Theresian Military Academy Wiener Neustadt


From the castle to the oldest military academy in the world

The castle was built about 50 years after the city was founded in 1192 as a military base for the last Babenberg, Frederick II the Quarrelsome. In the course of the centuries it was constantly expanded and given new purposes. Emperor Frederick III had the castle fundamentally rebuilt, which gave it most of its present appearance. For Emperor Frederick III and his son Maximilian I, Wiener Neustadt was an important imperial residence. Emperor Maximilian I was born and baptized in the castle at Wiener Neustadt and spent his youthful years here. From here the Holy Roman Empire was expanded. It reached such great dimensions that "the sun never set". After the death of Maximilian I, he was buried in St. George's Cathedral. According to his will, his mortal remains are under the high altar.

From imperial residence to officer's forge

In 1751, Empress Maria Theresa turned the castle into what is now the oldest military academy in the world. "Make me capable officers and righteous men out of it" was the order given to her first commander. Originally intended as a training center for 100 noblemen and 100 commoners, the military academy became the cadre school of the Habsburg Empire. Even today, a new cohort of well-trained men and women is mustered out every year. Those who want to know what the abbreviation AEIOU stands for, formulated by Emperor Frederick III, will find a possible explanation during a guided tour in front of the famous coat of arms wall. And with a smile realize that its interpretation fires the imagination to this day.

St. George's Cathedral

Emperor Maximilian I was baptized and buried in the castle's St. George's Cathedral. His mortal remains have rested under the altar since 1519. Only his heart is in Bruges, 1,200 km away, in the sarcophagus of his beloved wife Mary of Burgundy. Both the baptismal font and the tomb can be visited.

The military academy can be visited on a Guided tours be visited.

If you want to learn more about the history of the castle of Wiener Neustadt, please click HERE!

Location and how to get there