Christ Church

Construction of the Protestant Christ Church in Salzburg began immediately after the establishment of the congregation in 1863 (architect Jacob Götz). The church was completed in 1867 in the style of Historicism.

The church is built of reddish brick, framed by Salzburg conglomerate and artificial stone.

With minor alterations, it has remained in its original state until today. The church is a characteristic example of the careful implementation of the „Eisenacher Regulativ“ of 1861, a guide for Protestant church construction in Germany.

Christ Church from the outside

As prescribed in the "Eisenacher Regulativ" of 1861, Christ Church was built with "durable material" "without deceptive plaster or paint." The brick construction resembles Protestant church buildings in northern Germany as well as in England, which is a clear contrast to the baroque churches in Salzburg. The facade design shows a historicist mixture of neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque elements, with the neo-Gothic impression prevailing, especially with the added finials on the nave. Christ Church is one of the first church buildings in Austria where Portland cement was used as a construction material, particularly for the window surrounds and simple tracery.

Trakl plaque

Georg Trakl was probably not baptized in the Christ Church but at home. However, he was certainly confirmed in Christ Church.

And anyone who has seen the altar of Christ Church, which Trakl surely had in mind, should understand the enigmatic line "Golden blüht der Baum der Gnaden" ("Golden blooms the tree of grace") from his famous poem.



The generous endowment of Leopoldine von Reccagni later fell victim to the economic crises of the 1920s. By the way, she was not a direct descendant of the Prince-Archbishop who expelled the Protestants from the Salzburg region in 1731.

Interior of Christ Church

Entrance area (open only on sundays) - World Wars memorial

In the vestibule, memorial plaques in the two niches on the left and right commemorate the congregational members who died in the two World Wars, including Sister Rosa Himmler, who, along with several kindergarten children, fell victim to a bombing raid in a bomb shelter in the garden of the former Protestant kindergarten.

The nave

During the construction of the Christ Church, medieval floor plans were back in vogue. "Picture-book churches" were built. Thus, the nave of the Christ Church is classically elongated and rectangular, divided into a central nave and side aisles covered by oak wood galleries. The seating is notable for the benches that run along the sides, enlivening the otherwise frontal arrangement.

The "hammerbeam roof"

The visual and acoustic characteristics of the Christ Church are shaped by its wooden coffered ceiling. Technically executed as a "hammerbeam roof" adorned with wooden tracery in the style of English Gothic, it, along with the oak wood galleries and the stone-vaulted choir, contributes to the unique acoustics of the Christ Church, making it a popular venue for various concerts.

The sanctuary

The design of the sanctuary also conforms to the guidelines of the Eisenach Regulations. It stipulates a solid vaulted ceiling, an elevation above the nave by several steps, and a freestanding altar raised by one step with an attached crucifix.

The altar crucifix

"Golden blüht der Baum der Gnaden" ("Golden blooms the tree of grace") - one cannot describe the attached altar crucifix of the Christ Church more beautifully than Georg Trakl did in his famous poem. Here, the crucified Christ hangs on a tree of life cross, entirely in golden color. The death of Christ here is not a failure or defeat but rather an opening of heaven, the reality of God, to all people. The color gold represents heaven in Christian iconography.


The pulpit of the Christ Church is located at the left chancel arch. It features a teaching Christ cast in artificial stone, surrounded by the symbols of the four Evangelists.

The organ

At first glance, the Christ Church appears to be equipped with an organ appropriate for its time of construction. However, only the front casing remains original, as it was originally built as Opus 66 by the renowned German organ builder G.F. Steinmeyer, a mechanical cone valve organ with 15 registers and a typical romantic sound.

After several minor modifications (melting down and later replacement of pipes during World War I, an attempt to give it a baroque sound), it was replaced in the late 1970s with a 28-register, baroque-intoned instrument of very low quality. This patchwork instrument includes original pipes (registers) and some additional used and cheap new registers, all on mechanical slider chests.

By 1999, it was clear that this organ was neither preservable nor worthy of restoration.

Thanks to substantial support from the city and state of Salzburg, the parish council was able to decide on a new construction.

By 2025, the Christ Church will receive a new mechanical cone valve organ in its original casing—a romantic instrument that incorporates the latest technology and a sound that would have pleased G.F. Steinmeyer.

You can learn more about this project here: - but, sorry, in german only!

Picture "The salt alliance"

Three paintings in the Christ Church commemorate the history of the Protestant community in Salzburg.

The two paintings by Friedrich Martersteig (1814-1899) depicting the expulsion of Protestants in 1731/32 were gifted to the congregation by his heirs. Martersteig was engaged in the construction of the Christ Church and was interested in the history of the so-called Salzburg exiles.

The first painting shows the interior of an inn in Schwarzach im Pongau in April 1731. Representatives of the Protestants swear an oath to each other in the "Salt Alliance" ("Salzbund") to openly profess their Protestant faith.


Painting "Exiles' Procession"

The second painting depicts the consequences. On October 31, 1731, Archbishop Leopold von Firmian issues the "Emigration Edict," expelling over 20,000 Protestants from the ecclesiastical principality of Salzburg. From November 1731 to November 1732, the "Exulanten" left the country in more than 20 marches or treks. Most of them found a new home in East Prussia, where they were received by King Frederick William I of Prussia.

Painting "Consecration of Christ Church"

This oil painting is also by Friedrich Martersteig, who participated in the celebration of the opening of the Christ Church in 1867 (he portrayed himself in the right outer part of the painting). It depicts the young pastor Heinrich Aumüller entering the newly built church. In the background are the newly planted chestnut avenue on the quay and the Mülln Church. The original painting is currently only displayed in a copy in the church for its protection.

Memorial plaque for Pastor Aumüller

Heinrich Aumüller from Coburg was the first pastor of the Christ Church. The dates indicate his term—he was elected as the pastor of the Christ Church at the age of 22.

Legend has it that he was chosen from among many applicants because it was expected that a young man like him could handle the travel hardships of a congregational territory that extended from Braunau am Inn in Upper Austria to the entire province of Salzburg, areas in present-day Bavaria, and the entire province of Tyrol. He remained the pastor of the congregation for 40 years.

Around the turn of the century, during the "Away from Rome movement," many German-nationalist-minded people in Salzburg converted to the Protestant Church and also formed a majority in the presbytery. Aumüller initially separated from the congregation due to conflicts but later there was reportedly a reconciliation.

The bells of Christ Church

Glocke 1: Ton: f1

Inscription: Glaube

Unser Glaube ist der Sieg, der die Welt überwunden hat  1Joh 5,4 Stiftung der Evangelischen Kirchengemeinde Salzburg

Glocke 2: Ton: a1

Inscription: Liebe

Gott ist die Liebe und wer in der Liebe bleibet, bleibet in Gott und Gott in ihm. 1Joh

Glocke 3: Ton: c2

Inscription: Hoffnung

Seid fröhlich in Hoffnung, geduldig in Trübsal, beharrlich im Gebet. Röm 12

Stiftung des evangelischen Vereines der Salzbund als Ersatz für die im 2. Weltkrieg 1939-45 abermals dem Vaterlande geopferten Glocken

Glocke 4: Ton: d2

Inscription: Selig sind, die um der Gerechtigkeit willen verfolgt werden; denn das Himmelreich ist ihr. Mt 5

Flüchtlingsglocke als Ersatz für die Emigrantenglocke.

Stiftung des Heimatvertriebenen Friedrich Dachs

Here you can hear all bells together: