The Karlskirche is considered one of the great examples of Baroque sacred architecture as well as the masterwork of architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.
Fischer solved the problem with a "Gesamtkunstwerk" combining Greek (entrance portico), Roman (twin monumental columns based on Colonna Traiana), and European Baroque elements. This successful "unity in diversity" was completed and further developed by Fischer's son Joseph Emanuel after his death in 1722.
Commissioned by Kaiser Charles VI as fulfillment of a vow made during the plague of 1713, the design had to respond to a complex iconographic and symbolic program.
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