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 Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.
The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.
The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.
In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.