With a capacity of up to 20.000 people, the New Cathedral Linz – also called Mariendom – is the largest church in Austria. In 1855, Bishop Franz Joseph Rudigier made the decision to build a new cathedral. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on 1 May 1862. The master builder of the Cologne Cathedral Vinzen Statz was commisioned as builder of the New Cathedral Linz.
The cathedral is 130 meters long and about 60 meters wide. The height of the tower is 134 meters. This makes it the second tallest church tower in Austria, after St. Stephen’s cathedral in Vienna. 17.000 people fit into the cathedral’s main hall. Another 3.000 people fit into the cathedral’s crypt in the basement. There are only 700 seats available, though. Altogether, the cathedral has 142 windows, 54 columns and 17 altars.
Court action and beautiful windows
Noteworthy are the cathedral’s large windows in the main hall. These 42 windows were designed in 1910 and tell stories about various topics. They are remarkable for their unusual color and their images of real people. Among them are some of the window’s sponsors. The best known of the windows is probably the so-called Linzer Fenster, which depicts scenes from the history of Linz. The cathedral has two organs, the Rudigier organ and the so-called choir organ in the sanctuary. In the crypt are the remains of Bishop Franz Joseph Rudigier and his four predecessors and six deceased successors. Archbishop Alois Wagner is also buried here.
In 2015, the Dompfarre as operator of the cathedral was sued by a resident for unreasonable noise nuisance. He argued that the nocturnal, quarter-hourly sounding of the bells to indicate the time would affect his health. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed by the Austrian Supreme Court in the third instance.
Hermits in the New Cathedral Linz
It is possible to stay as a hermit in a room in the church tower. Since 2009 more than 150 people used this opportunity for a time out. This spiritual experience is open to everyone. Meals are provided. In the Hermitage there is a small selected reference library and a diary, which is passed from hermit to hermit.
Further information about the Mariendom.
More places in Linz and Upper Austria that are free of charge.