Thursday, May 14, 2015

Schönbrunn Palace Chapel

The chapel where Marie-Antoinette worshiped as a child. To quote:
The Schönbrunn Palace Chapel dates back to the beginning of the eighteenth century and was built by the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The chapel still has the original shape and architectural design but the main entrance to the chapel was transferred from the north to the west side.
The original decorations of the chapel were relatively simple.
The chapel was originally dedicated to Mary Magdalene and in 1745 it was re-dedicated to the Marriage of the Virgin Mary.

In the 1740s, the original residence which had served as a hunting lodge was adapted to an Imperial palace. The Imperial family was extremely religious and participated at services in the palace chapel which were regarded an important part of daily life in the court. In 1743, Maria Theresa commissioned Nikolaus Pacassi to restore the chapel. Maria Theresa also commissioned well known baroque artists with the restoration work of the chapel.

The marble high altar was most probably designed by Nikolaus Pacassi himself and is crowned by a gilded sculpture of the Holy Trinity by Franz Kohl who was a pupil of Georg Raphael Donner.

The well known artist Paul Troger painted the altar painting which shows the marriage of Mary. The altar with angels on either side is dominated by a large marble tabernacle in the form of a dome and a golden tabernacle-door which is decorated with a relief of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead body of Christ
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