Friedrich von Schmidt

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Friedrich Freiherr von Schmidt, photography by Ludwig Angerer

Friedrich (Wilhelm) Schmidt (born October 22, 1825 in Frickenhofen in Württemberg ; †  January 23, 1891 in Vienna ) was an architect of the Ringstrasse era who established the neo-Gothic style. He was an honorary citizen of the city of Vienna and was allowed to call himself Friedrich Freiherr von Schmidt from January 22, 1886 .

Live and act

Memorial in the birthplace of Frickenhofen
Memorial plaque on the south tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna
Baron coat of arms of Schmidt with stonemason mark , 1886

Friedrich Schmidt, the son of a pastor , came after at Adolf Breymann at Polytechnic Stuttgart completed study (1840-43), which he simultaneously by the Steinmetz teaching as well (using independent) studies of the Gothic buildings in Swabia added that in 1843 in the cathedral workshop Cologne , where he rose to the position of foreman . In 1848 he passed the master craftsman's examination as a bricklayer and stonemason, in 1856 the master builder examination at the Berlin Building Academy . From 1847 onwards, he developed extensive design and construction activities, which included small architectural objects as well as restorations and conversions with a focus on the sacred sector. From 1851 he ran a private construction company. Schmidt's fondness for the Gothic, which was allegedly already expressed in his youth, consolidated into special expertise around the middle of the century, but he was denied a further career within the cathedral builder due to disputes with the cathedral builder Ernst Friedrich Zwirner , but not least because of his Protestant faith. An attempt to appoint Schmidt as a teacher at the architecture school of the Karlsruhe Polytechnic in the winter of 1854/55 failed due to the contradiction of the former position holder Heinrich Hübsch , a little later he said goodbye in Cologne when he was filling the position of cathedral builder in favor of the younger Richard Voigtel was passed over.

The commission for a memorial for Austrian soldiers who died in 1794 in Bensberg , made in 1854/55 according to his design, had already opened up contacts to Austria for Schmidt, which deepened in 1855 when he emerged from the competition for the Vienna Votive Church as one of the prize winners. Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian became aware of him and had him appointed to the Academy in Milan in 1857 by the Minister of Education Leo von Thun and Hohenstein , where Schmidt (until 1859) was in charge of medieval architecture. In 1859 Friedrich Schmidt converted to Catholicism.

In 1859 he came to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna as a professor of medieval architecture , where he took over the architecture school from 1865 (together with Karl Roesner and August von Sicardsburg ) , which he led until the end of his life (among other things as rector of the academy in 1872 -74, 1876-78, 1882-84). An important basis for his teaching activities was the extensive inventory of medieval architectural drawings, which had been in the academy's possession since 1837.

Honorary gift from the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects in Vienna (1881) 

After overcoming initial resistance, Schmidt soon developed into one of the leading artistic personalities of the Ringstrasse era in Vienna and achieved decisive recognition in both sacred and profane neo-Gothic architecture. In 1860 he became a member of the building commission of St. Stephen's Cathedral as well as the kk Central Commission for the research and preservation of architectural monuments , in 1862 he took over the management of the building works of St. Stephan and the chairmanship of the Wiener Bauhütte association , in 1863 he became master builder of St. Stephen's cathedral . Right at the beginning of his cathedral construction work, one of his decisive measures was the rebuilding of the south tower helmet, which had been demolished for structural reasons; the completion of the north tower projected by him was omitted. In the years 1866–68, 1870–72, 1874–77, 1879–81, 1883–85 he was in charge of the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects .

The restoration of Runkelstein Castle near Bolzano , which was carried out between 1884 and 1888, was one of the outstanding works in the field of medieval secular construction . This restoration represented an intervention in an object with a complex architectural history, whereby Schmidt treated the preserved medieval remains with astonishing respect for his time.

Many of his designs were implemented in Vienna by the Bohemian master builder Josef Hlávka . Among the most important students of Friedrich Schmidt are his later collaborator Franz von Neumann and Frigyes Schulek , Imre Steindl and Valentin Teirich .

In 1883 Friedrich Schmidt was granted honorary citizenship of the City of Vienna on the occasion of the completion of the new town hall he had built , and in 1886, on the occasion of the completion of the construction of the imperial foundation house at Schottenring 7, the Freiherrnstand . Previously he was awarded the Royal Gold Medal from England in 1872 . From 1866 to 1870 he was a member of the Vienna City Council and from 1889 a member of the Herrenhaus .

Honorary grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery

Friedrich von Schmidt died on January 23, 1891 in the atonement house he had designed a few years earlier and was given an honorary grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 14 A, number 54). The massive stone plate, which is the grave covered from the house break the brothers amelin in Kaisersteinbruch cut. In the year Schmidt died, August Reichensperger published his first biography about him.

