Guide to St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) in Vienna: Concerts, Tickets & History

Karlskirche in Vienna in Austria

St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) in the 4th district is considered one of the most beautiful and important baroque church buildings in Europe due to its impressive architecture.

This magnificent domed building on Karlsplatz is the masterpiece and last major work of the famous architect, Johann Fischer von Erlach.

Here you will find all the important information for a visit to Vienna's St. Charles Chruch.

What Can I See at St. Charles Church?

Karlskirche in Vienna, Austria

When you approach the magnificent St. Charles Church, you will first be captivated by the imposing turquoise dome. It is 25 meters in diameter and 72 meters tall.

The two 33-meter high pillars flanking the entrance portal are particularly striking. They are reminiscent of Trajan's Column in Rome and show scenes from the life of Karl Barromäus. The relief above the entrance also depicts Barromeo. It shows how Vienna, stricken by the plague, is saved after the saint's intercession. 

Equally impressive is the interior of the sacred building, which is decorated with masterful frescoes, valuable marble and gold ornaments. The ornate frescoes by Johannes Michael Rottmayr, which are located in the dome and depict the glory of St. Charles Borromeo, are particularly worth seeing. 

The high altar designed by Fischer von Erlach, the magnificent organ and the panorama lift, which takes you to a platform 32 meters high, are also worth mentioning. From here you can admire the frescoes up close and enjoy a breathtaking view of the baroque church interior.

Admission, Tickets and Prices

  • Ticket: Visiting the church including use of the panorama lift costs €8 for adults and €4 for schoolchildren and students. Children up to 10 years enjoy free entry.
  • Groups: Groups of 6 or more pay €6 per person. Prior registration is not necessary.
  • Guided Tours : St. Charles Church currently does not offer any guided tours. However, an audio guide can be rented for a fee, which leads you through the church with exciting information.

Concerts in St. Charles Church

Konzerte in der Karlskirche

Vienna visitors who want to experience a unique concert evening can visit the church concerts in St. Charles Church, which take place here regularly.

The 1756 Orchestra, based in St. Charles Church, regularly performs Mozart's "Requiem" and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons".

By the Way: Antonio Vivaldi was buried in 1741 in the cemetery near St. Charles Church.

You can find the current dates and prices here.

Mass in St. Charles Church

Messe in der Karlskirche

Masses are still held in St. Charles Church, which you can attend.

These take place from Monday to Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays and public holidays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

You can find out more about this here.

Events in Karlsplatz

Events am Karlsplatz
  • Christmas Market: Enjoy the beautiful atmosphere in front of the baroque backdrop of St. Charles Church! Every year during Advent, the Christmas market on Karlsplatz invites you to take a winter stroll and enjoy yourself.
  • Summer Cinema: The new summer cinema Kaleidoskop in front of St. Charles Church inspires its visitors as an open-air cinema.
  • Popfest Wien: Every summer, Popfest Wien attracts visitors from all over the world to Karlsplatz. Great concerts and live acts present the diversity of Vienna's pop music scene.
  • Buskers Festival: The Buskers Festival is an international street art festival that has been held annually at Karlsplatz since 2001. The free open-air spectacle shows a wide range of performances for three days, presented by artists from all over the world. 

History of St. Charles Church

History of St. Charles Church in Vienna, Austria

The Roman Catholic St. Charles Church was founded by Emperor Karl VI in gratitude for the end of the plague epidemic, which claimed many lives in Vienna in 1713, and dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo.

The sacred building was designed by the famous baroque architect, Johann Fischer von Erlach, who won the architectural competition. Since St. Charles Church was intended to create a connection between Rome and Byzantium, von Erlach oriented himself to the architecture of the Hagia Sophia.

The construction of St. Charles Church began in 1716. Since von Erlach died in 1723, the construction work was delayed. His son Joseph Emanuel then took over and completed the church in 1737, partially deviating from his father's plans.

Today St. Charles Church is a historical monument. It is considered one of the most important church buildings north of the Alps and is one of the symbols of Vienna.


  • Address: Kreuzherrengasse 1, 1040 Vienna
  • Subway: U1, U2 or U4 Karlsplatz
  • Opening Times: You can find the current opening hours on St. Charles Church website.