The monumental building of the Archiepiscopal Ordinariate is truly beautiful. The main facade of colored sandstone extends some 80 meters along Schoferstrasse.
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Delicate ornamental details adorn the Romanesque-style building, which was completed in 1906 following three years of construction. The Austrian architect Raimund Jeblinger used all the bells and whistles of the whimsical architecture of historicism, demonstrated, in particular, by the heavy, elaborate wrought-iron entrance doors of the imposing Ordinariate building. Striking vaulted ceilings and colorful paintings by Franz Schilling decorate the staircase from the entrance up to the third floor.
Only the entrance area is open to the public. Visitors interested in colorful art with Byzantine, Egyptian and Celtic influences will have to make an appointment with the archbishop. Visitors to the public area can easily recognize the depiction of a journey from earthly darkness to heavenly glory. The entrance area is rather dark and feels slightly oppressive, with an atmosphere resembling a Roman crypt. As the stairs ascend, the building opens up with narrower columns, more windows and paintings using a brighter palette, adding both lightness and light.
Take a look inside! The reception staff will be happy to answer any questions about the symbolism of the architecture and art if time and work permits.