The square behind one of his main works, the Vienna City Hall , was named Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz in his honor in 1927 ; there is also his monument, which was created by Edmund Hofmann von Aspernburg and Julius Deininger and unveiled on May 28, 1896.

He was an honorary member of the German Reading Club at the Technical University of Vienna.

Assessment / reception

Friedrich von Schmidt's importance is based primarily on three areas of activity: as an international architectural artist, as a monument conservator and as a teacher with a significant school impact. The artist and the restorer cannot be separated in their work, which makes some works appear ambivalent despite their greatness, as the creative often predominates in the redesigns (St. Stephen's Cathedral, Klosterneuburg Monastery, Vajdahunyad Castle , etc.). Schmidt is primarily regarded as a Gothic, but this is not to be understood in a doctrinal way, since not only do divergent Gothic traditions intersect in his oeuvre, but also various stylistic idioms that relativize the specialty, some of which belong to the Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Romanesque . The Italian experiences, the impressions of the South German and Southeast European late Middle Ages and even the Baroque were added to the foundations of the Cologne period, which included French and Dutch . Accordingly, he interlaced the - nevertheless dominant - strictly historical style elements with both romantic tendencies and late historical features. The parish churches not only stand out numerically in sacred buildings. Schmidt used the tradition of neo-Gothic brick building established for Vienna by Hermann von Bergmann (1817–1886) and elevated this to the dominant mode (St. Othmar 1863, etc.). The highlight was the Church of Maria vom Siege in Vienna (1868–1875), in which the Gothic style merges with the baroque central dome.

Buildings (selection)

year image place object State, State comment
1847-1849 House-Heirs-1847-49-Landsbergstr-Cologne-Architect-Friedrich-von-Schmidt.jpg Cologne Erben House, Landsbergstrasse North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany First neo-Gothic house in Cologne; In 1952 canceled due to severe war damage.
1852 Stadtgarten2.jpg Krefeld War memorial 1813–1815 for the 123 veterans of the Wars of Liberation North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany Located in the city garden.
1854-1859 Krefeld St. Stephan.jpg Krefeld Catholic parish church:
St. Stephan
North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany
1855-1858 Quedlinburg Church Mathilde.JPG Quedlinburg Catholic parish church:

St. Mathilde

Saxony-Anhalt , Germany
1856-1858 Monastery church of the Lazarists OID 122773.jpg Graz Catholic Lazarist Church Styria , Austria
1857-1859 Bockum, Catholic parish church Sankt Gertrudis Dm228 foto3 2013-07-29 13.27.jpg Bockum Catholic parish church:
St. Gertrudis
North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany
1858-1860 AkGarzweiler.JPG Garzweiler Catholic parish church:

St. Pancras

North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany Demolished in 1989 due to the Garzweiler opencast mine .
1859 Mauritius Church Totale.jpg Niederwenigern Catholic parish church:

St. Mauritius

North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany
1859-1863 Vienna - Lazarist Church (Kaiserstraße) .JPG Vienna Catholic Lazarist Church Vienna , Austria
1862-1866 Fischhorn Castle front.jpg Bruck an der Großglocknerstrasse Fischhorn Castle Salzburg , Austria Neo-Gothic renovation carried out by Josef Wessicken on behalf of and according to the plans of Friedrich von Schmidt . Destroyed apart from remains by fire in 1920.
1863-1866 Vienna - Academic Gymnasium (2) .JPG Inner City (Vienna) Academic high school Vienna , Austria
1866 Erkelenz-Keyenberg monument no.  178, An St. Kreuz (3795) .jpg Keyenberg Catholic branch church

Holy cross

North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany Completed posthumously in 1912–1913.
1866-1868 Erkelenz-Venrath monument no.  291, Herrather Straße 1 (3913) .jpg Venrath Catholic branch church

St. Valentine

North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany Revision of the draft by Ferdinand Robert Cremer.
1866-1869 St. Othmar among the white tanners 01.jpg Landstrasse (Vienna) Catholic parish church:

St. Othmar among the white tanners

Vienna , Austria
1866-1882 St. Peter's Cathedral, Dakovo.jpg Diakowar Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul Osijek-Baranja County , Croatia Together with Carl Roesner .
1867-1873 Brigittakirche.jpg Brigittenau Catholic parish church:

St. Brigitta

Vienna , Austria
1868-1869 Pbkirche loevenich2.jpg Lövenich Catholic branch church:

St. Pauli conversion

North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany
1868-1869 Bruck an der Großglocknerstrasse - Church.JPG Bruck an der Großglocknerstrasse Catholic parish church:

