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Viktring Abbey

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Viktring Abbey (Stift Viktring) was a Cistercian monastery near Klagenfurt in Carinthia, Austria. Stift Viktring is now the name of the present Roman Catholic parish in the Viktring district of Klagenfurt.

History

Stift Viktring 06112007 03

Stift Viktring

Viktring Abbey was founded in 1142 by Cistercian monks from Weiler-Bettnach Abbey near Metz, probably by the gift of Count Bernhard of Spanheim-Marburg and his wife Kunigunde. 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 II, Archbishop of Salzburg, in 1202.

In 1411, under Abbot Johannes II, the greater part of the 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.

Emperor Joseph II dissolved Viktring Abbey by court decree of 19 May 1786.

Moro Brothers textile factory

Part of the premises and lands were bought at auction by the brothers Johann and Christoph Moro on 10 November 1788, 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 Kaiser Franz I visited the factory with his wife.

The firm painstakingly cultivated its connections to the Imperial family, and received further visits in 1850 and 1852 from Franz Joseph I of Austria.

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, which in 1980 became independent as the "Realgymnasium unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der musischen Ausbildung".

On 23 September 1999 the official opening of the BRG Klagenfurt-Viktring, well-known for its specialisation in musical education, took place.

The parish of Stift Viktring retains possession only of the church and the former priest's house.

In 1447 Emperor Frederick III presented the abbey church with an altar. At the dissolution this was removed to St. Bernard's Abbey in Wiener Neustadt, and when that was merged into Heiligenkreuz Abbey in 1885, sold to the Stephansdom, the cathedral of Vienna, where it is to be seen opposite Frederick's tomb.

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