St. George's Cathedral, also called Wiener Neustadt Cathedral is the cathedral of the military ordinariate and a minor basilica. The church, begun in 1440 on the west side of the castle of Wiener Neustadt, was commissioned from the architect Peter von Pusica by Frederick IV, Duke of Austria. At the end of the work the church was dedicated to St. Mary and consecrated in 1460. In 1479 the Order of the Knights of St. George established their headquarters in Wiener Neustadt, and the patron of the church became St. George. After the abolition of this chivalric order in 1600, the church was entrusted first to the Cistercians and later the Piarists. In 1608 and 1616 two fires damaged the castle and the church, which were repaired by initiative of Maximilian III.
With the foundation of Teresian Military Academy on December 14, 1751, the church was closely tied to the fate of the castle as the headquarters of the military school. The castle and church were completely destroyed in bombing during the Second World War on March 12, 1945, but reconstruction began the following year, to be completed only in 1958.
Since 1963 the church has been home to the Military Ordinariate, as a result of which it was elevated to the status of cathedral. On 13 December 1967 it also became a minor basilica.References:
Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.
The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.
After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.
The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.
Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.