Scheibbs in Lower Austria

Scheibbs is a town in Lower Austria with approximately 4,500 residents. Scheibbs is a county town (Bezirkshauptstadt) and thus, important as an administrative, economic and educational centre for the region. Despite of being a pretty, historic town, Scheibbs is by no means a touristy place. It can be found in the so-called Erlauftal, about 20 kilometres south of the Westautobahn (the main highway between Vienna and Salzburg). Historically, Scheibbs had developed its Renaissance prosperity through the positive economic influence of iron ore mining and iron manufacturing.

Scheibbs was first mentioned in the 12th century a man named "Otto de Schibis" made his appearance in a document dating back to 1160. It is thought that the name Scheibbs is of Slavonic origin. However, the oldest records for settlers in the area of Scheibbs pre-date the arrival of the Slavs.

Illyrian tribes were probably the first after Neolithic settlers who populated the area since 1500 BC. In 400 BC, other Celtic tribes were to follow. The fun started with the Romans, who brought something like civilisation to today′s Scheibbs. They were replaced by Slavonic tribes in the late 6th century, who in turn were replaced by Bavarian settlers, Awarians, Magyars and finally Fraconians and Magyars again until 950.

History of Scheibbs after the Middle Ages

When the Magyars suffered a devastating defeat against the German King Otto I, they had to withdraw and by 976, a new border province was founded which later seeded Austria. This border province already included the area where later Scheibbs developed. Especially after 1200, Scheibbs did very well. A castle was built and a monastery and the medieval market town prospered.

The Karthause Gaming was a small monastic site, which acquired the status of a landlord over much of Scheibbs over the course of the decades / centuries most importantly the market privileges (1338) and the castle (1349). The civil servants and judges of Scheibbs resided in the castle. In 1352, Scheibbs became a city. In 1529, the city was successfully defended against the Turks. This event was followed by a period of prosperity, when Scheibbs played a key-role in providing the iron ore mining regions of Austria with commodities and agricultural goods.

In 1643, a Catholic brotherhood was founded, the "Rosenkranzbruderschaft". It rapidly gained popularity and built up quite a bit of wealth as early as 1667, a chapel with cemetery and meeting house (the latter two were later demolished) could be built. The Rosenkranzbruderschaft was dissolved by Emperor Joseph II in 1782 alongside with the Karthause Gaming.

Continue with "Scheibbs - Part II"


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Further Reading

Official Website of Lower Austria



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