The impressive cemetery church of Saint Charles Borromeo is a total work of art, that delves deeply into the question of transience: the problem of life and death against the background of the passing of time in this life and the eternity that awaits us in the hereafter.
In his design for the church, the architect, Max Hegele, spanned the entire spectrum of architecture and art: extending from more contemporary concepts, as in the instance of art nouveau to older Christian architecture – as in Saint Charles church in Vienna and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome – and reaching as far back as the temples and burial sites of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt, with their belief in life after death. Painted on to the firmament in the dome vault are 999 stars – a reference to God’s omnipresence. The cemetery church consists of an upper and a lower church, which was conceived as a tomb complex. The floor-level of the upper church is three metres above that of the cemetery itself.