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Churches and monasteries - Volders

St. Charles' Church - Volders

The church was altered internally in 1766/67. The ceiling fresco and the altarpiece date from this time. Both were the work of the famous Baroque painter, Martin Knoller.
The St Charles' Church was fully renovated between 1977 and 1988 at a cost of 33m schillings (ca. €2.5m). It is now one of the finest churches to be seen from a motorway.

Address: Volderwaldstrasse 3, Volders
open every day throughout the year

Information about its builder, Dr Hippolytus Guarinoni:
In his day, Guarinoni was one of the Tyrol's most important personalities. He spent his youth as a page at the court of the Milan bishop, Carlo Borromeo, and after his studies became physician to Archduchess Christiana and Eleonora, both of whom were residents of the Hall Convent. He later became Hall's town doctor. He held this office until his death on May 31st, 1654. During his life, Guarinoni was a critic of social conditions and in his medical works promoted modern ideas.

In the Volders of today we can still see a fine example of his personal relationship with the village: the church and also the Servite Order monastery by the Volders bridge. According to legend, Bishop Borromeo prophesied that his page Guarinoni would one day build a church and a monastery in his honour. But in fact the initiative for the building came from a friend of Guarinoni, the Capuchin monk, Thomas von Bergamo.

Although Guarinoni lent a hand, earning him the nickname "Master Pölten", it was July 25th 1654, 34 years later before the church could be finally consecrated by the Brixen bishop, Jesse Perkhofer, in honour of Borromeo. But by this time, Guarinoni had been dead for 2 months.

A short anecdote about the St Charles' Church: "The Stone of Obedience"
Let's not forget about "The Stone of Obedience", which according to legend became detached from the roof during construction and was on the point of crashing down on the building workers. But on an instruction from Guarinoni it is said to have miraculously came to a stop. To recall the calamity that had been avoided, Guarinoni had a part of the stone bricked into a wall and made visible. The stone and a plaque can be seen in the church just beyond the entrance and the side altar on the right-hand side.

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