Wiener Neustadt

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Nicolaus Gerhaert (fl. 1462—1473)


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Town in southern Lower Austria. It was the most important new town founded in Austria in the Middle Ages, and parts of its fortified medieval centre survive. Duke Leopold VI (reg 1198–1230) founded Wiener Neustadt shortly after the Babenberg dynasty inherited the duchy of Styria in 1192. The town was intended to guard the road between Vienna and Graz and the border of the Babenberg territory facing Hungary. A rectangle 680×600 m on a flat site was enclosed within walls with 12 towers and a gate in the middle of each side. The town plan, which was clearly based on that of a Roman castrum, was defined by two streets, one running north–south and the other east–west. At the intersection the rectangular main square was laid out with the Nikolauskapelle in the centre. The streets divided the town into four quarters: the Frauenviertel to the north-west, named after the parish church, the Liebfrauenkirche; the eutsch-herrenviertel to the north-east; the Dreifaltigkeitsviertel to the south-east; and the Brüderviertel to the south-west. While Gerhartl (1979) stated that Italian architects were responsible for the plan, Wagner-Rieger (1988) saw the return to Classical models as a typical phenomenon of the proto-Renaissance.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.