One of the first neo-gothic sacred buildings in Austria
After the devastating fire of 1865 William Bücher reconstructed the abbey and parish church St. Blasius on the Romanesque and Gothic foundations of the old church. It is one of Austria’s first neo-Gothic sacred building and was consecrated in 1869.
The church fascinates with artful furnishing and design, its two dominant towers, both over 70 meters high, make it an impressive landmark. Architect Bücher also proved his sense of humor:
the gothic gargoyles on the outside of the building caricature the German emperor Willhelm I and Bismarck.
The church’s neo-Gothic interior invites the visitor to go on a treasure hunt for pieces of art that had been created for the church throughout the centuries. The white marbled neo-Gothic high altar is framed by four embroidered baroque tapestries. They were all artfully fabricated in the monastery’s own school for embroidery. The tapestries show the abbots’ coats of arms, depict saints and portray a colorful variety of flowers and animals.
Above the chancel the visitor will see a larger than life gothic cross, made by Andreas Lackner in 1518. A replica of Admont’s famous Madonna is placed beside the side altar, the original statue (dating back to 1310) can be found in the province museum Joanneum in Graz. The altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary is decorated with a baroque painting of Maria Immaculate, done by Martino Altomonte in 1726. The painting is framed with 15 rosary medallions by Joseph Stammel, the abbey’s sculptor in the Baroque. Around 1755 and 1756 Stammel also carved the variety of figures for Admont’s Christmas manger in the manger altar. The manger, which is traditionally only opened around Christmas (24.12. – 02.02.) and remains closed throughout the rest of the year, is one of the most beautiful and renowned ones in Austria.