Even in the least attractive of places with no sightseeing interest whatsoever, you can rely on places of worship for an imposing structure, beautiful architecture and classic beauty. Think of churches, mosques and all sorts of temples around the world. Endless selection of buildings, appealing to various tastes.

In a place of an immense architectural elegance like Vienna, you can be prepared for pleasant surprises! But I’m not sure how much you can be prepared for such a contrast like the Wotruba church!

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When I first found out about it, I was in disbelief it’s in Vienna and not somewhere outside. To be more precise, it’s on its outskirts, but still… Then I found its architectural style very intriguing:

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It would never cross my mind that this is a church!

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Wotruba is pronounced Votrooba and, in my ears, it sounds completely not appealing! If you disagree or you think I exaggerate, in my defence, I came across a squirrel who had the exact same reaction with me! I recorded it for my Snapchat Story, so here’s some evidence!

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Regardless of whether it sounds nice to you or not, you may wonder:

Why Wotruba? Was “Church of the Most Holy Trinity (Kirche Zur Heiligsten Dreifaltigkeit)” too mainstream for a church name? 

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Wotruba church took its name from the person whose idea led to the construction, Fritz Wotruba. He was initially a sculptor, hence the impression of an abstract sculpture his creation gives from a distance. The construction is a result of 152 concrete blocks, asymmetrically superimposed over one another with irregularly shaped windows between them.

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Not everyone was happy with the outcome when it was finished in the mid 1970s. In fact, the majority wasn’t and there were even protests!

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In contrast, the interiors are more subtle and more peaceful than the outside “mess”.

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The inspiration behind it is Chartres Cathedral in France. Not that I’m anything close to an architect, but I don’t see the resemblance. Do you?

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First impressions

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Wotruba Church sitting on a hill in the 23rd district of Vienna

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Wotruba Church is sitting at the top of a hill, on the Sankt Georgenberg in Mauer in Liesing, the 23rd district of Vienna. When I arrived there late in the afternoon, after a long bicycle ride, the colours of the sky looked so pretty that I couldn’t wait to reach the top! I’m not gonna lie: While approaching the site, I was disappointed by the amount of people arriving at the same time as me. I was thinking to myself:

Great! Everyone comes here for the gorgeous sunset views!

Fantastic offbeat discovery when I seem to be the 1,000th person to arrive here!

My photos will be terrible!

But no one cared for the sunset or whatever views would be revealed upon the climb! Everyone was there for the church itself! Yes! Wotrubakirche is an actual operating church and I happened to arrive at the time the mass was about to begin! Surprise and relief at the same time!

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Sterngarten is the park directly behind Wotrubakirche and it looks good at sunset!

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Unfortunately the sun went down quickly and night photography is not exactly my strength. However I did manage to get a few decent shots! I enjoyed climbing the huge blocks (questioning whether I looked disrespectful to whoever could see me from the inside!) and at times I felt like I was on a Jenga tower that could collapse under my feet anytime!

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Me and my Jenga tower!

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What’s the exact location of Wotruba Church?

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I rode a bicycle (Citybike Wien) from downtown Vienna to get there. It took me roughly 1,5 hour to arrive. Except for the last 10′ or so, the ride is pretty flat and easy and there are bicycle lanes for most part of the route, which was great! Needless to say the ride back was super easy! In addition, you get to see beautiful neighbourhoods of the city!

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I chose to ride there because it would take a similar amount of time by public transport.

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Me and my bike!

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What are the opening hours of the Wotruba Church?

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Saturdays: 14:00-20:00

Sundays and holidays: 09:00-14:30

Closed on weekdays!

There are different activities taking place every so often. You might wanna have a look at their website for an up to date calendar!

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I found it impressive! What do you think though? Do you find it daring, imposing or ugly?