Mauerbach Charterhouse is a former Carthusian monastery. Founded in 1314 by the Austrian duke Frederick the Fair and rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque monastic complex is one of the most important structures of its kind in Austria.
The monastery was plundered and set on fire by Ottoman troops during the 1529 Siege of Vienna and suffered further serious structural damage by the 1590 Neulengbach earthquake. Under Abbot Georg Fasel (1616-1631) an intensive rebuilding programme began, finishing in 1660, during which the great majority of the present-day buildings were constructed. The chronicle of the charterhouse written by Abbot Leopold Brenner was available from as early as 1669, but was not printed until 1725. Brenner had lived here from 1641 and made his profession in 1650, and was thus an eye witness of the building of the early Baroque monastery. In 1683 renewed Turkish assaults during the Battle of Vienna caused more destruction, launching a further programme of repairs and refurbishment s which finished only in 1750.
In 1782 the monastery was dissolved as 'non-productive' by Emperor Joseph II during his rationalist reforms and from 1786 the premises were used for the care of the old and incurably ill of the city of Vienna. Many structural alterations were carried out to adapt the buildings to their new function.
In 1944-45 the former monastery was put to use as an emergency hospital. Between 1945 and 1961 the charterhouse was used to house homeless people. During this period the structure was badly neglected, and allowed to fall derelict from exposure to the elements. Since 1984 the complex has housed the workshops of the Bundesdenkmalamt (Monuments Office).References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.