Votivkirche, in Vienna Austria, is one of the most important Gothic Revival buildings in the world, competing in magnificence with the (more famous) Stephansdom cathedral.

The church was built from 1856–1879, from plans by Heinrich von Ferstel…

….who, together with architect Friedrich Schmidt (who designed the Wiener Rathaus), made Vienna a European center for Neogothic architecture.

Votivechurch was built as a “votive“, or a gift of gratitude to god, after Emperor Franz Joseph survived an assassination attempt on his life in 1853.

Votivkirche Vienna Austria

PHOTO: A nighttime view to Votive church, which started a trend of Gothic Revival construction in Europe and Vienna, including construction for the nearby Wiener Rathaus. Also, Sint Petrus en Pauluskerk in Ostend (Belgium) was designed (by Louis de la Censerie) using Votivechurch as an inspiration.

Votivkirche towers from Wiener Rathaus

PHOTO: Votive church towers, as seen from Wiener Rathaus.

Main building material in the church is white sandstone, similarly toStephansdom cathedral.

This is why both are in constant need of renovations, as air pollution both darkens and weakens the material over time.

Inside the church, highlights include the main altar by Joseph Glasser. Glasser took inspiration for the artwork from Italian Gothic, especially using San Giovanni in Laterano church, in Rome, as an inspiration.

The church also contains a Renaissance sarcophagus, a final resting place for Nicholas, Graf von Salm, Vienna‘s famous defender during the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1529.

Votive church

Address: Rooseveltplatz 8, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Official website: Votivkirche.at

Adjacent to the church, there is a Sigmund Freud park, with a European Union (EU) ring of trees, an addition from 1997, built for the 40-year celebrations of the Union’s founding.

Each EU member country has its own tree (typical for the country) in the ring.