The monastery, named after Saint Florian, was founded in the Carolingian period. From 1071 it has housed a community of Augustinian Canons, and is thus is one of the oldest operational monasteries in the world following the Rule of St. Augustine.
Between 1686 and 1708 the monastery complex was reconstructed in Baroque style by Carlo Antonio Carlone, of whom St. Florian's is reckoned the masterpiece. After his death the work was continued by Jakob Prandtauer. The result is the biggest Baroque monastery in Upper Austria. The frescoes were created by Bartolomeo Altomonte.
Construction of the library wing was not begun until 1744, by Johann Gotthard Hayberger. The library comprises about 130,000 items, including many manuscripts. The gallery contains numerous works of the 16th and 17th centuries, but also some late medieval works of the Danube School, particularly by Albrecht Altdorfer.
In January 1941 the premises were taken over by the Gestapo and the monks were expelled. From 1942 the Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft ("Radio Society of the Third Reich") was based here under its general director Heinrich Glasmeier.
The canons were able to return after the end of the war.
The premises now also house the Upper Austrian Fire Brigade Museum.
St. Florian's Priory possesses two organs, the larger one of which is known as the "Bruckner organ" (Bruckner Orgel), counting over 7,000 organ pipes. It was played by composer and organist Anton Bruckner, previously a choirboy at the monastery, when he was the organist, between 1848 and 1855. He is buried beneath the organ inside the church.
St. Florianer Sängerknaben
St. Florian is also known for its boys' choir (St. Florianer Sängerknaben), founded over 1,000 years ago in 1071. This choir has been a traditional part of the monastic worship from its foundation. It still has particular responsibility for providing excellence in sacred music for the priory, but also now undertakes successful international concert tours, television appearances and a busy recording schedule making CDs.
- ↑ The south tower and parts of the church walls are still medieval in substance and were only given a Baroque veneer
- Stift St. Florian official website
- St. Florianer Sängerknaben official website
- International Order of St. Augustine
- Stift St. Florian, Exterior 1
- Stift St. Florian, Exterior 2
- Stift St. Florian, Exterior 3
- Stift St. Florian, Exterior 4
- Stift St. Florian, the frescoed ceiling of the nave
- Stift St. Florian, The Bruckner Organ
- Stift St. Florian, the Kaiser's room