Kalvarienbergkirche (Vienna)

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Calvary Church

The Kalvarienbergkirche is a Roman Catholic church building in the 17th district of Hernals in Vienna . It is dedicated to the Apostle Bartholomew .

Location and architecture

The slightly elevated church is located on Sankt-Bartholomäus-Platz in the historic center of the Hernals district . Its northern component with the tower facade is of Baroque origin, while the southern component with transept and apse and the roofed Calvary aisle that surrounds the church on three sides are designed in neo-baroque style.

Above the main portal, on the front facade with the church tower on a square floor plan, there is a balcony on which a three-figure group on the theme of Ecce homo from the first quarter of the 18th century is set up. Next to the portal is a crucifix from 1863, for which Sepp Zöchling created the sgraffito poor souls around 1960 .

Interior view towards the high altar

The interior of the church is broadly proportioned. On the high altar is a retable from the 19th century, while the altarpiece The Risen Christ Appears to the Apostles on the Sea of ​​Galilee was created in 1962 by Hans Alexander Brunner . At the side of the altar are figures from 1894 depicting Emperor Heinrich II and Saint George . The so-called Turkish Mother of God on the left side altar is a copy of the Vienna Mariahilf picture from the Mariahilfer Church , which was found in the Ottoman camp in 1683 during the second Turkish siege of Vienna and was apparently used by them as a target. In the right side altar stands the larger-than-life group of figures protective cloak-Christ the King in a halo , which was created by Alfred Crepaz around 1950 . West of the choir is a chapel with a baroque holy grave .

The Kalvarienberg-Gang begins to the left and right of the main church room with the entrance house, continues along the side fronts with corridors and ascending stairs and ends in a crucifixion chapel. The total of fourteen baroque figure reliefs in the niches of the stations of the cross, some of them fully plastic, form an expressive cycle: on the right are scenes from the Passion and the conquest of the seven deadly sins , on the left the virtues of Mary and the seven last words .

The house at Sankt-Bartholomäus-Platz 3 was built as a school in 1831 and has been used as a parsonage since 1861. The originally two-story building with its Biedermeier facade was extended in 1951.


“Departure” of the Protestants to Hernals
The Calvary 1724. Engraving by Salomon Kleiner .

The old parish church of Hernals, which was already consecrated to St. Bartholomew, was first mentioned in a document in 1301 and destroyed in 1529 during the first Turkish siege of Vienna . After its reconstruction, it became an Evangelical Lutheran church in 1548 or 1568 . Protestant services were not possible in Vienna. This is why the Viennese Protestants “leaked” to Hernals, which was subordinate to the aristocratic Protestant family Jörger von Tollet . In and around the Hernals parish church and the Hernals Castle , up to ten thousand believers met at times. As a result of the violent Counter-Reformation under Emperor Ferdinand II , the Hernals parish church became Roman Catholic again in 1625.

In the course of the counter-Reformation propaganda, a “Holy Sepulcher Church” was built in the Moorish style next to the parish church and a Stations of the Cross with seven stations laid out between Hernals and Vienna, the route between the new church and St. Stephen's Cathedral being that of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem corresponded. Since the new place of pilgrimage attracted criminals and prostitutes, the pilgrimage was discontinued after 35 years. In the course of the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, the parish church, the Holy Sepulcher and the stations of the cross were largely destroyed. In 1710 a group of Viennese citizens decided to have the Hernalser Kreuzweg rebuilt, but this time in the form of a Calvary - which is where the name of the Kalvarienbergkirche is based. Unlike in Maria-Lanzendorf , where an artificial hill was created as a calvary at the same time, the Hernalser Kalvarienberg consisted of a staircase with seven chapels on each side. A crucifixion group stood at the top of the complex . This basic structure has been preserved in principle to this day. Inside the Calvary, which was completed in 1717, a church space was laid out that was not included in the original plan. Hernals again became a heavily frequented place of pilgrimage and around the Kalvarienberg the Hernalser Kirtag, celebrated to this day, developed with the typical Bamkraxlers . From 1720 to 1784 the Pauline Order looked after the church interior in Kalvarienberg, which was replaced from 1766 to 1769 by a new building by the master builder Josef Ritter, which Thaddäus Adam Karner had probably designed.

Memorial plaque for Franz Schubert

In 1784 the Kalvarienbergkirche became the new Hernals parish church. The stones from the ruins of the old Hernals parish church, which was destroyed in 1683, were used in 1785 to build a tower for the Kalvarienbergkirche. The building was renovated from 1822 to 1828 and 1831. A commemorative plaque has been commemorating since 1928 that Franz Schubert heard the last music before his death here in 1828, the Latin Requiem by his brother Ferdinand Schubert . From 1889 to 1894, the architect Richard Jordan rebuilt and enlarged it , giving the church its present-day appearance. The originally free-standing baroque stations of the cross were integrated into the church building and the neo-baroque southern part was built.

The Kalvarienbergkirche was badly damaged by air raids during World War II on March 22, 1945 . The reconstruction was led by the architect Hans Petermair , who carried out several church restorations and redesigns in Vienna. The first service after the war took place at Easter 1948. In 1955 the Kalvarienbergkirche received its four bells, which the people of Hernals call "freedom bells". This designation is due to the day the bells were consecrated - the same day the State Treaty was signed. From 1960 to 1966 the interior of the church was restored and again redesigned in 1969. In the years 1990 to 2000 the Kalvarienbergkirche was completely renovated.

The parish of Hernals, located in the Kalvarienbergkirche, is today one of four parishes to the city ​​dean's office 17 .

Literary processing

The pilgrimage to the Hernalser Kalvarienberg is the subject of the story Die Pilfahrer von Max Mell , published in 1924 in the volume Morgenwege. Tales and legends appeared.


  • Franz Gstaltmeyr: The Church and the Calvary of Hernals: A contribution to church history with special consideration of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation . Dissertation, University of Vienna 1949
  • Stephanie Zabusch (ed.): The Hernalser Kalvarienbergkirche . District Museum Hernals , Vienna 1994

Web links

Commons : Kalvarienbergkirche (Vienna)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dehio-Handbuch Wien. X. to XIX. and XXI. to XXIII. District . Edited by Federal Monuments Office. Anton Schroll, Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-7031-0693-X , pp. 420-422
  2. Rudolf Spitzer: Hernals: between belt and Hameau . Mohl, Vienna 1991, ISBN 3-900272-39-5 , pp. 28-32
  3. http://www.kalvarienbergkirche.at/ Department: The Kalvarienbergkirche / history

Coordinates: 48 ° 13 ′ 1 ″  N , 16 ° 19 ′ 54.6 ″  E