The Blessed Hartmann, provost of the Augustinian Canons Regular monastery of Klosterneuburg near Vienna, was appointed bishop of Brixen in 1140.
At Brixen Hartmann did not follow the example of the archbishop of Salzburg Konrad I of Abensberg (1106-1147) in that he refrained from reforming the cathedral chapter by introducing the Rule of St. Augustine. It is assumed he did this because of strong opposition expected on the part of the canons.
Rather than doing this he chose to found the Augustinian Canons Regular monastery of Novacella three kilometers to the north of the bishop’s residence. In doing so he was actively supported by the Reginbert, the burgrave of Säben, and his wife Christina. Both endowed this new foundation with extensive land and rights.
In 1157 when Neustift was still under its first provost Heinrich I (1143-1164), Hartmann granted the monastery to the parish of Natz in whose territory it was situated. From the moment of this incorporation the parish’s pastoral care was carried out directly by the monastery. Around the year 1160 Hartmann also handed over the parish of Kiens to the Canons Regular of Neustift.