Kirche am Hof – a three-aisle Gothic hall church

Church of the Nine Choirs of Angels

From 1386 to 1404, the Carmelites built the Gothic hall church known as Kirche am Hof, in the place where the Romanesque chapel had previously stood. It has a long history, during which it was home to various orders and was constantly adapted to the style of the respective era.

The various changes over the centuries

In 1554, the Kirche am Hof was given to the Jesuits by Emperor Ferdinand I. In 1607, the three-aisle nave was significantly damaged in a fire and was restored in the Jesuit Baroque style until 1610. In addition to this, eight further chapels were added to the side aisles.

The vestibule was built in 1625, which was moved in 1662 and in the same year, the Kirche am Hof also got its early Baroque-style façade. The organ gallery including a new rococo-style organ followed in 1763. Because the Kirche am Hof belonged to a Mendicant Order, it did not have a bell tower but received a ridge turret for a bell in 1771.

Außenansicht der Kirche am Hof in Wien
Kirche am Hof in Wien © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Mayer

The Classicist choir and altar room

In 1773, the Kirche am Hof became a military church and nine years later, Pope Pius VI said his Easter blessing here. In 1789, the altar room was converted into the classicist style. In the same year the high altar piece, which shows Mary surrounded by nine choirs of angels, was also brought in. Today, the winged altar with 24 pictures is exhibited in the Klosterneuburg Abbey Church.

In the year 1804, the “Pragmatikalgesetz”, which made Emperor Franz Emperor of Austria, was announced in the Kirche am Hof. Between 1814 and 1852, the church was again maintained by the Jesuits, who set up the crucifixion altar, restored the organ, and acquired a third bell for the building.

Church of the Nine Choirs of Angels – Papal visit

After the church had belonged to the archdiocese until 1908, it was once again handed over to the Jesuits. While on a trip to Austria, the popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI visited the Kirche am Hof, which is today the home of the Croatian congregation in Vienna.

In the Choral Crypt, or Jesuit Crypt, which is located beneath the altar room, approximately 90 Jesuits were buried. There is also a crypt at the northern side aisle, known as the Montecuccolli crypt.

Innenansicht der Kirche am Hof
Interior view © Bwag / Wikimedia;

Foto: Foreground: the three-aisle nave, Background: the choir and altar room, which was converted into the classicist style in 1789.

How to reach the church building

Address: Schulhof 1, 1010 Vienna
Public transport: Underground line U3, stop: Herrengasse

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