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The Treasure Chamber of the Abbey

For a long time, the Treasure Chamber had been closed to visitors; after being transferred to the level of the Sala terrena and adapted in accordance with the state of the art in safety engineering and conservation, it was opened to the public in spring 2011.

Indeed, the artefacts presented in the Treasure Chambers are first-class attractions: historically, they range from the days when the abbey was founded until the early 20th century, from the legendary, yet scientifically tested, genuine Veil of Agnes and an ivory box called the “Writing Utensils of St. Leopold” to the Regalia designed in art nouveau style by Anton Hofer, a student in Kolo Moser’s class; from an ivory crozier dating from the 14th century, reliquary caskets from Limoges and a chalice made of Danube gold to the splendid Veil Monstrance, commissioned by the abbey in the jubilee year 1714 and made by Vienna’s leading goldsmith, Johann Baptist Känischbauer.

The Margrave’s Regalia is also on display. This robe designed for Mass was allegedly made from garments worn by Saint Leopold (in fact, it dates from the 14th century) and was the model for the heraldic emblem of the Province of Lower Austria. The collection contains other liturgical garments from one of the most important parament collections of Austria, which has been housed by the abbey almost unnoticed so far.

The showpiece of the Treasure Chamber is the “holy crown of Austria”, the Austrian Archducal Hat. This Hat makes the Treasure Chamber at Klosterneuburg one of the most significant historical venues in Austria. Jewelled with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls, the Hat has been preserved in the Abbey’s Treasure Chamber since 1616. Following the example of the “holy crowns” of Hungary (Crown of Saint Steven) and Bohemia (Crown of Saint Wenceslas) it was also designed as a holy crown and an insignia of absolute power. In the same way as the other two crowns, the Archducal Hat is also dedicated to a saint: the founder of the abbey and patron of Lower Austria, Saint Leopold.