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Am Hof is the largest square in the inner city of Vienna. The square is dominated by the white Baroque facade of the Kirche am Hof, an originally Gothic church from the fourteenth century.

History

Kirche Am Hof, Vienna, Austria
Kirche am Hof
The history of the square goes back to the Roman era, when a garrison was built here. In the twelfth century the Babenberg duke Henry II Jasomirgott built a castle on the Roman foundations. The castle was the residence of the dukes of Austria from 1156 until 1220. The square in front of the castle was first used for jousting tournaments and later became a market square.

Kirche am Hof

The Kirche am Hof Church was founded in 1386 by the Carmelite order.
Mary Column, Am Hof, Vienna
Mariensäule
The facade of the Gothic church was rebuilt in 1662 by the Italian architect Carlo Carlone.
In 1806, after Napoleon had occupied Vienna, the end of the Holy Roman Empire was declared from the balcony of this church.

Mariensäule

In front of the church stands the Mariensäule (Marian Column). The column was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III to thank Mary for repelling the Swedish forces during the Thirty Years' War.

The column was built between 1664 and 1667 after a design by Carlo Carlone. The black column, topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary, is surrounded by four cherubs clad in armour.
Bürgerlisches Zeughaus, Am Hof, Vienna
Bürgerliches
Zeughaus
The cherubs fight against a lion, a serpent, a dragon and a basilisk (a legendary creature) representing war, heresy, hunger and the Plague.

Bürgerlisches Zeughaus

Opposite the Kirche am Hof is the Feuerwehr Zentrale (central fire station). The fire equipment used to be stored in the adjoining Bürgerliches Zeughaus, originally built in 1530 as an arsenal. The Baroque facade was added in 1732. It is richly decorated and shows the Habsburg shield and allegorical figures created by the Italian sculptor Lorenzo Mattielli.

Subway
Herrengasse (U3)
3408
vienna
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