Bergkirche (Eisenstadt)

Bergkirche Eisenstadt




Haydn Mausoleum Open: 9am- 5pm daily Apr- Oct

Nov- March open for groups only


Description of Bergkirche

Bergkirche is situated just west of Schloss Esterhazy. The Roman Catholic church Bergkirche (also known as Haydn or Kalvarienbergkirche) is in the district Oberberg-Eisenstadt the municipality Eisenstadt in Burgenland. It is dedicated to the feast of the Visitation and belongs to the deanery Eisenstadt in the diocese of Eisenstadt. The building is a listed historic building. This church was constructed in 1715 upon orders of Prince Paul Esterhazy. He dedicated this beautiful monument to the Visitation of the Virgin Mary. It included 24 stations of a Way of the Cross. Bergkirche is famous burial place of composer Joseph Haydn who was buried here in 1809. In 1932 a small mausoleum was erected to house remains of a famous composer.


The church is known for the neighboring "Kalvarienberg", a place of pilgrimage, which has its model in the Kalvarienberg Maria Lanzendorf. The mountain church is also called "Haydn Church" after Joseph Haydn (1732–1809). Not far from Esterházy Palace, Haydn worked for large parts of his life as a composer and conductor. The Haydn mausoleum, in which the coffin of the composer Joseph Haydn stands, has been in the Bergkirche since 1932.


Location description
The mountain church is attached to the west of the Kalvarienberg. It is located on Wiener Straße leading to the west with access from Joseph-Haydn-Platz.



The church was planned by Paul Esterházy (1635–1713) as a huge pilgrimage church. The foundation stone was laid in 1715. Due to the lack of interest on the part of the builders, construction was interrupted. Under Nikolaus I. Joseph Esterházy de Galantha, the building was continued around 1765 and the inauguration ceremony took place in 1803. In 1880 a renovation took place and in 1953 the church roof was re-covered. Another renovation took place outside and inside in 1954.



Church exterior
The church is a four-sided block with a hipped roof. A two-storey vestibule with the adjoining two tower stumps on a square floor plan is in front of the building on the west side. They are closed by tent roofs. The sacristy is attached to the church to the south. In front of the sacristy, there are low huts for sale of devotional objects. The north hall was built around 1795. This has a flat central projection above a segmented arched door. The coat of arms of the Esterházy family is depicted in the risalits.


Church interior

The church interior is circular with a western porch and shallow altar niches in the three other round sides. In between there are two high pilasters with beams on the sides of the doors and oratory windows. Lunette windows have been cut into the dome. Above the vestibule is the gallery, which rests on three groin vaults. A basket arch barrel vault is located above the organ.

The altarpiece “Maria Heimsuchung” is by Stephan Dorfmeister (1729–1797). The fresco in the dome by Wolfgang and Christian Köpp from 1772 shows "Ascension of Christ". It was renovated in 1889 by P. Müller and restored in 1954 again.

Haydn mausoleum
Joseph Haydn, who died in 1809, was exhumed in Vienna in 1820 and transferred to the Bergkirche in Eisenstadt. In 1932 Paul Esterházy had a mausoleum built under the north tower in the left wing of the mountain church, in which Haydn's remains were initially buried. However, the skull was in the possession of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna and after a last-minute return of the skull failed, the skull could only be solemnly united with the rest of the bones in 1954.

The mausoleum was built according to plans by the architect Franz Kraus. The allegorical depictions of the four seasons made of St. Margarethen sand-lime brick on the wall of the round dome are an allusion to the oratorio by Joseph Haydn. The sculptor Oskar Thiede created the white marble sarcophagus.



In 1797 Johann Gottfried Malleck (1733–1798), a Viennese organ builder, installed an organ according to the disposition given by Joseph Haydn (Haydn organ). It was rebuilt by Rieger Orgelbau in 1950, restored by the Karl Schuke organ building workshop in 1993 and now has 34 stops on three manuals and a pedal.