Charles Church)

The Karlskirche (Charles Church) is located very close to the subway stop called "Karlsplatz", along the subway line U1. The church is absolutely amazing, but more from the outside than from the inside. It's really worth just to go to the big square in front of the church--there's a big round fountain in front of it--and jus sit there and admire the architecure from the outside. Especially nice is the reflection of the church in the fountain in front--really a great place to sit and reflect, literally! The most amazing aspect of the church exterior are the two massive columns, built as a replica of the Trajan's column in Rome.

The church was finished in 1730 and was built after the emperor, Charles VI, had made a promise he made that he would build the church if the Black Plague would leave the city.

Important tip: If you go inside, don't expect too much! Otherwise, you'll be disappointed--as the exterior of the church is much more ornate than the interior!

Opening hours:
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 12:30, 13:00-18:00.
Sunday and holidays: 12:00 - 17:45.
Last entrance possible at 17:30.

One important tip:

wadekorzan's Profile Photo
Jan 01, 2009

Things To Do Near Karlskirche - St Charles Church

Things to Do

Wien Museum Karlsplatz - Historical Museum of the City of Vienna

First of all, this museum implemented and conducts visitor friendly policy of non-barriers. It will tell you the story of Vienna from the times of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius to the Times of...
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Located near Karlsplatz, is the Musikverein which is a concert hall, home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The bright colour of this neoclassical building grabbed my attention. Built in 1869, I...
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like what I've Said, the City of Vienna has many known and hidden squares and there are even walking tours of the hidden squares of Vienna in some tour companies. One of the Largest Squares is the...
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After passing the Vienna Secession Building we were planning on heading towards the Vienna Ring Road when we saw a rather interesting looking market area, so we went to have a look. It turned out to...
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Wiener Staatsoper - State Opera House

One of the two most famous Opera houses in the World (La Scala in Milan, Italy) being the other one. The Opera House in Vienna is one of the many symbols in this beautiful city. We weren't able to...
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It is a landmark monument a little walk from the Belvedere palace. Situated on the Schwarzenbergplatz close to the Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain it was built in 1945 by the Soviet army to commemorate the...
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Getting to Karlskirche - St Charles Church


Kreuzherrengasse 1, 1040 Wien


  • Sunday 08:30 to 17:30
  • Monday 08:30 to 17:30
  • Tuesday 08:30 to 17:30
  • Wednesday 08:30 to 17:30
  • Thursday 08:30 to 17:30
  • Friday 08:30 to 17:30
  • Saturday 08:30 to 17:30