Noblesse oblige

The High Life on the Route of Emperors and Kings

Part Two: From Vienna to Regensburg

It is less than twenty kilometres from the Hapsburg metropolis of Vienna to Klosterneuburg. Founded in 1114, the abbey is regarded as the cradle of Austria, which in the 18th century had become an influential player in European, if not world politics, as a result of the effusive Hapsburg politics of power and marriage. Wanting to erect an everlasting monument to his triumphs, Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740) ordered that the monastery be expanded to a revolutionary new residence with its own imperial apartments. In addition to the retirarde, or private rest area, the suite constructed for the ruling family included an audience chamber, dining room and red salon.

‘Thrift’ was not in the sovereign monarch’s vocabulary, at least when it came to Klosterneuburg Monastery – probably much to the delight of the architects, plasterers and painters who were given the opportunity to decorate the imperial wing with decorative plaster work and virtuous wall paintings. The imperial family enjoyed visiting at least once a year after moving to Klosterneuburg with their daughters Maria Theresa, Maria Anna and Maria Amalia, temporarily residing in the monastery.

Schönbühel: A castle complete with a school and church
Restored to its baroque heyday in two years
A baroque gem and sinkhole
Savoir vivre in Grein and Clam
Imperial splendour in Enns and St. Florian
The Danube castle owners
Members of the avant-garde during the Renaissance
St. Emmeram: A quick, four-hour castle tour