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:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.