"The Scottish Church - Schottenkirche" Schottenkirche - Our Lady of the Scots Tip by nicolaitan

The Scottish Church was founded by Irish Benedictine monks in 1177 back when Ireland was called New Scotland, transferred in German speaking Benedictine monks from the famous Melk Abbey in 1477 by Duke Albert V of Austria. An earthquake in 1443 badly damaged the church and the reconstruction was poorly conceived and executed. Appropriately, the roof collapsed in 1634 during a visit from the reigning Holy Roman Emperor.
The current Baroque style reflects a reconstruction spanning 25 years in the mid-17thC supervised by Italian architects and further 19thC renovations. Located on the charming Freyung Square somewhat out of the main touristic haunts, one is likely to be able to view the interior in near solitude.

The exterior ( image 1 )has simple clean lines with detailed sculptures occupying wall niches ( image 2 ) and stone carvings surrounding the windows. The interior, as with St. Peter's Church, is much more elaborate with a striking ceiling filled with frescos ( image 3 ) and all sorts of little angel carvings. Sculptures and paintings are everywhere. The late 19th C high altar ( images 4,5 ) features mosaics of Austrian glass, constructed from sketches by Ferstel. Several other altar pieces are in side chapels.

However the most famous art from the Schottenkirche has been removed to an adjacent museum with 5 Eu admission charge on which we passed. Therefore we missed a most remarkable altar depicting the Holy Family entering Egypt with Vienna clearly visible in the background (provincial thought endures - think Breugel's Conversion of Paul setting the Alps between Jerusalem and Damascus ).

We also did not find an adjacent store run by the monks who sell their homemade moonshine among other items.

Address: Freyung 6A, 1010 Wien
Directions: At Renngasse
Phone: +43 1 534 98
Website: http://www.suf.at/wien/kirchen/schottenk.htm

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 21, 2010
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