Deutschorden or Ordo Teutonico in Vienna:
Treasury, Deutschordenshaus & Church

The Deutschordenshaus and Deutschordenskirche Church of the German Order in Vienna. The headquarter of what was once one of the mightiest Knight Orders in the World.

The Deutschordenshaus or "House of the German Order" is the headquarter of the Ordo Teutonico or Deutschorden and is situated just 300 metres behind Stephansdom. It is an unusual, but interesting attraction: A Baroque court or burgher house, supplemented with a particularly interesting museum that contains the treasury of the order; and a little, Gothic church, the Deutschordenskirche.

The Deutschordenshaus was built around 1667, whereas the church is much older and dates back to the period between 1326 and 1375. In 1781, the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg moved into the house as a visitor, and in his company was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The 25 year old Mozart worked as a composer and musician at the court of Salzburg; one night, he insisted in conducting a performance of his against the Archbishops wishes.

For this impertinence, the head of the court′s food division ("Oberstküchenmeister"), the Count of Arco, threw Mozart out: Or actually "kicked" him out, the famous kick in Mozart′s butt happened at the doorstep of the Deutschordenshaus on the 2nd of May, 1781. It put a dramatic end to Mozart′s employment in Salzburg. Mozart is not the only composer with a strong link to the Deutschordenshaus: Johannes Brahms lived here between 1863 and 1865. Today, the Sala terranea is often used for concerts.

Treasury of the Deutschorden: Schatzkammer

To the right hand side of the doorstep, you get into the Deutschordenskirche Church. As stated above, it was built between 1326 and 1375 in a very nice Gothic style. The church contains a precious Dutch altar from 1520 that displays the passion of Christ. The treasury of the Deutschorden ("Schatzkammer") contains the order′s insignia and is one of Vienna′s most interesting, yet neglected museums.

Marvel at the horn of a unicorn, ancient chalices, clothing of the order and tools to test food for poison. The Order was founded in 1191 by merchants and knights from Bremen and Lübeck in Northern Germany (members of the Hanseatic League). In 1222, they first came to Vienna. For centuries, the Archduke of Austria (the ruling Habsburg monarch) was also the head of the order.

A very short History of the Deutschorden

A few more words on the history of the Deutschorden: In the course of the crusades, several armed orders were founded or developed. Three of them developed enormous power and financial confidence: The Knight Templars (known from conspiracy theories), the Maltesers (known as a party snack) and the Ordo Teutonico or Deutschorden (not really known at all).

The Templars were persecuted as "heretics" (ie faggots) probably due to their ever growing power; the Maltesers consolidated their possessions in the Mediterranean and are sort of still there - now as a fractionised group of a charity and mission order as well as several old men′s clubs that all claim the be directly derived from the only "real" order.

The Ordo Teutonico concentrated on the eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, areas that are now Polish. Later, the order became a purely religious one; since 1809, the chair of the order ("Ordensgroßmeister") resides in Vienna, which is very unusual since most monastic headquarters are in Rome. The Deutschorden is active as a charity and runs hospitals and retirement homes.

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Further Reading

Official Website of the German Order (Deutschorden)

Wikipedia on the Deutschordenshaus Vienna (English)