The Karlskirche was billed by the Rough Guide as the finest Baroque church in the city, and indeed its interior is remarkable: much gold and warm textured marble, offset with white, but not overpoweringly ornate as some Baroque churches can be (to my eyes). I was initially miffed at being charged €6 to enter, and then to find it full of scaffolding; in fact they are working on a restoration of the building, and the 'scaffolding' is a lift which goes way up to the base of the dome, so that visitors can get a closer look at the wonderful frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr – a rare treat. There are then some slightly wobbly stairs up the centre of the dome, which end up inside the cupola at the very top. Incredible!
I spent some time taking photos of the figures really close up; it's fascinating to see the detail and to appreciate the pastel delicacy of the colours. Nevertheless there are no holds barred in the internal Church battles, one cameo showing a Counter-Reformation angel setting fire to Martin Luther's German bible. The Karlskirche, across the Resselpark from the Musikverein, was designed by Johann Bernhard Fisher von Erlach (who also laid out the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg) and was completed by his son Johann Michael in 1737. Erlach's design included the amazing sunburst high over the main altar.