Exhibition: The Archducal Hat

400-year-old Crown of Austria

The Austrian Archducal Hat in the Treasure Chamber of Klosterneuburg Monastery is celebrating its 400-Year Jubilee in 2016. In 1616, Archduke Maximilian III gave the Hat to Klosterneuburg Monastery: as the holy crown of the land, it was always to be kept safe close to the relics of St. Leopold, the patron saint of Austria – as it still is today. The Hat could only be taken to Vienna for an inauguration ceremony, when homage was paid to a new archduke. This ceremony, at which Baroque protocol displayed its magnificent side, was held ten times – the last time was for Emperor Ferdinand I in 1835. The Hat made its last official public appearance in 1989 at the funeral of Zita, the last Empress of Austria.

No other object in Klosterneuburg Monastery so closely intertwines the sacred and political in its significance. Nor does any other object possess comparable material value. It is made exclusively of materials of the finest quality: gold, enamel, precious stones, pearls, velvet and ermine.

The exhibition documents the history and significance of the Hat. Visitors learn about its donor, Maximilian III, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order of Knights and Regent of Tyrol, and also St. Leopold, patron saint of Austria – the heavenly protector of the endowment. Detailed attention has been given to the homage ceremony, with its typical Baroque ritual. As the homage ceremonies at the inaugurations of Joseph I, Charles VI and Maria Theresia are remarkably well documented in large copperplate engravings, visitors can view all the stopping-places of the ceremonial procession and the numerous honorary offices which thereby played a functional role.

 

Archducal Hat

5 March 2016 -15 November 2016
Sala terrena Gallerie and Treasure Chamber
daily 9 am – 6 pm
Tickets: EUR 11