Karlskirche, Vienna Overview

The Church of St. Charles, as it translates to, is a baroque church located off of Karlplatz in the centre of Vienna. This magnificent building, replete with a large cupola was one of the final works of lionised Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. A tribute to the passing of the plague, the Karlskirche was built as an expression of gratitude.

One of Vienna’s most architecturally interesting buildings, the edifice was designed to glorify the Habsburg empire. The ambitious, creative design of the Karlskirche combines architectural elements from ancient Greece, Rome and contemporary Viennese styles. In the last years Karlskirche has developed to be one of the most outstanding concert venues in Vienna. It is a center for historically informed performances with works by Mozart and Vivaldi. And it is also the home of the renowned Orchestra 1756 that regularly gives concerts here.

The church is particularly popular during Christmas time when the surrounding areas are lit up by the seasonal Christmas market. The range of products on display is not limited to Christmas themes at all, covering clothing, jewellery, ceramics, household items, and much more. A sprinkling of food and drink stands also ensure you won’t miss your mug of Christmas punch or mulled wine.

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Ticket Information

Adults: EUR 8.00

Students and young people: EUR 4.00

Children under 10 years old: free entry

Vienna Card holders: EUR 5.00

Vienna Pass holders: free entry

Note: The ticket entitles you to a ride on the panoramic lift as well as entry to the Treasury (Museo Borromeo) and the Museo Novo , where special exhibitions can be seen.


In the early 18th century, Central Europe was hit by the last great outbreak of the Black Plague. Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI made a vow to build a church dedicated to St. Carlo Borromeo—revered for attending to Milanese plague victims in the 16th century, and the emperor’s namesake—if the city was saved. After the plague passed, the new church was officially announced in 1713.


Karlskirche, architecture, interior, paintings on ceiling

Von Erlach’s ambitious design is centered around a portico in the Ancient Greek temple style, flanked by two columns modeled after Trajan’s Column in Rome. The twin columns reference Solomon’s Temple as well as the Pillars of Hercules (a symbol adopted by Charles V to represent the Holy Roman Empire), and are together reminiscent of the Pantheon of antiquity. The columns feature reliefs crafted by the Italian sculptor Lorenzo Mattielli, and depict scenes from the life St. Borromeo. The dome recalls that of St. Peter’s Basilica, but is remarkably different in that the base is an elongated ellipsoid.

Panorama Lift

A special feature of the Karlskirche is the barrier-free Panorama lift : the scaffolding stands in the middle of the church, the lift carries visitors to a platform at the height of 32.5 meters! From this height you can look particularly well at the frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr and the baroque church.

panorama lift, karlskriche

Events & Concerts

concert, karlskirche

The Karlskirche is now also a popular venue for concerts and the seat of the orchestra 1756th This regularly plays Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and the Mozart Requiem.

Current dates can be found here: https://www.konzert-wien.info//karlskirche.html

Every July, the Popfest takes place in front of the Karlskirche and shows the local music scene at numerous open-air concerts.

Timings: Monday-Saturday 6 PM onwards

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