1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wiener-Neustadt

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

WIENER-NEUSTADT, a town of Austria, in Lower Austria, 31 m. S. of Vienna by rail. Pop. (1900) 28,438. It is situated between the Fischa and the Leitha and is close to the Hungarian frontier. It was almost entirely rebuilt after a destructive fire in 1834, and ranks among the handsomest provincial towns in Austria. Its ancient gates, walls and towers have disappeared, but it still possesses a few medieval edifices, the most important of which is the old castle of the dukes of Babenberg, founded in the 12th century, and converted by Maria Theresa in 1752 into a military academy. The Gothic chapel contains the remains of the emperor Maximilian I., who was born here in 1459. The parish church, with its two lofty towers, is substantially a Romanesque building of the 13th century, but the choir and transepts are Gothic additions of a later date. The late Gothic church of the old Cistercian abbey contains a handsome monument in memory of Leonora of Portugal (d. 1467), consort of the emperor Frederick III., and possesses a rich library and an interesting museum. The town-house is also a noteworthy building and contains large and important archives. The chief industrial establishments are a large ammunition factory and an engine factory; but manufactures of cotton, silk, velvet, pottery and paper, sugar-refining and tanning are also extensively carried on. Trade is also brisk, and is facilitated by a canal connecting the town with Vienna, and used chiefly for the transport of coal and timber.

Neustadt was founded in 1192, and was a favourite residence of numerous Austrian sovereigns, acquiring the title of the “ever-faithful town” (die allzeit getreue Stadt) from its unfailing loyalty. In 1246 it was the scene of a victory of the Hungarians over the Austrians; and in 1486 it was taken by Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, who, however, restored it to Maximilian I. four years later. In 1529 and 1683 it was besieged by the Turks. It was at Neustadt that the emperor Rudolf II. granted to the Bohemian Protestants, in 1609, the “Majestätsbrief,” or patent of equal rights, the revocation of which helped to precipitate the Thirty Years' War.

See Hinner, Wandelbilder aus der Geschichte Wiener-Neustadts (Wiener-Neustadt, 1892).