Steps away from a major tourist street in the InnerStadt is the calm and quiet Deutscher Teutonic Ordern, and it was where our last art group tour of the season took place a few weeks ago. The church and treasury aren’t on many tourist top ten lists; even the sponsor of our art group, a native Viennese, had herself never been there!
A little bit of background for you. The Deutscher Teutonic Ordern began about 800 years ago as a hospital order in Jerusalem. By the by the Teutonic Knights claimed the former East Prussia as a place for German nobility to associate and perform charitable activities, and the order evolved a bit. Napoleon didn’t like this and abolished the Order. In response the Order replied, “So what?” and moved to Vienna.
The courtyard is rather pretty (and could be even more charming if vehicles were not permitted to park in it.)
The church is of gothic style, with interior buttresses and seals of the various orders on the walls.
On the ground floor is the Sala Terrene, a domed hall with rich frescoes. The hall is open periodically for intimate concerts and pre-arranged tours.
The Treasury contains the expected odd collections of what was considered whimsical, practical, and important at the time. Like this “pitcher,” example. Definitely whimsical.
This piece, adorned with teeth of animals and sea life and coral the color of the body’s circulatory system, was important for its curative powers.
And a filigree mechanical timepiece adorned with precious gem stones? The pocket version was decidedly more practical.
Sabres, beautiful flatware, vestry garments, and more filled the four or five rooms of the treasury.
I was asked by a friend why I bother to see this “stuff,” and I did not have an answer for them. All Harry Potter’s “Battle of Grunwald” and Indiana Jones’ quest to find the road to Alexandretta inspirations taken from the Teutonic Order aside, I am grateful to have these opportunities to broaden my horizons. Enough said.