Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Austria, Vienna

The Kirche Zur Heiligsten Dreifaltigkeit (English: Church of the Most Holy Trinity) in Vienna, better known as the Wotruba Church, is located on the Sankt Georgenberg in Mauer (corner of Rysergasse and Georgengasse) in Liesing, the 23rd District of Vienna. It was built between August 1974 and October 1976 on the basis of a model by Fritz Wotruba. Wotruba died before the completion of the church, which was inspired by a visit to Chartres Cathedral. To Wotruba, Chartres represented the essence of Europe, and Wotruba subsequently held up Chartres as a yardstick to his own work. Wotruba was first and foremost a sculptor, and the church was a collaboration with Fritz G. Mayr, who continued the work after Wotruba's death. The church startles at first glance, resembling more an enlarged piece of abstract sculpture. It provides visitors with the unique opportunity to enter into an art form more often viewed on a much smaller scale. The building consists of 152 asymmetrically arranged concrete blocks of a size between 0.84 m to 64 m, weighing from 1.8 to 141 tons; the highest block measures 13.10m. The church, which borders the Wienerwald, is 30 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 15.5 meters high. The unusual design created some local resistance. During the Third Reich, the site where the church is located housed German Wehrmacht barracks. However, today the Kirche zur Heiligsten Dreifaltigkeit auf dem Georgenberg looks down on Vienna and far into the Marchfeld through a profusion of trees and shrubbery, a fitting blend of nature's beauty and one man's vision of a temple to God in today's modern world.