Photographer's Note

The photo is dedicated for Craig for two reasons. First, it forms part of the Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital; previous official title was Niederösterreichische Landes-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt für Nerven- und Geisteskranke 'Am Steinhof' (Lower Austrian State Healing and Care Institution for the Neurologically and Mentally Sick, 'Am Steinhof') and Craig works in such an institution. And secondly, Craig likes to visit not only well known places but also some remote ones and is well prepared for it, and often adventurous, just like me:). I find it quite strange, that so may Trekkers were in Vienna and there are no photos of this building designed by Otto Wagner considered one of the most important Art Nouveau churches in the world. It was an effort to go there - something like half an hour by bus:). In this bus I felt a bit like in Istanbul, the passengers were mainly Turkish and everywhere I saw shops with kebabs or pita.
I was so glad to see it, I found it marvelous. And again fortune favours fools - I came there on Sunday and it is the only day when it is possible to see inside!

The church dedicated to Saint Leopold was built between 1903 and 1907 by the 63-year-old architect Otto Wagner, with mosaics and stained glass by Koloman Moser, and sculptural angels by Othmar Schimkowitz (1864–1947). The great majority of the other smaller details are the work of Otto Wagner himself. The statues on the two external towers represent Saint Leopold and Saint Severin (l. & r. respectively: they are the two patron saints of Lower Austria) and are the work of the Viennese sculptor Richard Luksch (1872–1936).
Otto Wagner incorporated numerous features specifically related to its function within an asylum: e.g. there are very few sharp edges, and most corners are rounded; almost no crosses are visible; the priest's area is potentially entirely separate from the patients'; access to the pulpit is only from the vestry; emergency exits are built into the side walls in case a patient needed to be speedily removed; continuously flowing water replaced holy water stoups at the entrance; there were separate entrances for male and female patients; confessionals were more open than is customary. There were toilet facilities easily accessible within the church in case of patient need. Originally the pews were of different widths to accommodate different categories of patient: calm / restless / disturbed (the latter needing more space). The floor is raked as in a theatre though not as steeply; the fall from entrance to altar is approx. 26 centimetres (10 in): standing at the back the view to the altar is thus less obstructed.
If you find it interesting, there will be more photos.
(From Wikipedia)
Big picture in beta

Entrance to the church

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9261 W: 140 N: 23316] (115799)
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