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Dr- Ignaz- Seipel- Platz 4
Tel. 512 5232
Subway: Stephansplatz, Schwedenplatz, Stubentor
Open: 7am- 6:30pm daily
Description of Jesuitenkirche
Jesuitenkirche or Church of the Jesuits was named
after a Roman Catholic Order of the Jesuits that moved here in
1620's. Jesuits were an important force in Counter- Reformation that
started more than a century earlier by Martin Luther. Jesuits
constructed their magnificent church near Old University which they
ran. Between 1703 and 1705 Jesuitenkirche was reconstructed under
supervision of Italian architect Andrea Pozzo.
History of Jesuitenkirche
After King Ferdinand I brought the
Jesuits to Vienna in the middle of the 16th century, he gave them
the Carmelite monastery at the court, as this order gradually died
out due to the Reformation. In 1623 the Jesuits were given the
philosophical and theological chairs at the University of Vienna and
they built a church on the site of a chapel dedicated to St.
Benedict. It was built by an unknown master builder - between 1623
and 1631 - in simple equipment, according to the conditions at the
time of the war. The church was consecrated to the Jesuit saints
Ignatius von Loyola and Franz Xaver, it was donated by Emperor
Ferdinand II. To distinguish it from the Jesuit church at the court,
the "Upper Jesuit Church", the new church was called "among the
In 1703, Emperor Leopold I brought Andrea
Pozzo, a painter and sculptor who was already famous in Rome, to
Vienna to remodel the church. The Jesuit Pozzo added the two towers
and brought the facade into its current shape. The interior was also
opulently furnished. Pozzo moved up the eight side chapels, which
are connected to each other and supported by straight and curved
columns, covered with stucco marble. The organ was integrated into a
two-story gallery above the entrance. The high altar dedicated to
the Assumption of the Virgin Mary also comes from Pozzo.
Pozzo, best known for his perspective-illusionistic painting, also
decorated the ceiling of the church. The trompe-l’œil false dome in
particular can deceive the eye and give the viewer a spatially
realistic impression of the dome. In the floor of the nave there is
a color-coded stone from which the dummy dome best affects the
viewer. Pozzo even has an effect over the fabric-covered crown of
Mary. So it seems that the cross on the crown is clasped by hands
that protrude from the ceiling fresco.
After the abolition of
the Jesuit order, the church became the property of the state. After
re-admission, Jesuits have been working in the church again since
Under the church there is a crypt, in which the
deceased confreres of the Jesuit monastery are still buried. a. the
long-time rector of the church, P. Leo Wallner SJ, who died in 2013,
and the philosopher Johannes Schasching, who died in 2013. The crypt
is open to the public at certain times.
This forms a striking end to the room. Andrea Pozzo painted
the altarpiece "Assumption of Mary", giving the Apostle Andreas his
own features at the bottom left.
Left side altars
altarpiece of the chapel of the Faculty of Arts (Catherine altar,
left of the entrance) represents the “mystical wedding of St.
Catherine of Alexandria ”, that of the Stanislaus chapel“ Franz
Borja welcomes Stanislaus Kostka in Rome ”, that of the Guardian
Angel chapel“ Guardian Angel ”and that of the Ignatius Chapel“ The
sending of St. Franz Xaver ”.
Right side altars
altarpiece of the chapel of the Faculty of Theology (cross altar;
right at the entrance) shows a "crucifixion", that of the Annen
chapel "Anna, Maria and an angel", that of the Leopold chapel
"Apotheosis of St. Leopold ”and that of the Josef Chapel“ Tod Josefs
”. All eight altarpieces of the side chapels come from Andrea