Not only is the Minorite Church home to Vienna's Italian community, it is also one of the oldest and most museally precious churches in Vienna. It is located directly behind the Hofbug in Vienna's 1st district and the building, which dates back to the 14th century, is easily recognizable from a distance by its distinctive gable roof and steeple, which somehow seems to be missing its spire. After the church tower was destroyed the second time during the Turkish sieges, the busted helmet roof was simply replaced by a flat roof at that time.
But the Minorite Church, which impresses especially with its great acoustics, is not only a home of the Italian parish, but also a focal point for all art and classical music fans. Of the regular concerts, the performances of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Mozart's Requiem, his most striking late 18th century masterpiece, performed by the Mozart Boys Choir, are particularly noteworthy. Vivaldi was never able to gain a proper foothold in Vienna, probably never became truly happy here, and died impoverished. He was denied proper attention at the time, but today it is impossible to imagine Vienna's concert scene without the regular performances of his Four Seasons in the Minoritenkirche.
Another regular guest at the Minorite Church, is, of course, the Wiener KammerOrchester, one of the world's leading chamber orchestras since its founding in 1946, continuing an old tradition of playing in one of Vienna's most venerable and impressive churches. The annual highlights are the renowned concerts at Christmas and the New Year's concerts, which take place throughout the month of December and into January.
Not only the music there will take you back in time, but also the many remarkable ecclesiastical art treasures. On the north side of the building is an impressive mosaic by the Italian Giacomo Raffaelli, a replica of Leonardo da Vinci's famous wall fresco. It doesn't need a Swiss Guard to protect it from thieves, however, because it weighs 20 tons.
The neo-Gothic stained glass windows above the organ transform the incoming sunlight into a sacred, yet colorful and life-affirming, baroque glow. The organ itself, is one of the proudest from late Baroque Viennese organ building. It was built in 1786, using even older pipes from a preceding organ. It is still almost in its original condition, but today it is waiting for a loving restoration and is unfortunately unplayable in its current state.
If you not only want to listen to classical music in an authentic ambience, but also experience it, then a concert visit to the Minoritenkirche during your stay in Vienna should not be missed.