Karlskirche Restoration Nearing Completion

According to the estimations of the Freunde und Gönner der Wiener Karlskirche, 2009 will mark the end of a decade-long effort to clean and restore the Church of St. Charles Borromeo. Construction began in 1716 after Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach captured the commission from Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, who wanted to erect an Imperial votive church commemorating Vienna's deliverance from the plague of 1712. The Karlskirche was completed by the architect's son, Joseph Emmanuel Fischer von Erlach, in 1737 following J.B. Fischer von Erlach's death in 1723, but no restoration or cleaning initiatives were carried out until the 1999 project. Since at least January 2007, visitors have been able to enjoy the rare opportunity of viewing Johann Michael Rottmayr's exuberant ceiling fresco at close range, taking the "Panoramalift" to a platform atop the restoration scaffolding, nested temporary beneath Fischer's trademark oval cupola. With the terminus of the restoration initiative in sight, those interested in viewing Rottmayr's fresco in full detail are running out of time...

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