This is a kind of a funny fact. I have been to Steyr 3 times and actually never ever visited this beautiful church. Of course I have seen it many times from a distance, as you can see on the picture I took, but never crossed the bridge over the river Steyr to actually see it for real. My last visit was in 2010 and once I was home and saw this particular picture I realized that I missed another opportunity to visit it. Don't let this happen to yourself!
The two steeples of Michaelerkirche (Saint Michael's Church) rise at the end of Steyr bridge. This magnificent Baroque church was built between 1635 and 1677. The brochure I read once back home in The Netherlands says: "The pediment in between the two steeples shows a fresco depicting Saint Michael and the fall of the evil angels. The most noticeable architectural feature of the Church is the lavishly decorated interior in Rococo style. The altarpiece depicts Archangel Saint Michael triumphing over Lucifer." Definitely worth a visit (the next time) ...
I was just about to leave the Stadplatz when I came across an arcade with some very heavy wooden doors. Hanging from the ceiling of the arcade, was the very interesting clock in my photo.
I was able to walk straight through and into the Pfarrgasse.
THIS IS A MUST SEE
In my opinion, if you don't see anything else in Steyr, make sure you visit the Stadplatz.
I don't think I have ever seen so many beautifully decorated buildings, situated in mainly one area, than here. This area is steeped in history.
Don't expect it to be quiet though! People are out and about, cars were infront of all the buildings, so it was difficult to get a decent photo.
I noticed the little tourist train departed from here, a good idea to see the sights a little further away, and to get all the information on Steyr.
My stay was cut short because of a brewing storm, this was a pity as there was so much more to see and do, a full day and overnight would have been ideal!
Another beautiful building is what was once the Seven Stars Hotel.
You will know which building it is, as located on the top ledges are mask-like heads. Above them at the very top, are 7 stars, the characters of the planets. It is thought they were added as the building was bought by the Kremsmunster monastery in 1747. They have an Observatory at the monastery.
Built in the 16th century, the late-Gothic archway and courtyard have twisted columns. The building has changed hands many times, being owned by the city judge, a wealthy merchant, city architect and in 1776, the "seven star hotel."
The yellow building is the "seven stars hotel."
When I first set on eyes on the magnificent Meditz House, it was wow! this is a most beautiful building!
In a corner of the rear wing, is a wall fountain with Neptune, built to remind us of the sea and long-distance trade, which was operated by the owners of this noble seat in earlier centuries.
In 1727, fire destroyed a lot of buildings in this street, Meditz didn't come off too badly only requiring a new roof and facade. The beautiful rich stucco facade is a feast for the eyes
These religious buildings have quite a history of destruction through fire and floods.
The 1st Monastery and Church was built in 1472, only to be destroyed by fire in 1522. In 1624, the church was built, and in 1625, the monastery.
The Baroque appearance of the Church was added in 1642. I didn't go into this Church, just viewed the outside which has a twin tower and over the entrance a statue of the Virgin Mary, and on the pediment the statue of St. Dominic.
Under Emperor Joseph II in 1785, the Dominican convent was closed.
It was in the 16th century, when the City government decided a building should be erected in the Vicarage garden as a Meat shop, and in the upper floors, for storage of Grain and bulk soil.
Turkish wars, peasant insurgency and counter-reformation delayed carrying out the work until 1612/13 when the building was built. Instead of the original plan, it was built to be used as a meat market and a salt chamber. It turned out the ground was too damp for the storage of salt, instead being used as a Carriage house.
It is located next to the old city entrance gate
Old Trading houses are other buildings to be found in the Stadplatz. Gothic styled houses of the square No's. 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, are trading houses.
They have been described as......
"The medieval house in the German-born land," "fun houses, their high roofs as long as caps are pulled up to the eyes, where the facade peeks out as a cozy face with wrinkles and hawks and long since vanished, so much fuller heart-times reminded, as we elaborate loud presence. "
Take a look at the photo, and see if you think the description is true.
Recent restoration in Renaissance style in 1592, has sgraffito decoration of geometric motifs and the Unicorn, the ancient oriental mythical beast. House no 11, has a similar, but slightly larger Unicorn illustration.
The unicorn is a symbol of purity and strength.
It was wow! when I saw the "House of Stars," another beautiful, ornate building in the Stadplatz.
The house was built in gothic style after a fire in 1727, and still hasn't been altered to this day.
Two, mythical winged monsters hold a gold star that symbolizes the iron trade.
The front panel includes five windows and a centre bay which has a relief of St. John the Baptist.
The windows of the second floor have crowned cherubs above them, each representing one of the senses. Looking to the left of the building, the 1st Cherub represents smell, next taste, then hearing, sight and feel.
In 1944, part of this house was destroyed during an air raid on Steyr by bombs. After World War II, the restoration of the collapsed wing was reconstructed in 1953, resulting in the building gaining its original appearance once again.
It's the blue painted building to the right in my photo.
Lamberg Castle is a big medieval castle sitting on a hill overlooking the rivers Steyr and Enns. The Castle first appeared in historical documents as "Stirapurhc" in 980. In 1727 the whole structure was destroyed by a great fire, so the Castle was completely rebuilt in Baroque style by the Counts of Lamberg.
For more than 3 centuries, it was owned by the Lambert family, hence the name, "Lambert Castle."
The Lambert's coat of arms can be seen over the main portal to the castle. There is a small moat, an inner courtyard with a fountain, and around the Castle and above the river there is a nice promenade.
This lovely Church was built between 1443 and 1522. Early, it was known as "Steyr Minster" because of its size and significance. The 80 metre high tower was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in neo-gothic style between 1885 and 1889.
In 1857, the High Altar was built to commemorate the unsuccessful attempted assassination on Emperor Franz Joseph's life.
I thought the Church leadlight windows were stunning. The "Laxenburg Window" and the window depicting the Death of Mary and her crowning as Queen of Heaven date to the 14th & 15th centuries.
The photo is of the confluence of the Enns & Steyr rivers. It is pretty along the river today, once it was a place for washing, etc and where people met for a yarn. Iron and wood were transported on the rivers into the city and with the help of the water these materials were transformed into high quality products.
Vogelsang Castle is built in the style of a Scottish Castle. It was built in 1877 by Josef Werndl as his home, but he never actually lived in it. After Werndl died, his daugther Caroline - Baroness Imhof, lived in the castle. In 1928, a Tyrolese Franciscan Order purchased it, turned it into a boarding school for boys, and for a short time, it was a secondary school.
Painted a pretty yellow, with nice gardens, it was a pretty as a picture!
Drive up the no through road to the beautiful wrought iron gates. I don't know if you can go in, I just viewed the Castle from the gates.
Who was Josef Werndl, I didn't know, but I sure liked his memorial!
It turns out, he established the Austrian Rifle Factory at Steyr, at the end of the 19th century when the economy was going bad.
He designed the breech-loading rifle and Karl Holub. In 1935 his factory became the Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG Company.
As a thank-you for his outstanding contribution to the town of Steyr, the memorial statue was created and installed in 1894.
The Town Hall, rated among Austria's most important buildings of the Rococo era, is in my opinion, outstanding!
It's very ornate! Take a look at the four female figures on the baroque balustrade, these represent
Justice (sword and scales), criminal law (iron chain and ball fastened to the ankles), church patronage (incense bowl) and Roman law (holding the code of law).
Painted a light grey, it's the most beautiful building in the Stadplatz.