Parish Church of St. Oswald, Austria



The Roman Catholic parish church of St. Oswald is 1325 meters above sea level in the municipality of Bad Kleinkirchheim, Carinthia, Austria. A chapel in St. Oswald was first mentioned in 1197, a church in 1267.


Building description
The church is a small late Gothic complex from the beginning of the 16th century. The church consists of a four-bay nave with lancet windows with the original tracery and a slightly lower choir with simple lancet windows and a painted frieze. The tower with wall slots and biforic sound windows on the north side is crowned by a pyramid roof. The oldest bell was cast in 1440. The Christophorus fresco on the south wall of the choir is disturbed by the breakout of a round window. Above the pointed south portal is a fresco from 1514 depicting the scene of the Mount of Olives and the crucifixion. It is labeled “Kaspar Wercker and Paul his pruder had the painting done”. The frescoes in the lower row depicting the Carrying of the Cross, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection date from the 16th century. A porch with pillars is built on the west side. There is a late Gothic holy water font inside. All doors of the church have late Gothic fittings and locks.

In the nave, a ribbed vault rises on slender, polygonal pillars without capitals. The baroque west gallery has an organ built by Jakob Ladstätter in 1838. The choir parapet is marked 1686 and has painted portraits of Jesuits. A wide polygonal triumphal arch connects the nave with the lower choir. In the choir, a ribbed vault rests on deeply drawn-down, cantilevered services. In 1949 the fresco of a holiday Christ from the 14th century was uncovered in the sacristy.

The high altar from 1678 consists of a columned aedicula with a blown segment gable as an attachment and acanthus-decorated side parts. The altarpiece shows St. Oswald. Saints Anthony of Padua and Leonhard are depicted on the left side altar, and Saints Valentin and Blasius on the right. Parts of the former pulpit were used for the antependia. A crucifixion group carved in the second half of the 15th century is placed above the triumphal arch. Half-length Jesuit saints from the second half of the 17th century are placed on the west wall.

The church has three altar hangings of the single-scene type from the second half of the 18th century: a Christmas picture, a Passion picture with Christ on the Mount of Olives and an Easter picture with the resurrection of Christ.