Stift Klosterneuburg Review
The great Augustinian abbey Stift Klosterneuburg dominates the town. The structure has undergone many changes since the abbey was established in 1114, most recently in 1892, when Friedrich Schmidt, architect of Vienna's City Hall, added neo-Gothic embellishments to its two identifying towers. Klosterneuburg was unusual in that until 1568 it housed both men's and women's religious orders. In the abbey church look for the carved-wood choir loft and oratory and the large 17th-century organ. Among Klosterneuburg's treasures are the beautifully enameled 1181 Verdun Altar in the Leopold Chapel, stained-glass windows from the 14th and 15th centuries, Romanesque candelabra from the 12th century, and gorgeous ceiling frescoes in the great marble hall. In an adjacent outbuilding there's a huge wine cask over which people slide; the exercise, called Fasslrutsch'n, is indulged in during the Leopoldiweinkost, the wine tasting around St. Leopold's Day, November 15. The Stiftskeller, with its atmospheric underground rooms, serves standard Austrian fare and wine bearing the Klosterneuberg label. The Treasury, featuring an imperial crown, opened to the public in 2011. There are several different tours available covering religious artifacts, imperial rooms and treasures, winemaking, and the garden. Guided tours are in German; audio guides are available for some of the tours.
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