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From 1758 to 1761, Bernardo Bellotto did paintings of the Freyung looking north toward the Schottenkirche; the pictures, which hang in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, are shockingly similar to the view you see today. A church has stood on the site of the Schottenkirche since 1177, when the monastery was established by monks from Ireland—Scotia Minor, in Latin, hence the name "Scots Church." The present edifice dates from the mid-1600s, when it replaced its predecessor, which had collapsed because of weakened foundations. The interior, with its ornate ceiling and a surplus of cherubs and angels' faces, is in stark contrast to the plain exterior. The adjacent Museum im Schottenstift includes the celebrated late-Gothic high altar dating from about 1470. The winged altar is fascinating for its portrayal of the Holy Family in flight into Egypt—with the city of Vienna clearly identifiable in the background.
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