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Karlskirche, Vienna

4.1
Karlskirche, dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo, is famous for its ellipsoid dome and two flanking columns of bas-reliefs. Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI commissioned this 18th-century Baroque church one year after the last great plague epidemic. See the reliefs and frescoes illustrating the scenes from the life of the great 16th-century reformer. The columns, similar to the Trajan Column in Rome, act as symbols of imperial power. They recall the two columns that stood in front of the Temple at Jerusalem and the Pillars of Hercules. The church is the final resting place of the composer Antonio Vivaldi. A visit to Karlskirche represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Vienna trip itinerary maker tool to plot your vacation.
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Karlskirche Reviews
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  • August 17, 2017
    The elevator and the subsequent steps up directly under the dome are very impressive.
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  • August 17, 2017
    The architecture of the Church is very pretty. The reflecting pool in front of it is badly insulated but the square around is much frequented by locals. At this point you have free internet and is very pleasant to take a rest here.
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  • August 17, 2017
    We stumbled upon this church by accident. We didn't go inside but outside there is a lovely pool which you can paddle in and sit by. There is also a bar selling cheap beer which you can drink by the f...  more »
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  • April 6, 2017
    This is a wonderful building outside and in. From the outside it is a grand, domed church with two intricately carved columns. Inside is some of the most beautiful marble you'll find - columns with striations of cream, yellow, orange, red, brown and black - as well as a stunning altar piece featuring a golden sun (see it on a sunny morning the and one sun is illuminated by another). Beware, though, that currently (2017) there's a lot of scaffolding erected to facilitate maintenance or restoration. There's a benefit to this, in that the price of entry includes a ride in a lift all the way up to the dome and, for the adventurous who don't suffer from vertigo, stairs from the top of the lift right up to the cupola. The ceiling of the dome is beautifully painted and worth the slightly scary lift journey, though the view from the cupola and can safely be missed if you're disinclined to proceed up the bouncy stairs!
  • April 15, 2017
    Beautiful old church. It is very different than other churches in town, as instead of a crucifix there is an image of Jesus ascending into heaven in the front. There is an elevator now inside the church because of renovations and you can go all the way into the dome. Don't go if you're scared of heights! Lovely place.
  • April 21, 2017
    This must be one of the best tourist spots in Vienna now because of the scaffolding the reaches up to the very highest part of the dome. Usually in old churches you stand on the floor and crane your neck up to see the paintings in the dome. Here you can take an elevator up most of the way and then climb a few stairs, and you can see close up the details in the dome. This is a must-see in Vienna. Until the scaffolding comes down.
  • May 16, 2017
    It's a super popular place for locals after work and tourist alike. At sunset the colours are the facade a unbelievable it's a true marvel of a building so take a beer down with you and enjoy the the atmosphere.
  • April 14, 2017
    Beautiful church especially at night after sunset. We listened to a classical music concert inside at night which was a wonderful experience. Warning though, no toilet inside even if you are a paying customer or during/after the concert!!

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As a former imperial capital, Vienna is full of lavish hotels reminiscent of the city’s royal past. If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s not hard to find hotels for a more affordable price. Consider staying in the Innere Stadt, or First District, if you only have a short time in town, as you’ll be within easy walking distance to many of the city’s main tourist attractions. Outside of the central core, Leopoldstadt, or Second District, lines the Danube and offers peaceful walks through tree-lined paths. For shopaholics, Mariahilf, or Sixth District, is a central neighborhood with busy shopping streets and lively markets.
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