The collegiate church

The church was founded in 1623 by the Benedictine University of Salzburg

Distance from the hotel: 0.46km about minutes to walk)

The own big place of worship

By Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun

It was not until 1694, more than 70 years later, that Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun decided to build a large church of his own for the university. The archbishop chose Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, probably the most important baroque architect of the time, as the master builder. Fischer von Erlach created his most significant work with the construction of the University Church. The most monumental sacral building after the cathedral, which with its magnificent showcase facade is one of the most magnificent Baroque churches in Austria, had a lasting influence on late Baroque church architecture in southern Germany through its stylistic idiosyncrasy. The inauguration festivities began on November 20, 1707 and lasted eight days. Unfortunately, the artist himself could no longer see the “crown of his creations”, he had gone blind in the meantime. The chapels inside the church are dedicated to the saints of the four faculties: Thomas Aquinas theology, Ivo jurisprudence, Luke medicine and Catherine philosophy.

The first plans to build a university church were already made by Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron when he founded the Benedictine University in Salzburg in 1623. However, the final construction was a long time coming. Professors and students at that time had only one hall, the Aula academica, to hold services. Theater performances and other festivities were also held in this hall.

The University Church

Their eventful fate

When Napoleon’s troops occupied the town in 1800, it was used as a hay magazine. In 1810 – when Salzburg came under Bavarian rule – the university was closed and the church lost its original purpose. During the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, it served as an academic high school and was also a garrison church. In 1922, the first performance of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Großes Welttheater” took place here.

With the reestablishment of the Salzburg University in 1964, the church regained its original purpose.