Augustinian Friars' Church, Vienna

Yet another example of the gruesome divide-and-conquer burial strategy of the Habsburg dynasty.

Yet another example of the gruesome divide-and-conquer burial strategy of the Habsburg dynasty. It is said that other dynasties waged countless wars to acquire new lands, but you, happy Austria, marry. Even in death, the Habsburgs placated three different churches with the honor of caring for their remains. The best known, the Kapuzinergruft, contains their actual bodies. St Stephens holds their innards (intestines and other parts taken out during the preservation process). But the Augustinerkirche holds, in the Herzgruft (Heart Crypt), all the Habsburgs' hearts. The tradition began in 1627 with Emperor Ferdinand IV, who wanted to lay his heart at the feet of the Mother of God, literally. His heart, and those of his descendants, are preserved in silver jars which are carefully cared for by the Augustinian friars who run the church. When the renovation was underway it was found that the preservative in some of the caskets had evaporated over the years, leaving nothing but a dried-out, mummified heart.
















About Augustinian Friars' Church

 Josefsplatz 1

 +43 1 51268531


Augustinian Friars' Church and Nearby Sights on Map


Notable mainly as the site of the Kaisergruft, a mausoleum housing the tombs of generations of Habsburg royalty

Jüdisches Museum

A museum documenting the history of Vienna's substantial Jewish community which included Zweig, Freud, Herzl, Mahler, and Schoenberg

The Old Synagogue

Underneath the Judenplatz (The Jewish Square), you will find this underground medieval synagogue excavation

Film Museum

A cinema for showing specially curated films and retrospective

Austrian National Library

Card catalogs may be an anachronism in today's digitized world, but this library had the first one in existence, invented by the Habsburg court librarian


The Albertina is the largest Habsburg residential palace and a popular art gallery in Vienna, with over 50,000 drawings and one million prints dating from Late Gothic to contemporary

Peterskirche (Vienna)

Opera House

Probably the most-beloved symbol of Viennese arts, and one of the first buildings to be rebuilt in the postwar era

The Music House

This is arelatively new and special museum


A tropical greenhouse with an amazing collection of live butterflies, will delight both children and adults