Cathedral : Michelin's recommendations
Gurk Cathedral, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture in Austria, was built from 1140 to 1220. It is hard to believe that it remained almost forgotten before being rediscovered in the late 19C. Indeed, it offers an astonishing profusion of works of art. Exterior highlights include elegant decorative stonework, the central chevet with a Romanesque relief of mythical basiliks*, Gothic porch stained-glass windows and wall paintings* of Bible scenes and the fine West Porch** foliage decoration. Various styles cohabit in the interior, such as the triple Romanesque naves topped by Gothic vaults or Gothic frescoes and Renaissance wood panels, which mix with Baroque furnishings whose lines, are outstandingly fresh. Masterpieces include the extraordinary Romanesque Samson* doorway, unusual and multicoloured carved wood panels* from the 1500s, a gigantic wall painting devoted to St Christopher (1250) or the golden high altar**, with 72 strikingly realistic, life-size statues. The Baroque pulpit* is one of the most inspired works of the Counter Reformation. The extremely refined Gurk veil* or Fastentuch (1458) is also surprising, whose 99 (!) paintings depict scenes from the Old and New Testament. The Episcopal Chapel's Romanesque murals** are a grandiose composition. The 100-pillar crypt**, resembling a mystical forest, houses St Emma's red marble tomb.
Opening hours :
- Mar-Oct: 10am-5pm; Nov-Feb: 10am-4pm