10 Famous Cathedrals & Churches In Austria | Historical Churches In Austria

24th May 2023 0 By Aparna Patel

Austria is a country that is well known for its beautiful architecture and awe-inspiring churches and cathedrals that are full of history. From grand palaces to ancient ruins, there are numerous churches and cathedrals scattered throughout Austria that are well worth seeing.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most famous historical churches and cathedrals in Austria – from the majestic medieval Karlskirche to the awe-inspiring magnificence of the Salzburg Cathedral. Join us as we explore some of the best historical churches and cathedrals in Austria!

Famous Cathedrals & Churches In Austria To Visit

1. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

St. Stephens Cathedral, Vienna in Austria is a late-Gothic Catholic cathedral founded in the 12th century. Located in the centre of Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral was the former seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, as well as one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.

The interior of the cathedral is filled with multiple chapels, galleries, and side altars, with the center of the cathedral building consisting of three aisles of breathtaking stained glass windows and artwork. The multi-colored roof, known as the ‘Vienna’s colorful coat of colors’, is one of the cathedral’s most popular features, stretching over the entire building in a checkered pattern depicting the coats of arms. The North Tower, also known as the ‘Steffl Tower’, is another popular attraction, with its viewing platform offering sweeping views of the city of Vienna.

The original foundation of the cathedral featured Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with the façade being redone in the 18th century in the Baroque style. The cathedral itself is immensely popular as a religious site and a popular tourist destination, and has been labeled as a national monument in Austria. There are numerous events held at the cathedral throughout the year, including classical concerts, organ recitals, and the famous Christmas markets.

2. Votive Church, Vienna

The Votive Church is a Neo-Gothic structure found in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and a popular tourist attraction.

The church was built to commemorate Emperor Franz Joseph’s Golden Jubilee in 1879, and it stands as a testament to his long reign as Austria’s ruler.

The elaborate structure is 185 feet tall and is made up of tall, slim towers, a large square bell tower, and a roof with an eye-catching pattern of hexagons. Inside the church, visitors can find ornate frescoes, stained glass windows, and intricate woodcarvings. There are also a number of monuments and statues to well-known Austrian figures, including a statue of Franz Joseph himself. The Votive Church is still used for religious services and is open to tourists every day of the year.

3. Salzburg Cathedral, Salzburg

The Salzburg Cathedral is a major Catholic church in Salzburg, Austria. It is a Baroque Cathedral and was built in 774 AD, making it one of the oldest churches in Austria. It is one of the most important and beautiful churches in Salzburg and the epitome of a stunning Roman Catholic church. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Salzburg, and remains an important pilgrimage site.

The Salzburg Cathedral is renowned for its interior decorations, which include some of the finest carvings in Austria, with an impressive marble altar, several outstanding stained glass windows, and a remarkable pipe organ with more than 4500 pipes. Visitors can explore the church at their own leisure, as well as take guided tours which can highlight many of the sights.

The Salzburg Cathedral is open to visitors throughout the year, with regular services taking place on Sunday and on special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter. Also, the cathedral has a daily café and a shop which sells souvenirs and religious artefacts. The cathedral is a popular destination for tourists who are staying in the city and is considered to be one of its most notable attractions.

4. Melk Abbey Church, Melk

Melk Abbey Church is one of the most famous churches in Austria, located in the village of Melk in the state of Lower Austria. The baroque church was built in 1736-38 in accordance with plans by Jakob Prandtauer, a master builder of the time, and is today considered to be the most important baroque structure in the country.

The abbey complex is surrounded by high walls with round towers, and beneath its eaves is an elaborately adorned portal. Inside, visitors will find a grand staircase flanked by two frescoed ceilings.

The massive dome boasts the cupola of an episcopal throne, and there is a side chapel with a brilliant display of stucco ornaments. The church is also the resting place of the Babenberger dynasty, which ruled the area from 1056-1158.

5. Maria Plain Church, Salzburg

Maria Plain Church is an important Catholic church located in the city of Salzburg, Austria. The church is named after the Virgin Mary, who is also known as “Our Lady of the Plain”. It sits atop a hill near the edge of Salzburg’s city center, offering spectacular views of the surrounding area.

Built between 1698 and 1705, Maria Plain Church is a prominent example of Austrian Baroque architecture. The interior of the church has a grand high altar and ornate frescoed ceilings. The church’s facade and bell tower are also quite impressive, with the bells ringing out on Sundays during Mass.

The church is home to a rich collection of baroque art, including several works by Johann Georg Bergmüller and Martin Van Devorne, as well as many sculptures by renowned sculptor Franz Anton Holzer. The church is also home to an impressive organ, which is often used during services.

In addition to Mass, Maria Plain Church holds many concerts throughout the year, often featuring classical and religious music. Since the church is one of the oldest Baroque churches in Salzburg, it is often used as a venue for exhibitions showcasing this particular style of architecture and artwork. The church also serves as a museum, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the church and its artwork.

