Herzogenburg is an Augustinian monastery founded in 1112 by Ulrich I, Bishop of Passau, at St. Georgen an der Traisen. In 1244 because of frequent flooding it was moved up-river towards Herzogenburg. From 1714 the buildings were refurbished in the Baroque style by Jakob Prandtauer, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Josef Munggenast. The monastery was able to survive the dissolutions enforced by Emperor Joseph II in the late 18th century. Until 1783 the monastery was in the Diocese of Passau, afterwards in the Diocese of St. Pölten.
The monastery church was established in about 1014 by Emperor Henry II and is dedicated to Saint Stephen the Protomartyr (after the patron of Passau Cathedral). In 1112 bishop Ulrich I gave the benefice of Herzogenburg to his newly founded monastery at St. Georgen, which moved to Herzogenburg in 1244.
There are few remains of the Gothic church (the portal and the second storey of the tower). The architect of the present church building was Franz Munggenast. The rebuilt church was dedicated on 2 October 1785 and was the last significant Baroque church built in Austria.
The emphasis of the collection is on late Gothic works such as panel paintings, sculptures and stained glass windows. The great banqueting hall, the treasury and the monastic library, as well as the coin cabinet, underline the art-historical importance of the priory in Lower Austria. The Baroque picture gallery is also notable, and does not only contain religious works. A particular curiosity is a well-preserved Roman helmet, dating from about 150 A.D., which was found in a gravel pit in the vicinity.References:
Medvedgrad is a medieval fortified town located on the south slopes of Medvednica mountain, approximately halfway from the Croatian capital Zagreb to the mountain top Sljeme. For defensive purposes it was built on a hill, Mali Plazur, that is a spur of the main ridge of the mountain that overlooks the city. On a clear day the castle can be seen from far away, especially the high main tower. Below the main tower of the castle is Oltar Domovine (Altar of the homeland) which is dedicated to Croatian soldiers killed in the Croatian War of Independence.
In 1242, Mongols invaded Zagreb. The city was destroyed and burned to the ground. This prompted the building of Medvedgrad. Encouraged by Pope Innocent IV, Philip Türje, bishop of Zagreb, built the fortress between 1249 and 1254. It was later owned by bans of Slavonia. Notable Croatian and Hungarian poet and ban of Slavonia Janus Pannonius (Ivan Česmički) died in the Medvedgrad castle on March 27, 1472.
The last Medvedgrad owners and inhabitants was the Gregorijanec family, who gained possession of Medvedgrad in 1562. In 1574, the walls of Medvedgrad were reinforced, but after the 1590 Neulengbach earthquake, the fortress was heavily damaged and ultimately abandoned. It remained in ruins until the late 20th century, when it was partly restored and now offers a panoramic view of the city from an altitude of over 500 meters.