Stephansdom Wiener Neustädter Altar - FURTHER INFORMATION
Stephansdom Wiener Neustädter Altar - Vienna visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Stephansdom Wiener Neustädter Altar' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Wien.
The Wiener Neustädter Altar in Stephansdom dates from 1447 and stands to the left of the High Altar. It was made on the orders of Emperor Frederick III (whose tomb is on the right of the High Altar). On the predella, the steps on which the altar stands, are the initials AEIOU, a common signature carving used by Frederick III which may stand for "Alles Erdreich Ist Österreich Untertan" (or "The whole world is subject to Austria.")
Originally the Wiener Neustädter Altar was made for the Cistercian Viktring Abbey near Klagenfurt. In 1786 Emperor Joseph II closed the abbey and the altar was moved to the Cistercian monastery of St. Bernard of Clairvaux in Wiener Neustädt. Finally this abbey closed in 1885 and the Wiener Neustädter Altar was then sold to Stephansdom in 1885.
The Wiener Neustädter Altar is a winged altar. The wings are shut during weekdays, when four rows of saints can be seen. When the wings are opened it is possible to see 72 saints and gilded figures depicting various parts of the life of Mary. At the center is a carving of the Madonna with Child at the Birth of Christ, with Jesus being worshiped in the Adoration of the Magi. All the carvings on the Wiener Neustadter Altar are in high relief.
In 1885, 100 years after the Wiener Neustädter Altar came to Stephansdom, a project began to resotre the altar. This took 10 restorers some 20 years to complete to a cost of €1.3 million.
The Donors Tomb adorned with effigies of Rudolf IV and his wife is below the altar and to the left. It used to be covered with precious stones, long since lost.
U-Bhan: Stephansplatz (U1, U3)
Bus / Tram: 1A, 2A, 3A