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Klosterneuburg

This small town, just outside Vienna, was once the main seat of the Babenberg rulers. In the early 12th century, Margrave Leopold III built his castle here, and later the collegiate church, the magnificent Stift Klosterneuburg, supposedly in atonement for an act of treason he committed against Heinrich V. The Romanesque church of the Augustinian Abbey was altered many times until the 17th and 18th centuries, when it acquired its present Baroque interior, designed by Joseph Fischer von Erlach and Felice Donato d’Allio, among others. Original features include the early-Gothic cloister and burial chapel of Leopold III; the latter contains the town’s greatest treasure, an altarpiece by Nicolas of Verdun, a goldsmith and master of enamel from Lorraine. In 1181, the church acquired its altar, with 45 gilded and enamelled tiles depicting Bible scenes. The chapel also has fine stained-glass windows. The museum in the former imperial residence holds a valuable collection of paintings and Gothic and Baroque sculptures. A new highlight is the Essl Collection, an important museum specializing in Austrian art since 1945. A small museum in nearby Kierling is devoted to the writer Franz Kafka, based in the former Hofmann Sanatorium where he died.

Klosterneuburg Photo Gallery

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