The Votive Church

Rooseveltplatz, 1090 Wien

Not rated from 0 reviews
0% of guests recommend




A neo-Gothic church was built to thank God for saving the Emperor of Austria from an assassination. Franz Joseph was Emperor of Austria, and King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia from 2 December 1848 until his death on 21 November 1916.

The young Franz Joseph liked to stroll around the old fortifications of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. On the 18th of February 1853, the Emperor was walking with one of his officers, count Maximilian O’Donnell, when a Hungarian nationalist János Libényi approached him. Libényi attacked the Emperor from behind by stabbing him in the neck with a dagger.

Although the attack left the emperor bleeding from a deep wound, the blow was deflected by the Emperor’s uniform collar. The Emperor customarily wore a uniform, which had a high collar with heavy golden embroidery that almost completely enclosed the neck. Therefore, the assassination attempt failed and the emperor survived. In gratitude for the salvation of His Majesty, his brother, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, initiated a campaign to build a new church on the site of the attack.

The Votivkirche is made out of white sandstone, similar to the Stephansdom, and therefore has to be constantly renovated and protected from air pollution and acid rain, which tends to color and erode the soft stone. The church has undergone extensive renovations after being badly damaged during World War II.


  • One of the world’s most important neo-Gothic buildings, the 19th-century Votive Church
  • As pretty as the church looks, the reason for its construction was actually a failed assassination attempt on the Habsburg Emperor.
  • In gratitude for the salvation of His Majesty, his brother, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, called for a votive offering to build a new church in Vienna
  • The church is partially accessible to wheelchair users.






Not rated
Based on 0 review
Very Good
No Review
You must log in to write review