Count Bernhard von Spanheim is the man behind the founding of the Cistercian Monastery in Viktring, near Klagenfurt. The date was 1142 and soon there were monks from Villars in Lorraine living there. The monastery became one of the region’s wealthiest during the Middle Ages. The early Abbots included the renowned historian, Johann von Viktring.
The Stift expanded during the 15th century, adding fortifications aimed against protecting it from the invading Turks. Moats and ponds became part of the design. In the 18th century, further design alterations made the Monastery larger and more noticeable. There were now two three-storey arcades as well as a monumental south façade featuring some 30 window axes. These renovations, under Benedikt Mulz, the Abbot of the time, were the last for the structure as a religious order. In 1785, the dissolution of the monasteries , soon saw the monastery in secular hands. It became a cloth manufactory from 1787 to 1967. In 1977, after considerable repair work, the Monastery became a Grammar School. You can still see traces of the monastery in the refectory where Kilian Pittner is responsible for the design and the stucco décor. The former Library has a lunette vault and frescoes by Johann Gfall, a Tyrolean artist.
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