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The Votivkirche is generally considered to be among the most significant neo-Gothic sacral buildings in the World - something that remains open for discussion.
At the moment the church is closed to visitors as it is being cleaned and renovated - but still definitely worth it to have a look at least from the outside.
But the real interesting part is the history of why this church was build in the first place:
Emperor Franz Joseph I was taking a walk in the city (mid 19th century) when he was attacked and stabbed by a Hungarian nationalist - this was the time when the Habsburgs introduced a policy suppressing citizen rights and liberal ideals in general to try and control national uprising within their mulicultural empire.
The assassination attempt failed and the offender was sentenced to death. The Votivkirche was built to commemorate this assassination attempt and opened upon the occasion of the silver anniversary (25 years of marriage) of Franz Joseph I and his wife Empress Elisabeth.
Twenty years later the Empress was stabbed and killed by an Italian anarchist in Switzerland - no church was built for her....
Rooseveltplatz 8, Wien, Inner-CityView Larger Map
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