Nowadays, the St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) is not only the Viennese branch of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, but also one of the most impressive buildings in Vienna. In the last years, it has developed to be one of the most outstanding concert venues in Vienna. The St. Charles Church is a center for historically informed performances with works by Mozart and Vivaldi. It is also the home of ORCHESTRA 1756 that regularly gives concerts here.
In the year 1713
After the last big plague epidemic, Emperor Charles VI vowed to build a church for his patron saint, Karl Borrmoäus, and an architectual competition was called out. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach was able to win the competition against his opponents Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena and Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. The construction was started in 1716. After Fischer von Erlach's death in 1723, his son Joseph Emanuel continued his father's work and completed it in 1737. The church initially had a direct line of sight to the imperial Hofburg Palace. It also used to be the imperial patronage parish until 1918.
In 1741, Antonio Vivaldi was buried in the cemetery “Spittaler Gottesacker” (God's Acre) next to St. Charles Church. Today, neither the cemetery with Vivaldi's grave, nor Mozart's grave, exist. The Technical University was built on the grounds of the former cemetery. A simple stone plaque on the building commemorates Vivaldi's brilliance in composing. We perform all our Vivaldi concerts in his honor.