Votivkirche – history and beauty

As we were walking towards the last Stammtisch, on the Ringstraße, I saw this majestic building on the horizon and asked the others what it was. Votivkirche, they replied, as I lingered behind to examine the impressive building further.

When I got home, I looked more up about this interesting looking church, and it turns out its history is even more intriguing. The church was inaugurated by the Emperor Franz Joseph ‘s brother Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, as a way to thank God for sparing the Emperor’s life, after a failed attempt on his life.

Construction of the church began in 1856, and it was dedicated twenty-six years later on April 24, 1879, the occasion of the silver jubilee of the royal couple. It was one of the first buildings on the Ringstraße at that time, constructed in a neo-Gothic style. It is said, from afar, tourists often mistake the Votivkirche with the Stephansdom, but in reality the two buildings are more than 700 years apart in apparition, Stephansdom being established in 1147.

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