Friday, 3 February 2017

Walking through Centuries
Vienna in Winter

Leopold Pharmacy at Spiegelgasse

Brief Encounter
Raphael Donner Fountain

Hinging onto centuries

Photographed in December 2013
Images and Text © by Merisi


  1. That saint's image looks a bit out of place!

    1. The painting is on the inside of a wooden exterior shutter door of the "Saint Leopold" pharmacy (chemist's shop) that goes back to 1804.

  2. "Saint Leopold III (German: Luitpold, 1073 – 15 November 1136), known as Leopold the Good, was the Margrave of Austria from 1095 to his death in 1136."

  3. "Leopold was born at Babenberg castle in Gars am Kamp, the son of Margrave Leopold II and Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg. The Babenbergs came to Austria from Bavaria where the family had risen to prominence in the 10th Century.[2]

    In 1096 Leopold succeeded his father as margrave of Austria at the age of 23. He married twice. His first wife may have been one of the von Perg family, who died in 1105. The following year he married Agnes, the widowed sister of Emperor Henry V whom he had supported against her father Henry IV. This connection to the Salians raised the importance of the House of Babenberg, to which important royal rights over the margravate of Austria were granted. Also, Agnes had influential connections through her previous marriage to Frederick of Hohenstaufen,[2] one of her sons being Conrad III of Germany.

    Leopold called himself "Princeps Terræ", a reflection of his sense of territorial independence. He was considered a candidate in the election of the Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire in 1125, but declined this honour.

    He is mainly remembered for the development of the country and, in particular, the founding of several monasteries. His most important foundation is Klosterneuburg (1108).[2] According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to him and led him to a place where he found the veil of his wife Agnes, who had lost it years earlier. He established the Klosterneuburg Monastery there. He subsequently expanded the settlement to become his residence.

    Leopold also founded the monasteries of Heiligenkreuz, Kleinmariazell and Seitenstetten which developed a territory still largely covered by forest. All of these induced the church to canonize him in 1485.

    Leopold also fostered the development of cities, such as Klosterneuburg, Vienna and Krems. The last one was granted the right to mint but never attained great importance.

    The writings of Henry of Melk and Ava of Göttweig, which are the first literary texts from Austria, date back to Leopold's time.

    He is buried in the Klosterneuburg Monastery, which he founded. His skull is kept in an embroidered reliquary, which leaves the forehead exposed; it also wears an archducal crown.

    In 1663, under the rule of his namesake Emperor Leopold I, he was declared patron saint of Austria instead of Saint Koloman.

    The brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn, each of whom sang in the choir of St. Stephen's Cathedral, both sang in that capacity at Klosterneuburg on this day. Joseph Haydn later became the more famous composer of the two. Michael Haydn later (1805) wrote a Mass in honour of Leopold, the Missa sub titulo Sancti Leopoldi."

  4. I need to visit Vienna to walk through centuries of amazing beauty.

  5. I so felt this when I was in Vienna Merisi, even walking on the cobblestone sidewalks my thoughts would turn to the footsteps that had walked where I was walking... who they were, wondering how they were dressed where they were going, what shops or houses were there before... love doing that kind of sensory exploring. Your pictures help do just that when I'm home. :-)


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