Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Ruprechtskitche in Vienna

Ruprechtskirche in the Jewish Quarter in Vienna

This Romanesque church is traditionally considered to be the oldest church in the city. It's dedicated to Saint Rupert of Salzburg, patron saint of the salt merchants of Vienna. It's been rebuilt and altered many times in its history. In 1276, it was damaged by fire and modified.

The tower was built in the traditional Romanesque style including the typical double windows. Two of the still functioning bells date back to the 13th century. These bells are up to this day attached on their holdster without screws.

The renovations at the end of the 20th century primarily focused on the basic structure of the building as well as preparing the interior for more contemporary services. They tried to achieve quality and plainness and they have succeeded beautifully in this.

We visited this church on a Sunday while a service was going on. I was so taken by the interior and the stained glass windows in particular,  that we came back on our last day to have a proper look and to obviously, take some pictures.

The dominant feature of the main chapel is a baroque style crucifix that dates back to at least 1765.

The interior is very pleasing to the eye - beautifully proportioned, plain and austere.

The base stones of the altar are Romanesque, but in 1703 a baroque styled high altar was built around these base stones. It was removed in 1986 to achieve a plainer look. Since then the community gathers around the altar during the services.

This wonderful little church is glorified by the very brightly coloured stained windows designed by Lydia Ropport in the early 1990s. They are magnificent.

It was very difficult finding much about Roppolt. She studied in Vienna and painted portraits and landscapes in the tradition of late expressionism.

The stained glass windows are glorious - I have included most of them here

Three pillars separate the main chapel from the side chapel.

I have searched and searched, and could not find anything about this cross

On the north wall of the church stands the sarcophagus of St. Vitalis a martyr from the Roman catacombs. The skeleton is clothed in baroque style garments. Missing body parts were replaced with wax replicas.


  1. What a fantastic interior! The simplicity of the interior I find most attractive, as are the stunning windows which seem to complement the feel perfectly. Do you think that the contemporary cross is by Lydia Ropport as well? The style of the face is similar to those in the windows. Thank you for going back to capture this beauty.

    1. It's a gem. After the excesses of the baroque churches we visited in Vienna, this was a little heaven of simplicity. Wonderful. You might be right about the cross Olga - the style is certainly similar.