Friday, May 7, 2010
St. Stephen's Church in Baden bei Wien
Two Sunday ago, the choir that I'm in was singing Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus." At one point I started reading the front matter, when I should have been watching the choirmaster, and saw that Mozart had composed "Ave Verum Corpus" for a buddy of his, who was the choirmaster at the parish church in Baden bei Wien in 1792. Total serendipity! The church was originally Romanesque, and was added to in the Gothic and Baroque styles. It was damaged in the three big sieges of the Turks (the Turks never made it inside the Vienna city walls, but they were certainly in what is Vienna proper today). The steeple dates from that time. The organ was transferred from a church in Vienna five years before Mozart's composition. There is an arresting memorial to the troops who perished in Stalingrad. Three beautiful Baroque statues are clustered around one pillar- St. Sebastian, St. Gregory, and a lovely St. Rocco with a dog lying at his feet. These saints are patrons against the plague, in addition to St. Rocco being the patron saint of dogs. At the base of the staircase leading up to the organ, there is a plaque commemorating the first performance of "Ave Verum Corpus."
The photograph of the church steeple is taken from the Kurpark.