Lilienfeld Abbey was founded in 1202 by Leopold VI, Duke of Austria and Styria, as a daughter house of Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Successive abbots acted as councillors to the rulers of Austria, and the abbey became wealthy as a result of this valuable connection.
Abbot Matthew Kollweis (1650-1695) turned the monastery into a fortress during the Turkish advance against Vienna in 1683, installing a garrison and giving shelter to a large number of fugitives.
In the 17th century the medieval buildings were extended by Baroque additions. In the first half of the 18th century the tower, library and church interior and furnishings were also refurbished in the Baroque style.
The abbey was suppressed by Emperor Joseph II in 1789, but although the library, archives and portable valuables were removed, on the death of Joseph II it was reopened by Emperor Leopold II as early as 1790.
In 1810 much of the abbey was destroyed in a fire, but was rebuilt under Abbot Johann Ladislaus Pyrker, who later became the Patriarch of Venice (1820-26) and eventually Archbishop of Eger.
As part of his endowment, Duke Leopold VI, Duke of Austria, granted the Abbey lands in and around Pfaffstätten, between Baden and Gumpoldskirchen, upon which the monks erected a walled estate. This estate, the Lilienfelderhof, comprising a gothic church, manor house, and numerous other buildings, was acquired in 2006 by the Kartause Gaming Private Foundation via a 99-year leasehold. The property and its vineyards are currently in the process of being restored and revitalised.References:
Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.
In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.
During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.
In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.
The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.