The Plague Column, Vienna

At Wiener Graben, not far from St. Stephen's Cathedral, the "Wiener Pestsäule" was erected as a Trinity Column after the plague epidemic of 1679 and consecrated on 29th October 1693. On his flight from the city, Emperor Leopold I (1640-1705) vowed to erect a column of mercy when the plague epidemic ended. The 21-metre-high baroque sacred open-air sculpture is one of the most famous and striking sculptural works of art in the city. In 1683 the commission for the marble execution went to Mathias Rauchmiller, who died in 1686. Ultimately, the project management was entrusted to the sculptor Paul Strudel (1648-1708), who came from Cles in the Non Valley (Val di Non/Nonstal), and was based on the programme of the theatre engineer Lodovico Ottavio Burnacini. Burnacini envisioned a cloud pyramid below the Trinity with figures of angels and a figure of faith, in front of which a praying Emperor Leopold kneels. Among the sculptors involved were Tobias Kracker (1658-1736) and Johann Ignaz Bendl (1682-1730). The central figure representing Emperor Leopold I is made of Lasa marble by Paul Strudel.

Vienna, Austria, 1693

Place / Square / Street: Graben (Public Square)
Sculptor / Artist: Paul Strudel
Completion / Inauguration: 1693