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Donnerstag, 21. Mai 2015

Walking or cycling through Vienna is always a different piece of delicacy: Votiv Church

To discover Vienna needs time. A lot of time. Depending on your interests there are a lot to be discovered:
*interesting combination of architecture and colors
Vanilla & Schoko - by Anka Berger

*a lot, really a lot of statues of Austrian personalities in all segments of life and society (culture, politic, economy, science, social, sport, entertainment etc.).
Johann Strauss in Stadtpark, Vienna - 13th of May, 2015, 21:30' - by Anka Berger
Vienna is a huge open air museum. It wasn't my dream about Austria. My dream about Austria still remain Salzburger Land. But I enjoy the cosmopolitanism and the variety of this city so long I stay in this area. Vienna offers a generous place for every taste, age, hobby, imagination.
Today I had to ride for about 25 km through wind, cold (about max. 10°C) and rain from my home to Simmering Place in the 11th District of the city. And 25 km back, of course.

The first indications of the settlement Simmering are from 1028. A brewery was built in 1605 and continued to bring in revenue for the area for more than 300 years. Simmering remained small until 1860, when the Rinnböckhäuser housing development was built, which at the time was the second-largest in Vienna, and resulted in rapid growth in the area.
Kaiserebersdorf (earlier known as Ebersdorf) was one of the original villages in the district and held the residence of the Ebendorfer dynasty. Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II hunted frequently in the area and converted the residence into the hunting lodge Schloss Neugebäude.
On January 1, 1892, Simmering, Kaiserebersdorf, and some very small parts of Kledering, Schwechat, and Albern were incorporated into Vienna as the 11th district.
On my way back I reached the Votiv Church which I always saw from distance and never had time to go closer. 
Due to a translation project I had last April regarding the sightseeing monuments of Vienna I knew the church has a quite interesting history and a unique architecture.
Today I just reached it by chance and I took the time to go inside discovering a new image from my adolescence times, the statue of St. Anton (!), my Protector in the 80ies (13th of June will be celebrated, big even in St. Josef Cathedral in Bucharest).
The Votive Church (German: Votivkirche) is a neo-Gothic church located on the Ringstraße in Vienna, Austria. Following the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1853, the Emperor's brother Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian inaugurated a campaign to create a church to thank God for saving the Emperor's life. Funds for construction were solicited from throughout the Empire. The church was dedicated in 1879 on the silver anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Empress Elisabeth.
Votiv Church, Vienna - 21th of May 2015, by Anka Berger
Construction 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.
The church was one of the first buildings to be built on the Ringstraße. Since the city walls still existed at that point, the church had no natural parishioners. At that time it was meant as a garrison church, serving the many soldiers that had come to Vienna in the wake of 1848 Revolution.
Votiv Church, Vienna - 21th of May 2015, by Anka Berger
 The church is not located directly on the boulevard but along a broad square (the Sigmund Freud Park) in front of it. The Votivkirche is made out of white sandstone, similar to the Stephansdom, and therefore has to be constantly renovated and protected from air-pollution and acid rain, which tends to colour and erode the soft stone.

The church has undergone extensive renovations after being badly damaged during World War II.
Since its architectural style is quite similar to the Stephansdom, it often gets mistaken for it by tourists. In reality the two churches differ in age by more than 700 years.
The church is well worth investigating on the inside too. The Tomb of Count Nikolas von Salm, the saviour of Vienna in the 1529 siege and the stained glass window should be seen. It is an unusual church in that the spires are topped by the Imperial crowns rather than the normal crucifixes.

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