Maria Plain Church is an important part of Salzburg’s history and continues to be a place of worship and art. It is also an important symbol of the deep Catholic faith of the city and its people.

6. St. Rupert’s Church, Salzburg

St. Rupert’s Church is an historic Roman Catholic church located in Salzburg, Austria. It was founded in the 8th century by St. Rupert of Salzburg, the patron saint of the city.

The church is primarily known for its impressive tower, which is one of the most iconic attractions in Salzburg. Inside the church are a number of paintings, sculptures, and altars that date back to the 16th century. Today, the church is used for regular services as well as special occasions like weddings. It is open to the public every day and visitors can take tours of the church to learn more about its history.

7. St. Andrew’s Church, Graz

St. Andrew’s Church is located in Graz, Austria, and is one of the most beautiful and impressive baroque churches in the city. Constructed in the late 18th century, the church held its first service on 18th November 1767 and was consecrated in 1797. The building is renowned for its impressive dome, which was designed by Stefano Carlone, an Italian architect.

The interior of St. Andrew’s Church features richly decorated walls, sculptures, frescoes and several interesting altars, including the main altar which is made of marble and is dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Graz. The adjacent sacristy is also decorated with frescoes, eleven of which were created by German painter and sculptor, Bernardo Belotto.

Aside from its religious role, St. Andrew’s Church is also a popular tourist attraction and a place of worship for the city’s many Catholics. The church also hosts various events and concerts throughout the year. Visitors can explore the church any day of the week between 8am and 8pm.

8. Augustinerkirche, Vienna

The Augustinerkirche is a baroque church located in Vienna, Austria. It was built in 13th century in the style of a Romanesque basilica. It served as the parish church of the Augustinian monastery until its closure in 1782. In 1784, the church was remodeled in a baroque style.

The exterior of the church is imposing and features a richly decorated facade. It is adorned with statues of the Virgin Mary, St. Augustine, and other saints. The church’s dome boasts an illusionist ceiling painting by Johann Michael Rottmayr. The dome’s fresco depicts the ascension of the Virgin Mary into heaven.

Inside the church, there is a massive late Gothic crucifix and some of Vienna’s most notable Baroque frescos, a large pipe organ, and numerous votive frescos. The tomb of Maria Christina, the wife of Emperor Charles VI, is also maintained here.

Apart from its religious uses, the church serves as a major cultural venue in Vienna, hosting a wide variety of concerts and other events throughout the year. The building is owned by the City of Vienna and open to visitors during certain hours.

9. Minorites’ Church, Vienna

The Minorites’ Church, Vienna (in German: Minoritenkirche) is a Catholic Church in Vienna, Austria. Built in 1224, it is one of the oldest churches in Vienna and one of the most important Gothic buildings in the city. The church is a Roman Catholic parish church subordinate to the Archdiocese of Vienna. It is located in the 1st district of Vienna, in the old city centre near the Graben.

The church was built in 1224 by Otto I of Bavaria in a Romanesque-Gothic style and is one of the oldest churches in Vienna. It was restored in the 15th and 16th centuries, and its cloister was constructed in the 18th century. The Minorites’ Church is renowned for its impressive Gothic vaults, stained glass windows, and high altar. The church also houses several important works of art, including a statue of the Virgin Mary by the Baroque sculptor Josef Cardoneck.

The church also has a rich and fascinating history, having played an important role in the history of Austria. It was a place of refuge for many during the turmoil of the 16th century, when Vienna was at the centre of a struggle between the Habsburgs and the Ottoman Empire. The Minorites’ Church was also a focal point of the Protestant Reformation in Austria, and hosted many important religious meetings and services. Today, the church is still an important place of worship for many Catholics in Vienna.

10. Seckau Abbey, Seckau

Seckau Abbey (Stift Seckau) is a Cistercian monastery in Seckau, in the Austrian state of Styria. It was founded in 1140, and is now a Benedictine community, and a major cultural center in the region. It was part of the Cistercian Reform movement in the 12th century and is one of the oldest continuously active monasteries in Austria.

The abbey church, built from 1193–1210 and consecrated in 1219, is an excellent example of Cistercian and Romanesque architecture, and still one of the most famous churches from this period in Austria. It is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, as part of the “Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey”.

The abbey also houses a museum and a library, which holds manuscripts dating as far back as the 11th century. In addition, the abbey’s walled grounds are home to a number of medieval buildings, including the abbey’s former cloisters, and a riding school. The abbey also hosts a number of cultural events each year, such as concerts, readings, and lectures.

Seckau Abbey is also known for its link to the famous abbot and philosopher Bernhard of Clairvaux (circa 1090-1153). The abbot regularly visited Seckau Abbey to give spiritual advice and meditate, and it was at Seckau that Bernhard penned his influential work, the “On Loving God”. Seckau Abbey also includes a shrine dedicated to him in the abbey church.