The Watch

Franciscan Church

Vienna, Austria

1996 World Monuments Watch

In 1589, Archduke Ernst gave the Franciscan Order a Gothic church, St. Jerome in Vienna. The Franciscans adapted an existing structure, and a new church, in the Southern German Renaissance style (with pronounced Gothic elements) was consecrated in 1611. A baroque porch was added in 1742; the high altar was designed by Andrea Pozzo. The Franciscan Church is among the foremost religious monuments in Austria. War damage led to an unsatisfactory restoration, leaving the facade, the roof and its metal cladding, and the supporting structure in need of an overhaul. The interior of the church, including its paintings and frescoes and wooden furnishings, is gradually being damaged by dampness. Emergency repairs are needed to the roof, windows, gutters, and electrical system, followed by a comprehensive long-term conservation plan. Lack of funds prevents repair and conservation work from proceeding.

Since the Watch

Following the 1996 Watch, Franciscan friars secured nearly $1 million for restoration from the city of Vienna and the public, and garnered sizable local volunteer support. By 1997, the facade had been restored and the roof had been stabilized. February 2011

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