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“True jewel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Church of the Jesuits (Universitatskirche)

Church of the Jesuits (Universitatskirche)
Ranked #24 of 556 things to do in Vienna
Certificate of Excellence
Stabroek, Belgium
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“True jewel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

A little off the touristic streets, with rather simple facade, but a true jewel inside. It's beautiful, truly beautiful inside, but more important it's a special atmosphere. I felt being "touched", the feeling I'm missing in most of modernized churches or cathedrals. If like me you have a feeling "I've seen it before" in most of the churches, try this one!

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Alexandre O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
55 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Beam me up”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

A chunk of Italian baroque in the heart of the inner stadt of Vienna. Everything is stunning and uplifting...and the trompe l'oeil paintings are the works of an Italian Jesuit master Andrea Pozzo responsible for other heavenly propaganda of the Counter-Reformation. Sunday 10:30 high masses arewith full choir and orchestra by noted composers. Blissful.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank cyborys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful, a gem not to be missed...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

I stopped by the Church of the Jesuits on a Wednesday morning around 10am and found myself alone in its beautiful interior. Entering from a congested side street, just around the corner from my hotel, I wasn't certain what to expect, but I was completely overwhelmed by it's beauty and yes, per another reviewer, the trompe l'oeil effects of the frescoes on the ceiling almost gave me agoraphobia -- such is the contrast engendered by expecting an intimate confined space and discovering this expansive, ornate interior.

However, the environment itself is so calming and beautiful that it was truly delightful to spend a few moments contemplating its wonders before moving on. I would certainly return again to on the chance that I might learn more about this place.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Arun K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
172 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 397 helpful votes
“A Hidden, Narrow and Understated Exterior BUT a Stunningly-Ornate Interior”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

I visited the Church of the Jesuits (Universitatskirche) as part of my 5 full-day visit to Vienna and enjoyed it very much. It was one of the few churches I had planned to visit in the city and after my time in Vienna my limited selection proved justified, as this was one of the few churches really worth devoting any time to as I don't think that many are that special.


I am compiling an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my visit to see the sights of Vienna (and writing TA reviews for all the places I visited, accessed easiest by selecting the 'See * more reviews by LPWilliams for Vienna' link at the base of this review), it is entitled 'Vienna Attractions, Hotel & Transport : 5 Full-Day Visit Sep 2012'. Please feel free to access it via my TA Profile (by clicking my TA 'name' below the photo on the left of this review). I hope it is of interest and use to you and that all of my individual reviews/photos/videos get posted properly; don't forget that videos aren't posted with the review like photos are, so it's best to locate them via my TA profile....


Wedged amongst high-fronted residential properties near a corner of a narrow back street located towards the east end of the historic centre, the church facade is just about the only thing you can see of the building; if you walk to it from the north you would probably miss the church entirely, unless you spotted the understated entrance or the brass nameplate fixed to the wall !

The exterior appearance and decoration is quite understated and belies the treasures inside, being mainly white with 2 tall/slim towers set back slightly - and of course they are quite close to each other due to the narrowness of the church as a whole.

Once inside all that changes....

The interior is ornate in the extreme (I am not using that term in a derogatory way by the way !), with a long, predominantly white-columned nave covered by a largely gold-coloured arched ceiling featuring a number of large fresco-type decorative panels and a quite beautiful intricately-decorated circular cupola.

The altar front area is almost bland in comparison, with just a large white (marble ?) front-piece, before things revert back to the ornate at the rear with pink/white banded columns situated either side of a central (gold ?) structure and a gold-framed wall-mounted fresco.

In contrast, there is an attractive high-mounted pulpit which is largely black-coloured but again adorned with golden decorative features. From my experience and comments I've read in other reviews it would appear that the organ is often being played, which only adds to the charm of your visit to this church.

I will append a video sequence to the attraction webpage and add a few of my own photos to this review once it's been posted.

If you enjoy looking at church interiors then the Church of the Jesuits (Universitatskirche) should be top of your list to visit in Vienna. The diminutive/understated nature of the building exterior gives no real hint that the inside is so superbly decorated; the fact that other Vienna churches that are almost ugly in comparison charge an entrance fee, whereas you can visit this one for free, speaks volumes for what can be a worthwhile visit in the city.

Visited September 2012
2 Thank LPWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, Alabama
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“What a happy place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

OK, this was timing at it's best. Since we've been here, I've craved the sound of one of those massive pipe organs being played. Today, on accident, we discovered this church and...the organist was practicing! More than that, the place is *amazing*! We were lucky enough to talk with one of the volunteers and learned so much about the church - past and present. We got a tour of the new, modern alter pieces as well as the ancient cabinetry that was built in 1630. It is still in perfect condition and in every day use. We were shown things that almost everyone who came and went while we were there missed...like the wood inlay on every part of every pew, like the mother of pearl inlay on the pulpit, like the trompe l'oeil dome... All of this with pipe organ background music.

However, this is not a stagnant place or staid historical site. It is an active, vibrant church that is fostering the arts like the Catholic churches of old. They have concerts and events. It made me even more proud of my jesuit education. It looks like they have a great parish and a great time.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank NancyHTH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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