and basilica Mary of the Rosary of Sancta Maria Rotunda


A brief description.




The dominican priory Mary of  the Rosary, Postgasse 4  at Wien with the basilica Maria Rotunda. Sight on Wien by Jakob (James) Houfnagel with the priory in the city wall.


Austria 1986, Mi 1863, Sc 1361, on maximum-card.


 The church


The first church on this site was built in 1237 by the newly arrived Dominicans on a piece of land allotted in 1225-1226 by the duke Leopold VI. The church was enlarged between 1240-1270 and a new choir was added in 1273. A series of fires caused the construction of a new Gothic church between 1283 and 1302. The nave was extended between 1458 and 1474. This church consisted of a nave with five cross vaults, and two aisles.

This church was heavily damaged during the first siege of Wien by the Turkish army in 1529. The choir was demolished and the nave was partly taken down. The building became more and more dilapidated during the next period.

The new-found self-awareness of the Counter-Reformation didn’t allow any more such a sorry state for a church. In 1631 the Dominicans started to build a new oblong church with a dome, following the plan of Jacopo Tencala, architect of Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein. The master builders were Jacopo Spacio, Cipriano Biasino and Antonio Canevale. They introduced to Wien the Baroque style of Italy. The first stone was laid by Emperor Ferdinand II on 29 May 1631. The structural work was finished in 1634. The church was consecrated on 1 October 1634. The finishing touch was finally given in 1674. The church was elevated to the status of basilica minor in 1927 under the name “Rosary Basilica ad S. Mariam Rotundam”.


The impressive façade (1670) was built in the Romen-Lombardic style with dominant columns, supporting the cornice. Its architecture goes back to early Baroque churches in Rome, that in turn, rely on the façade of the Dominican church Santa Maria Novella in Firenze.

Above the portal one can see the statues on the left of Dominic and Catherine of Siena on the right, kneeling at the feet of Our Lady, patron saint of this church.
On both sides of the portal there are niches with (on the left) the statue of Ludwig Bertrand and on the right of tRose of Lima.

On the balustrade on the left Albertus Magnus and on the right Thomas Aquinas.

On top of the façade is a large with a dormer window, crowned by a pediment. In the niches on the left  Hyacinth of Poland and on the right Vincent Ferrer.

The interior

The interior of the church is ornated with many frescoes, retables, paintings, statues, and there is a beautiful organ about 1750.
On the four pillars in the church medallions with the figures of Antoninus Pierozzi, O.P. and the Dominican Popes Innocent V, Benedict XI and Pius V.  
There are chapels, devoted to St. Dominic, Thomas Aquinas, Vincent Ferrer, Catherine of Siena and Rose of Lima.

References: Kunstführer nr. 1516 - Verlag Schnell & Steiner Gmbh, Regensburg, 2003 (in German), and in Wikipedia. 





The façade, 1670, has on the front
the statues of Mary, Queen of the
Rosary with Dominic (left) and
Catherine of Siena (right).
On the same height: at the left
Louis Bertrand and at the right
Rose of Lima.
Beside Hyacinth of Poland and
Vincent Ferrer.
t the corners Albert the Great (left)
Thomas Aquinas (right).



     Austria 1966, Mi 1202, Sc 757.






Postmark of the jubilee 350 Years of the Dominican
basilica (1927)
Maria Rotunda in Wien, 1634-1984.
Since 1226 teh Dominicans in Wien. The coat of
arms of the Order and the word Veritas.


Austria 1984. Postmark Wien 01.10.1984.








Postmark of the jubilee of the Dominicans 760 years at the priory
in Wien.

In the postmark Saint Dominic with cane and the Gospel.

Initial of a manuscript, engraving by Lucie Buchheim.


Austria 1986. Postmark Wien 3.10.1986.










The postmark is derived from the painting The adoration of the angels by Johannes Spillenberger, 1674, in the Holy Name chapel of the
Dominican basilica
Maria Rotunda, Postgasse at Wien.


Austria 1989. Postmark Wien 02.12.1989.






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