North of the city, on the edge of the Vienna Woods, rise two almost identical peaks. The lower of the two, with ruins visible on top, is Leopoldsberg, the former seat of Margrave Leopold who ruled Austria in the 12th century. The second, with a television mast and the outline of a white church at the top, is Kahlenberg, the highest peak in Vienna. It was from here, on the 12 September 1683, that the Polish King Jan III Sobieski led his troops to relieve the besieged city. Pope Innocent III’s papal legate celebrated a thanksgiving mass in the ruins of the church that had been destroyed by the Turks. The restored church of St Joseph on Kahlenberg is now maintained by Polish monks. Two tablets beside the church door commemorate the battle and the visit by Pope John Paul II, in 1983. Inside the church is a chapel with frescoes by the Polish artist, Henryk Rosen, and a display of the coats of arms of families whose members took part in the battle. A short distance behind the church is an observation terrace and a restaurant. The views over the vineyards below and the city beyond are fabulous, with the Danube bridges to the left and the Vienna Woods to the right. No wonder then that Kahlenberg is a popular weekend destination.

Kahlenberg Photo Gallery

Kahlenberg: 01 photo Kahlenberg Kahlenberg: 01 photo
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