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Vorau

On a remote hill stands the 12th-century Augustinian Vorau Abbey. In the 15th century, the abbey was turned into a fortress; its present form is the result of alterations made throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The main entrance has symmetrical wings on both sides, adjoining two identical towers. One wing contains the cloister; in the other wing are the prelacy and the magnificent fresco- and stucco-adorned library with its low barrel-vault ceiling. On the floor above is the cabinet of manuscripts, decorated with ceiling paintings of the Gods, the Virtues and The Immaculate. It contains some 415 valuable manuscripts, including the oldest annals of poetry in the German language — the Vorauer and the famous Kaiserchronik. The abbey church, dedicated to St Thomas, acquired its sumptuous decor in 1700—1705. It has a main altarpiece by Matthias Steinl, who also created the beautifully ornamented pulpit. The small nearby town of Vorau also has a fascinating Open-air Museum (Freilichtmuseum) with a collection of typical homes and public buildings (school, pharmacy, smithy) from the neighbouring villages, complete with their distinctive furnishings.

Vorau Photo Gallery

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