St. Joseph’s Church – St. Joseph on the Kahlenberg

Often called the Kahlenberg church

In 1628, Ferdinand II gave a plot of green land on the Josefsberg (also Josephsberg, today known as the Kahlenberg), to the Camaldolite Order. There, they founded their settlement, the Camaldolese Hermitage. Eleven years later, construction was mostly complete but would not be finished until 1683. In that year, St. Joseph’s Church was heavily damaged by fire due to the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna. During this siege, the city was freed by a relief army from there onwards, an event which the church still commemorates in its foyer today.

The new construction of St. Joseph’s Church was not entirely completed until 1750. In 1783, it was sold to Leopold Kriegl and consecrated two years later. By 1847, this St. Joseph’s Church had already fallen into extensive ruin, when it was sold to Klosterneuburg after Kriegl went bankrupt. The church was acquired by Johann Finsterle, a Viennese master locksmith in 1852, who then had it restored and rededicated. Since 1906, the chapel has belonged to the Resurrectionists who have renovated it at high cost.

Kahlenbergerkirche (19. Bezirk)
Kahlenberg Church © Schaub-Walzer / PID

Inside St. Joseph’s Church

On both sides of the main altar, there is a picture by the Bohemian Baroque painter Johann Peter Brandl, which was created in circa 1700. Friedrich Schilcher painted the group of angels in oil that are found behind it. Other images on the side altars come from an unknown artist.

National sainthood at St. Joseph’s Church

The national sainthood of the Polish man, who had lived in Austria, is depicted opposite the side entrance, in the form of the “Black Madonna of Częstochowa”. The original “Madonna” can be found in Rome. Pope Pius X had copies of this made. Further works, paintings, and sculptures from the 17th and 18th centuries are spread out in the inner room of the church, which is also called the Kahlenberg Church.

360-degree interior view of the church:

The vestry is home to a bust of Finsterler, mementos from when the Ottomans came in 1683, and a model of a the abbey complex. The memorial to the right of the entrance commemorates Pope John Paul II’s visit on September 13th, 1983.

The former tomb of the Camaldolites is located in the crypt. Around 70 monks were buried there.

360-degree view of the church and view of Vienna from the Kahlenberg

Address: Josefsdorf 38, 1190 Vienna