Assumption Day

Salzburg , Austria The church, which burned down in 1867, was rededicated on November 21, 1869. The driving force was Pastor Dr. Bartholomäus Hutter, a member of the KK Central Commission for Research and Conservation of Architectural Monuments , today BDA .
1868-1875 Maria vom Siege Vienna.JPG Fünfhaus , Vienna Catholic parish church:

Mary of Victory

Vienna , Austria
1871 Bezegg-Sul.jpg Andelsbuch Bezegg-Sul memorial Vorarlberg , Austria
1872-1883 Vienna City Hall (8371699293) .jpg Inner City (Vienna) townhall of Vienna Vienna , Austria
1873-1884 Bucharest Catholic 2-2.jpg Bucharest Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph Romania
1875-1876 Parish Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Hamlet 1.JPG hamlet Catholic parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Vorarlberg , Austria
1874-1875 Catholic Church Forst (Lausitz) .JPG Forst (Lausitz) Catholic Sacred Heart Church Brandenburg
1874-1876 Erolzheim - panoramio - Mayer Richard.jpg Erolzheim Catholic parish church St. Martin Erolzheim Baden-Wuerttemberg , Biberach district New building on the site of a previous medieval building, late Gothic basement tower preserved
1877-1878 Heart of jesus asylum church salzburg 1.jpg Riedenburg , Salzburg Catholic Herz-Jesu Asylum Church Salzburg , Austria
1880 Castle Church of St. Pantaleon and Anna (Wernigerode) 2017.jpg Wernigerode Castle church of Wernigerode Castle Saxony-Anhalt , Germany
1880 Enn Castle.jpg Montan Enn Castle South Tyrol , Italy Restoration and expansion.
1881-1883 IMG 8814-Liebfrauenkirche.jpg Dortmund Catholic Church of Our Lady North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany
1882-1885 Suehnhaus nach1885.jpg Inner City (Vienna) Atonement House Vienna , Austria Demolished in 1951.
1882-1891 Pécs Cathedral St. Peter & Paul 6.JPG Five churches Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul Southern Transdanubia , Hungary
1882-1892 Klosterneuburg Collegiate Church.jpg Klosterneuburg Catholic collegiate church Lower Austria , Austria Modification.
1883-1889 Weinhaus Parish Church3-3.jpg Weinhaus , Vienna Catholic parish church:

St. Joseph

Vienna , Austria
1884-1888 Runkelstein Castle 2009.jpg Rides Runkelstein Castle South Tyrol , Italy Restoration and restoration.
1885 Frastanz Kirchaplatz 10, Sulpitius Church 1.JPG Frastanz Catholic parish church:

Frastanz parish church

Vorarlberg , Austria
1887-1891 Waidhofen an der Ybbs - Rothschildschloß.jpg Waidhofen an der Ybbs Rothschild Castle Lower Austria , Austria Modification.
1881-1890 Burgkarlstein01.jpg Karlstein Karlstein Castle Central Bohemian Region , Czech Republic
1892-1893 Parish Church of St.  Josef and Nikolaus, Silbertal 1.JPG Silbertal Catholic parish church:

St. Joseph and Nicholas

Vorarlberg , Austria
1892-1894 St. Mariae Rosenkranz (Mülheim) .jpg Styrum Catholic parish church:

St. Mary's Rosary

North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany completed posthumously
1893-1895 Herz-Jesu, Church, Cologne.jpg Cologne Catholic Sacred Heart Church North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany Posthumously completed, only remnants remain.
1891-1902 Marienkirche (Oberhausen) .jpg Oberhausen Catholic St. Marien (Oberhausen) North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany Posthumously completed, site manager: Architect Wilhelm Sültenfuß , Düsseldorf


  • Max Fleischer : The new Vienna City Hall, designed and built by the architect Friedrich Schmidt . Bambach and Grebner, Vienna 1884.
  • Peter Haiko: Friedrich von Schmidt (1825-1891). A Gothic rationalist. September 12 to October 27, 1991, Town Hall, Volkshalle . Special exhibition / Historical Museum of the City of Vienna, Volume 148, ZDB -ID 881004-7 . Self-published by the Museums of the City of Vienna, Vienna 1991, ISBN 3-85202-102-2 . (With catalog raisonné).
  • Bruno Meusburger (Ed.): Friedrich von Schmidt and his Viennese landmarks. Booklet accompanying the special show in the Roman Catholic parish church Fünfhaus - Maria vom Siege in Vienna, May 29 to September 18, 2011, on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of his death on January 23, 2011 . S. n., Sl 2011.
  • Erwin Neumann: Friedrich von Schmidt. A contribution to his monograph and the art history of the 19th century . Dissertation. University of Vienna, Vienna 1952.
  • Ulrike Planner-Steiner: Friedrich von Schmidt . The Wiener Ringstrasse / The buildings and their architects, Volume 8/2, ZDB -ID 560642-1 . Steiner, Wiesbaden 1978, ISBN 3-515-02483-2 . (With catalog raisonné).
  • Ursula Prokop:  Schmidt, Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 23, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-428-11204-3 , p. 186 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Walter Troxler:  Friedrich von Schmidt. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 9, Bautz, Herzberg 1995, ISBN 3-88309-058-1 , Sp. 447-451.
  • Michael Werling : Architecture teacher at Cologne University of Applied Sciences Part I / The alumni. Published on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the department or faculty for architecture at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Cologne 2006, p. 175 ff.
  • Constantin von Wurzbach : Schmidt, Friedrich . In: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich . 30th part. Kaiserlich-Königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, Vienna 1875, pp. 244–249 ( digitized version ).
  • Alexandra Zingler: Friedrich von Schmidt's sacred buildings in the Prussian provinces of Rhineland and Westphalia . Diss., University of Cologne, 2011 ( online ).

