The abbey of Klosterneuburg (Stift Klosterneuburg in German) is a Catholic monastery of regular Augustinian canons located in Lower Austria, in Klosterneuburg on the Danube, just north of Vienna, near the Leopoldsberg.
Stift Klosterneuburg History
The Klosterneuburg abbey was founded in 1114 by the Margrave Leopold III of Babenberg, patron saint of Austria, and his second wife Agnes of Waiblingen, a daughter of the Salic dynasty. According to legend, a gust of wind with a clear sky carried off Agnese's veil; her husband found him after years and decided to build the monastery on site. In fact, the Margrave Leopold had taken up his residence in Neuburg ("New Castle") he wanted to create a separate Austrian diocese here, which met the strong opposition of the bishops of Passau. However, the foundation is one of the oldest and richest of its kind in Austria and owned much of the current north-eastern territories of Vienna's suburbs. Leopold's youngest son, the historian Otto of Freising, prepared himself for the ecclesiastical career in Klosterneuburg and became its provost in 1126. The canons passed to the Augustinian rule in 1133.
The imposing building complex, built largely between 1730 and 1834, stands on a hill that gives directly from the banks of the Danube. Its foundations, including a castle tower and a Gothic chapel date back to around the 12th century. Other ancient buildings still present inside the complex include the chapel of 1318, with the tomb of Leopoldo. Since 1634 the Habsburgs have rebuilt various parts in Baroque style, with the architects Jakob Prandtauer, Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach and Donato Felice Aglio. Plans to embellish the monastery, making it an Escorial, Austrian were later prepared by the neoclassical architect Joseph Kornhäusel, even if only small parts were actually made. Since 1882 the priory church has been restored to a design by Friedrich von Schmidt, with which the neo-Gothic twin bell towers have been added.
The treasure of the monastery includes the archducal touch made by order of Archduke Maximilian III, a chamber of relics and a library with 30,000 volumes and many manuscripts. It also has a long tradition of viticulture and has one of the largest wineries in Austria. The cellar has an immense tunnel, similar to that of Heidelberg Castle. Ludwig Wittgenstein worked as an assistant gardener in this abbey in the summer of 1920.