The Treasury of Klosterneuburg

For the very first time in its history of almost 900 years, the Klosterneuburg Monastery is opening the previously locked door to its treasury, affording a view of precious objects of art. In the refurbished rooms the treasures are presented according to century. The Austrian archducal coronet makes the treasury one of the most significant historical places of the country. The coronet, bearing rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls, has been housed in the monastery’s treasury since 1616. Modelled on the holy crowns of Hungary (St. Stephan’s crown) and Bohemia (Wenceslav crown), it too is meant to be a holy crown and a symbol of royalty. Just like the other two, the archducal coronet is also ascribed to a saint, the founder of the monastery and patron saint of Austria, Saint Leopold.
The veneration of relics is one of the origins of the large ecclesiastic treasuries. Two valuable reliquaries from the period 1425-1440 which, without doubt, rank amongst the masterpieces of medieval goldsmith’s art, contain a particle of the cross and a thorn from Christ crown of thorns. The so-called margrave fabric pieces are amongst those objects associated with Saint Leopold. The oldest object in the treasury is a small ivory panel depicting the dormition of Mary, coming from Byzantium. The collection of textile treasures includes woven and embroidered chasubles.