Web links

Commons : Friedrich von Schmidt  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The ADB and the BLKÖ give October 22, 1825, the Vienna Architects' Dictionary , the NDB and the ÖBL give October 23, 1825 as the date of birth. See ADB , 55: 598-616 (1910) ; Architects Lexicon Vienna 1770–1945 , Article: Friedrich Schmidt ; BLKÖ , Vol. 30 (1875), pp. 244-249 ; NDB , Vol. 23 (2007), pp. 186-187 ; ÖBL , Vol. 10 (1994), pp. 262-264 .
  2. a b Official part. In:  Wiener Zeitung , No. 20/1886, January 26, 1886, p. 1. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / wrz.
  3. ^ Paul Kaiser: The lack of appointment of the architect Friedrich von Schmidt to Karlsruhe . In: "A somewhat bankrupt art institution ...". The old Karlsruhe school between Heinrich Hübsch and Josef Durm ( materials on building history 22). Karlsruhe 2017, pp. 135–176.
  4. ^ W. Krause:  Friedrich Frh. Von Schmidt, architect. In: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 10, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-7001-2186-5 , p. 262.
  5. ^ Educational institutions. Academy of Fine Arts, k. k. In: Karl Weiss (Red.): Old and New Vienna in its buildings . Second increased and improved edition. Gerold, Vienna 1865, p. 12. - Text online .
  6. ^ Friedrich von Schmidt: The parchment drawings of the old building works in Vienna . In: Communications of the Central Commission for Research and Conservation of Architectural Monuments 12, 1867, pp. 1–10.
  7. ^ Honorary gift from the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects in Vienna, dedicated to Mr. Oberbaurath Fr. Schmidt . In: Josef Melan (Red.): Journal of the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects . Volume 34.1882. Self-published, Vienna 1882, p. 89. - Full text online (PDF; 21.5 MB) .
  8. ^ Friedrich Schmidt: The new building of the tower helmet to St. Stephan . In: Journal of the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects 18, 1866, p. 63f.
  9. ^ A b W. Krause:  Friedrich Frh. Von Schmidt, architect. In: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 10, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-7001-2186-5 , p. 263.
  10. ^ The royal gold medal of the "Royal Institute of British Architects" , Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , July 1, 1882, p. 235, accessed on December 11, 2012
  11. Hedwig Abraham: Prof. Friedrich Freiherr von Schmidt . In: , accessed on June 15, 2012.
  12. Heinrich Schmid: The limestone quarries of the Leithagebirge . In: The Austro-Hungarian sculptor and stonemason , 1894.
  13. Helmuth Furch : The Amelin family . In: Messages from the Kaisersteinbruch Museum and Culture Association. No. 46, June 1997, ZDB -ID 2302633-9 , p. 21.
  14. August Reichensperger: Friedrich Freiherr von Schmidt. To characterize the builder . Düsseldorf 1891.
  15. Hedwig Abraham: Freiherr Friedrich von Schmidt . In: , accessed on June 15, 2012.
  16. ^ DI Helge Dvorak; "Introductory words to the exhibition" Student Exlibris "and" Corporates on Postage Stamps "" in "Contributions to Austrian Student History", Vol. 3. S, 26
  17. ÖKT 25 : The monuments of the political district of Zell am See, Baden near Vienna 1933, p. 251.
  18. Communications from the kk Central Commission for Research and Conservation of Architectural Monuments , Vienna 1870 (year 15), number of employees, np
  19. Dieter Hübener: Monument topography of the Federal Republic of Germany, monuments in Brandenburg. Volume 16.1: Spree-Neisse district. Part 1: Cities of Forst (Lausitz) and Guben, Peitz Office and Schenkendöbern municipality. 1st edition. Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft and Brandenburg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and the State Archaeological Museum, 2012, ISBN 978-3-88462-334-3 , pages 120–121