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Minorite church (Vienna)

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Minoritenkirche

The Minorite Church (German: Minoritenkirche; formal name: Italienische Nationalkirche Maria Schnee; English: "Italian National Church of Mary of the Snows") is a church built in French cathedral Gothic style in the First District of Vienna.

The site on which the church is built was given to followers of Francis of Assisi in 1224. The foundation stone was laid by Premysl Ottokar II in 1276. Duke Albrecht II later supported the building process, especially the main portal. The Gothic Ludwigschor was built between 1316 and 1328, and used as a mausoleum in the 14th and 15th centuries. The church was finished in 1350.

The top of its tower was damaged during the first Austro-Turkish war, was then rebuilt, but was destroyed again during the second Austro-Turkish war. Then, the top was replaced by a flat roof.

When Joseph II gave the church to the Italians as a present, they transferred the name Maria Schnee ("Mary of the Snows") from a nearby chapel, which they then tore down.

There is a life-sized copy of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper on the church's northern wall. It is a mosaic made by the Roman mosaic artist Giacomo Raffaeli which was ordered by Napoleon I in 1809, but it was not finished before Napoleon's abdication. Francis II of Austria bought it, wanting to install it in the Belvedere in Vienna. As it was too large for the building, it was set up on the north wall of the church, where it remains to this day.de:Wiener Minoritenkirche

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