Viktring Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery established in 1142 by Cistercian monks from Villers-Bettnach Abbey in the Duchy of Lorraine. Its lands were probably a gift of Count Bernhard of Spanheim-Marburg (Maribor), brother of Duke Engelbert of Carinthia, and his wife Kunigunde, daughter of Margrave Ottokar II of Styria. As early as 13 May in the following year the first abbot, Eberhard, was consecrated. The abbey church was dedicated 60 years later by Eberhard of Regensburg, Archbishop of Salzburg, in 1202.
In 1234 the Carinthian duke Bernhard von Spanheim founded Landstrass Abbey, latterly also known as Kostanjevica Abbey, a daughter house of Viktring in the March of Carniola, in the modern Kostanjevica in Slovenia.
The most notable abbot was the chronicler John of Viktring, confidant of Duke Henry of Bohemia, who assumed his office in 1312. Under Abbot Johannes II in 1411 the greater part of Viktring Abbey burnt down. Vigorous re-building in the abbey and the parishes belonging to it was however made possible by decree of the Cistercian General Chapter. In 1447 the German king Frederick III of Habsburg presented the abbey church with an altar.
Viktring Abbey was dissolved during the rationalist reforms of Emperor Joseph II by decree of 19 May 1786. The parish of Stift Viktring retained possession only of the church and the former priest's house. The altar was removed to St. Bernard's Abbey in Wiener Neustadt, and when that was merged into Heiligenkreuz Abbey in 1885, sold to St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, where it is to be seen opposite Emperor Frederick's tomb.
Part of the premises and lands were bought at auction in 1788 by the brothers Johann and Christoph Moro, who set up a textile factory here. In 1796 they succeeded in acquiring a long lease of the lordship of Viktring. The rise of the firm 'Gebrüder Moro' was spectacular; in 1816 the Austrian Emperor Francis I of Habsburg visited the factory with his wife Caroline Augusta of Bavaria. The firm painstakingly cultivated its connections to the Imperial family, and received further visits in 1850 and 1852 from Emperor Franz Joseph.
By 1897 the Moro family had acquired the entire monastery and its rights. In 1925 Adeline von Botka, the last surviving member of the family, sold the textile factory 'Gebrüder Moro' to Baron Josef Aichelburg-Zosenegg. In 1942 he committed suicide, and the company was taken over by the 'Hamburger Aero-Maschinen- und Werkzeugfabrik'. In 1956 the Reichmann company acquired the concern, but went out of business ten years later.
In 1970 the Austrian government bought the buildings and set up a secondary school here in 1977. In 1999 the official opening of the BRG Klagenfurt-Viktring, well known for its specialisation in musical education, took place.References:
The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.
A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.
In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.
In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.
In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.
From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.
In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.
The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.
In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.
The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.