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The monastery was founded in 1112 by Ulrich I, Bishop of Passau, at St. Georgen an der Traisen, now in Traismauer, at the confluence of the Traisen with the Danube. 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 priory 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 (son of Josef 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.
- Payrich, Wolfgang, 1975: Stift Herzogenburg. Vienna: Verlag Niederösterreichisches Pressehaus. ISBN 3-85326-320-8
- Egger, Gerhart, and Fasching, Herbert, 1982. Stift Herzogenburg und seine Kunstschätze. Vienna: Verlag Niederösterreichisches Pressehaus. ISBN 3-85326-620-7
- Katzler, Günter, 2003: Die Zehente des Stiftes St. Georgen-Herzogenburg von seiner Gründung bis zur Mitte des 14. Jahrhunderts - annex to the title Studien zum Herzogenburger Zehentpachtregister (1299 - 1339) (thesis for Vienna University)
- Penz, Helga, 2004: Kloster - Archiv - Geschichte - annex to the title Schriftlichkeit und Überlieferung im Augustiner-Chorherrenstift Herzogenburg in Niederösterreich 1300 - 1800 (dissertation for Vienna University)