The Church of the Teutonic Order (German: Deutschordenskirche), also known as the Church of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary (German: Hl. Elisabeth von Ungarn), is the mother church of the Teutonic Order, a German-based Roman Catholic religious order formed at the end of the 12th century. Located in Vienna, Austria, near the Stephansdom, it is the current seat of the Grand Master of the Order.
This Gothic church was built in the 14th century (1326-1375) and consecrated to St. Elisabeth of Hungary. Some of the stucco work was performed by the Italian artists Simone Allio in 1697 and Girolamo Alfieri in 1700. The church was remodelled in Baroque style in 1720 (probably) by the architect Anton Erhard Martinelli, while Count Guido von Starhemberg was the commander of the Order. Alfieri worked again in this church in the period 1720-1725, as well as the sculptor Giovanni Antonio Canevale. However, the church has retained some of its Gothic origins, such as pointed arches in the windows.
The walls are decorated with rows of numerous armorial bearings of the Order of Teutonic Knights and several commemorative stones, such as the tombstone of Siegfried Grafen Sarau with relief work by Giovanni Stanetti and of bailiff Jobst von Wetzhausen (1524) by Loy Hering. Of particular interest is the Flemish winged triptych, a polychromed altarpiece from 1520. The woodcarver and the painter are unknown. The polychromy was made and signed by Jan van Wavere, a polychromer from Mechelen. It depicts in vivid woodcarvings scenes from the Passion of Christ.
Treasury of the Teutonic Order:
The church is incorporated in the Deutschordenshaus, the seat of the Order. Next to the cobbled inner courtyard is the Schatzkammer (the Treasure Room), a real ecclesiastical treasure trove that has been turned into a museum, consisting of five rooms on the second floor. The different collections have been built by successive Grand Masters during eight centuries. They constitute one of the oldest treasure collections in Vienna, covering the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. The real start of the Schatzkammer can be dated to 1525 when the Grand Master Albert of Prussia converted to Lutheranism and declared the collections his private property. The museum was reopened on 22 April 2006 after an extensive renovation.