Peterskirche, Vienna, Austria

St. Peter's Church stands on the site of Vienna's oldest religious building dating to Roman times (when the City was called Vindobona). It is said that the church was refounded by Charlemagne, although no historic records support this assumption.

Emperor Leopold I laid the foundation of today's church in 1702. At the ceremony a trench collapsed injuring members of the Imperial retinue. The first architect was Gabriele Montani who was succeeded early in the work by Lukas von Hildebrandt who managed to squeeze a large church into a very small space.  Hildebrandt never finished the church, the choir and towers being completed in the early 1730s under the guidance of Franz Jänggl.

The interior is sumptuous, more so even than the Cathedral of Vienna, the Stephansdom.

Probably the most dramatic thing about Peterskirche is that you turn off of Herrengasse into a small side street and are presented with the previously unseen bulk of the Church apparently poured into the space between the other buildings.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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