Late Gothic altar panels

Medieval imagery in the Neustift art gallery

In the 15th and early 16th centuries, the most famous Tyrolean artists from Michael Pacher’s circle created what is probably the most important collection of Late Gothic altars in Tyrol. What is left of these winged altars is now divided between the art gallery in Neustift’s museum and Munich, where they have been ever since they were removed from the abbey in around 1810.

The main works of the Neustift collection of paintings include the St Augustine panels, the ‘Holy Kinship’ by the anonymous Master of Uttenheim and the almost fully preserved St Catherine altar by Friedrich Pacher.

Baroque art

Paintings, treasury art and antependia

In the 17th and 18th centuries Neustift experienced a new artistic heyday. Only a small selection of the numerous Baroque paintings created for the monastery in this period can be shown: these include portraits of prelates and religious pictures by the Brixen artist Stefan Kessler.

The splendour of the past is reflected in goldsmith work and liturgical vestments, and the two antependia with straw appliqués that decorated the front of two altars are masterpieces of craftsmanship.

Scientific instruments

A view of the world. And outside it.

The globes, maps and historical scientific instruments in the ‘Science Room’ of the abbey museum show how wide-ranging the interests of the canons have always been. Every terrestrial globe is usually accompanied by a celestial globe, where you look as it were from outside at the ‘firmament’ with the ancient constellations. The ‘phebilabium’ from around 1500 is unique among the scientific instruments. It could be used to tell the time and also provided a variety of astrological information.

Medieval manuscripts

Treasures from Neustift’s scriptorium

Before book printing was invented, the books required for the liturgy, studying and teaching had to be written by hand. In the Middle Ages, therefore, Neustift too had a scriptorium where books were written and decorated with precious miniature painting. Today the abbey library has just under 100 manuscripts, a selection of which are on display in the museum. Further manuscripts from the Neustift library have been in Innsbruck since 1809. All these manuscripts can be accessed in digitalized form at

Printed books

The knowledge of the world between two book covers

There are just under 100,000 books in the hall and depots of the Neustift library. They contain the knowledge of the world (and of the time it was written down), which extends far beyond theology.
A large proportion of the works were written in the 17th and 18th centuries and were used for the theological education of the canons. In 1926 the books from the Brixen Augustinian grammar school were transferred to Neustift. The abbey’s important collection of incunabula from the early days of book printing has been in Innsbruck since 1809. The Neustift books can be researched online in the catalogue of historical libraries in South Tyrol:

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