Saturday, 5 March 2016

Votiv Church, Vienna




The building was erected to thank God for saving the life of Kaiser Franz Josef, then aged 23, who was stabbed in the neck by a would-be assassin;  fortunately the wound was relatively slight due to the sharp reflexes of the monarch's companion.

The photo was taken from Sigmund Freud Park which is opposite the main entrance. Freud's old surgery, now a museum, is only a couple of blocks away and the good doctor would have passed the twin spires on his daily amble to his favourite coffee house.

I've been inside this imposing edifice on a couple of occasions; first time it was to listen to a concert of gospel music, and the second time it was to visit an exhibition of contemporary art.

The church was in the news a year or two ago when a group of asylum seekers occupied the building for several weeks as a protest against overcrowding at an asylum centre in the province of Lower Austria. The protest gained much media attention.

The advert you can see on the hoarding is for a popular brand of milk chocolate from Switzerland.

This post linked to Inspired Sundays

20 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Though to put such a big advertisement in front of it (or is it a trick played by the photograph?) says a lot about our time and its values.

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    1. The church is often surrounded by advertisements. I assume this is to raise money for the never-ending maintenance costs which must be astronomical. Usually the adverts are for cars, but one time I saw a recruiting advert for the Austrian army. The message of Jesus clearly not getting through to all concerned.

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    2. Having seen today's news about events in Turkey regarding the govt. takeover of the main non-govt. newspaper by force and the EU's timid reaction - a bland statement by Hannes Hahn, we may be needing the soldiers sooner than we think. Certainly need to do something. Turkey is not only in bed with Saudi Arabia but wants to join the EU. They should be told where to get off instead of kow-towing EU style. Such shameful EU behavior will encourage the Brexit case. The EU is to most people, except a few in Germany, France and the Benelux countries, evolving into a monster.

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    3. As I have said elsewhere, Erdogan is a very dangerous man.

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    4. EU should stick up for basic human rights and freedoms. Whatever it takes. Time for the D-EU-tschland Empire to man up.

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  2. It looks Gothic. I remember the occupation of the church. It seems tame in numbers against the migrants we now have flooding across from Syria across borders.

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    1. Yes, it's neo-Gothic. Work started about mid 1800's. No idea when it finished. I think it's like the Forth Bridge; they get to one end and start again at the other. It's very cold inside and it wasn't pleasant for the refugees who had no heating for many weeks. I think some might have gone on hunger strike. As you say things have changed dramatically as far as numbers are concerned. I read a couple of lines about a refugee jumping off the top of a 7 storey building. Some people are at their wits end, the open door closed.

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  3. Think I visited it in 2014 Gwil. Fantastic Gothic architecture. I believe years a go a stone mason would start building a cathedral and his grandchildren would complete it.

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    1. When I was a sea cadet we had to go to Liverpool for a service in the Cathedral, obviously not the modern one (for overseas readers Liverpool has 2 cathedrals) but the enormous red sandstone thing, big as a nuclear power station, which can be seen from far and wide. We heard that it was 100 years old and not even finished.

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  4. Replies
    1. Like many such places it looks better from the outside, in the same way that a mountain looks majestic from the valley floor.

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  5. the advertisement to such a distraction from the beautiful church

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    1. They need the revenue. The sandstone they used doesn't last five minutes in cathedral terms. Easy to cut but life of short duration.

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  6. Looks a noce church spoiled by the advertiseing hording

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    1. The hoardings are traditional. Austria is a land of hoardings. I've never known a place like it for advertisements.

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  7. Wow, those spires are just beautiful!

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    1. The Kaiser ruled most of Europe. He was almost a deity himself. So he got the best.

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  8. Gwil - I believe your Mother lives in the North of the UK. If you send me her address I will send her a copy of the latest quiz sheet so that she can have a go at that. Alrthough if she is a regular she may well find it far too easy. I think you have my e mail address.

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    1. Thanks Pat. I'll send an email.

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  9. I wanted to visit the Votiv Church in November but a guard turned me away. They were filming a movie. Huge cranes were shining bright projector light on the spires (in the morning!). Actors' trailers were parked all along the side street.
    Oh well. I hope to come to Wien again someday.

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