Gothic Franciscan Church in Vienna (Minoritenkirche)

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Though the place was assigned to Italians, the name Minoritenkirche does not signify the church of minorities, but is reminiscent of a Latin expression with which Francis of Assisi called his followers. “Fratres minores” meant “the little brothers”, or even the modest brothers, as the order emphasized poverty, humility and social involvement.
The French Gothic church is recognizable by an element that was a result of coincidence: the unusual flat central tower. It was twice demolished in the Ottoman siege of Vienna, so the locals decided to keep it simpler to build and safer, so they went for a flat roof.
On the facade, above the door there is a bass relief with the crucifixion, framed by a scene with Mary Magdalene and other women from the Gospels and another scene with the Roman soldier who stabbed Jesus with the lance.
The most valuable art piece is found inside. It is a mosaic reproducing at full scale the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The work by an Italian artist was commissioned by Napoleon. Another dictator, Hitler, painted this church during the years he was studying arts.

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