The church of St Anthony of Padua

[Translate to English:] Ansicht Standort Volkskundemuseum [Translate to English:] Ansicht Standort Volkskundemuseum

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History of the church of St Anthony

In a time of savage religious conflict, on 8th August 1600 over 10,000 Protestant books were burnt at the foot of the Schlossberg at the behest of Archduke Ferdinand, later the Emperor Ferdinand II. Italian theologian and cleric Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619), whom the Archduke had called in to help enforce his Counter-Reformation decrees, selected this scary site as the place for a Capuchin monastery and church.

St Anthony’s church was dedicated by Bishop Martin Brenner, the feared Counter Reformer, on 6th October 1602, in the presence of the court.

The church furnishings

The leading painter of Graz as the residence city of Inner Austria, Giovanni Pietro de Pomis (1569-1633), is represented by two paintings. His high-altar painting The Apotheosis of the Counter Reformation, is considered the most important programmatic work of its day. His second monumental work on the right-hand side-wall shows the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin in the presence of numerous saints. It was intended as a high-altar picture for All Saints’ church at the Poor Clares’ convent in Graz, abolished in 1782.

Hans Adam Weissenkircher (1646-1695) was the painter of the Holy Helpers picture. The community of saints was considered one of the key motifs of Counter Reformation art. 

Two paintings by Johann Veit Hauckh (1663-1746) on the left wall and a scene of Graz Protected by the Virgin ascribed to Johann Melchior Otto (+1670) complete the Baroque programme of St Anthony’s.

Through the Folk Life Museum into St Anthony’s church

Until the Capuchin monastery was suppressed by Emperor Joseph II in the late 18th century, St Anthony’s was used for monastic purposes. When the deconsecrated monastery was used as a hospital along with neighbouring buildings, it became a hospital church.

It is now part of the Folk Life Museum complex. With the re-organisation of the museum in 2003, it was incorporated into the museum tour. In the course of the reorganisation for SHOWING STYRIA 2021, the St Anthony's Church is opening up more to visitors.


[Translate to English:] Ansicht Standort Volkskundemuseum

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