The Monastery as a steward of cultural heritage
Since the days of its founding – with a short interruption in the early nineteenth century – the Augustinian Canons’ of Novacella, the largest monastic complex in Tyrol, has not only been a significant spiritual center, but also a cultural one whose influence has reached far beyond the country’s borders.
In contrast to the large monasteries in Austria, Neustift was never completely renovated during the course of its history; instead, it was adapted to the changing times by adding buildings or making modifications. Consequently, the Abbey today is one of the most important architectural ensembles in South Tyrol that has grown organically through the ages. A tour of the vast monastic complex and grounds resembles a walk through the key eras of art history. The Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Rococo periods – all of them have left their traces.
But the history and development of the abbey is not only mirrored in the diverse buildings, it also comes to life in the numerous works of art, the valuable medieval manuscripts, and the many printed works in the Monastery Library, as well as the documents and letters preserved in the Abbey Archive.
To this day, cultural activities and scientific research are among the responsibilities of the Augustinian Canons.