What is this Jargon in Austria!?!?! Baroque Architecture

It’s been awhile since I consistently posted about my preservation and history adventures, hopefully I can keep my posting on target for the next few months!

So you’re probably wondering what exactly I’m planning for the next few months. For starters I want to share all the awesome things I saw on my recent vacation to Austria. A few weeks ago, I spent almost two weeks adventuring with my boyfriend, Jake, in Austria. We traveled to Vienna, Hallstatt, Salzburg, and then ended the trip in Vienna.

Jake and I in front of a MYSTERY Baroque Building. Can you guess which building it is? Answer might be down below…..

Since coming back home, I’ve been planning posts about the things we saw while on vacation- it was a lot of stuff. I wasn’t really sure where to start and I’ve researched a lot of very different things in all three locations. I figured I would start with a, “What is this Jargon!?!?” post and showcase some of the really ornate Baroque architecture that we saw in Vienna.

Baroque architecture has been described with a lot of unique adjectives: extravagant, deformed, absurd, irregular. All of these adjectives come about because of type of characteristics seen in Baroque art and architecture, which includes:

Strong curves that give a sense of movement- this can be considered either “actual”     and “implied.” So that means a curving wall vs. a statue in the pose that represents motion.

 Attempts to represent or suggest infinity. This is easy to see in Baroque paintings where the sky just seems to keep going.

Dramatic use of light and how light effects how the art and architecture is seen.

Use of bright colors and ornaments (sometimes gilded), which give an overall feeling of the theatrical and grandiose.

Richly sculpted surfaces- both interior and exterior.

The Baroque style was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. It started in Italy at the beginning of the 17th century (the early 1600’s). It spread throughout Europe and it arrived late in Austria. The main reasons included that during the 17th century, Austria was involved in the Thirty Year’s War (1618-1648); it is considered the deadliest European religious war fought between Protestant and Catholic believers. The other ongoing war that Austria was involved in was with the Ottoman Empire starting in 1529 when the Ottoman Empire tried to lay siege to Vienna; another siege was laid on Vienna in 1683. So during that time, a lot of resources were being used to fortify the city and country to protect from the wars that were Austria was involved in. Obviously, that means not a lot of elaborate construction was happening in Austria; a lot had also been either destroyed or looted by the Ottoman Army.

Some of the most famous Austrian Baroque buildings that were constructed under the rule of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, who was the father to Empress Maria Theresa (who was mother to Marie Antoinette, the French Queen who was beheaded during the French Revolution), all were part of the Habsburg dynasty. Some of the local Austrian architects employed by the Habsburg family included Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, his son, Joseph Emanuel, and Johanne Lukas von Hildebrandt. All three men designed buildings that Jake and I saw in Vienna. The last note about Baroque Architecture that I want to make, is that this style at times was considered propaganda for both the idea of the absolute monarch and the Church. The buildings were beyond elaborate to emphasis the importance and superiority of both the Church and ruling family.i

The following are photos of some of the Baroque buildings we saw in Vienna. If you click on any of the images, it will bring you to a “slide show” type screen. On each “slide” there is the ability to click a link to see a larger version of the image, where you can “zoom” in and see more of the details of the different buildings.

The following are the sources that I used in researching Baroque Architecture in Vienna and various links to the different buildings showcased. The links to the individual buildings, such as the National Library or the Belvedere, may need to be translated. Google Chrome, always seems to ask me if I want to translate, hopefully your browser allows the same type of thing. 

If you have any questions or comments, just share them in the comments below….


Baroque Architecture in Vienna and Europe:





Specific Buildings and Sites:






i     So the information about Baroque architecture and the style’s history in Vienna came from a combination of websites, which are all listed in the “Sources: Baroque Architecture in Vienna and Europe.” All of the sources were accessed most recently on November 11, 2016. Sorry for the not exact Chicago Style Manual citation but hopefully the information is clear and easy for you to check out and further explore Baroque Art and Architecture!

**** Answer to the MYSTERY Baroque Building****

             It’s the National Library of Austria!!!!!


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