Church of St. Charles


Church of St. Charles (Karlskirche Church) is located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, which is one of the grandest churches of the Baroque period. It is designed by Johann Bernhard Fisher von Erlach in 1716 and completed in 1730. Fisher von Erlach started Austrian Baroque period and he is one of the most excellent Austrian architects. After his death in 1723, his son Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach completed the construction.

In 1713, the last great Black Death epidemic period, the Roman Emperor Karl Vl decided to build a church for St Charles Borromeo who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. Therefore, a architecture competition of building church held the following year. Erlach and his son won the honor. A gorgeous and elegant Baroque masterwork was created.

In Erlach’s design, he referenced ancient Greek and Roman building styles, such as the dome from St. Peter’s and the portico from the Parthenon. “The central bulk is framed by two Trojan pillars, with spiral re-life’s, creating a dramatic entrance. The low wide front and huge dome also create vertical and horizontal movement (Daniel et al., 2008 p249). ” Inside the church, there are numerous elaborate carvings and altarpieces, including Gran and Altomonte’s works.

Baroque style uses to glorify the beauty of the building. It mixed a variety of artistic elements including sculpture, painting and music. However, some people think Baroque art form too extravagant and gaudy, which opposite to Christian simple and humble life attitude and the construction of the church. Erlach’s design of Baroque architecture is magnificent and dignified, which makes people believe the romantic curve and colorful decoration do not against doctrine and love God.



Daniel et al. (2008). Architecture A World History. New York: Abrams, Inc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s