In Vienna’s Alsergrund district, the two imposing towers of the Votivkirche welcome travelers to the city. The Votive Church is one of the most important neo-Gothic buildings in the world and is the second highest building in the city, right after the St. Stephen’s Church. As pretty as the church looks, the reason for its construction was actually a failed assassination attempt on the Habsburg Emperor. On the 18th of February 1853, tailor Janos Libenyi attacked young Franz Joseph I with a dagger, but the assassination attempt failed and the emperor survived. In gratitude for the salvation of His Majesty, his brother, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, called for a fundraiser to build a new church in Vienna. Soon after, construction began on the votive offering, a monumental white cathedral with rose windows, gabled portals and delicate spires and buttresses.
The interior of the Church shines with numerous chapels and altars. Most impressive are the main altar with the elaborately painted baldacchino, the octagonal baptismal made of Egyptian marble and a masterful Flemish woodcarving showing different scenes from the Passion. A special feature is also the Walcker-Organ, a beautiful instrument built in 1878 that is largely preserved in its original state.
The Votive Church can be found on the Ring Road in the Alsergrund district of Vienna. Opening hours for the church are Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 6pm and on Sundays from 9am to 1pm. The adjoining museum can be visited Tuesday through Friday from 4pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. To get there, take subway number U2 or a variety of trams to the station Schottentor.