Michaelskirche is one of the oldest churches in Vienna. It dates from the 13th century and has remained unchanged since 1792. Its high altar is breathtaking.
Designed in 1782 by Jean Baptiste d’Averange, the altar is decorated with the monumental stucco alabaster Rococo sculpture called ‘Fall of the Angels’ by Georg Merville. Imagine a cloudburst of angels and cherubs falling from the ceiling to the ground suspended in motion. This was the last major baroque work completed in Vienna.
Michaelskirche is also famous for another reason – its Michaelergruft, a large crypt located underneath the church. Due to the unusual climatic conditions of the crypt, bodies don’t decompose. Between 1631 to 1784 about 4000 people were buried here and today hundreds of mummified corpses are on display – some in glass coffins still wearing baroque frocks and wigs. Access is by tour only and no photographs are allowed.
Above the entrance of the church is the gilded pipe organ created by Johann David Sieber in 1714. It is the largest baroque organ in Vienna, once played by the 17 year old Joseph Hadyn.