Gurk, Kärnten, Markt
Gurk: crypt of the Cathedral.
Gurk, Carinthia, market town in the district of Sankt Veit an der Glan, alt. 664 m, pop. 1,368, 39,66 km2, pilgrimage site and tourist resort (300,000-400,000 day visits per year) on the upper section of the River Gurk, at the foot of the eastern Gurktal Alps. - External office of the youth welfare department, St. Hemma guesthouse of the Salvatorian Order (male and female branches); "Zwergenpark" (since 1993) with 1,000 garden gnomes; Gurker Kleiderfabrik clothing factory (traditional costumes and sports clothes). - Convent established by Saint Hemma, Countess of Friesach-Zeltschach, before 1043; foundation of the diocese of Gurk in 1072 by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg, which under Joseph II was extended to include almost all of Carinthia; in 1787 the diocese was transferred to Klagenfurt. The former cathedral and today´s parish church, the most important Romanesque church building in Austria, is a three-aisled pier basilica, started around 1140, finished around 1200 (west porch recessed in 7 steps, before 1200). The oldest part is the crypt with one hundred columns, consecrated in 1174, when the grave of St. Hemma was transferred to the crypt), with altar dedicated to St. Hemma, vaults constructed 1450-1591. Twin towers with a height of 60 m, above the apse "lion and basilisk" relief, (around 1175), wall frescoes (around 1340) and stained glass in outer antechurch. The wall frescoes in the western gallery (around 1220, restored and enlarged after 1260) are the major works of the alpine "Zackenstil" (toothed ornaments as a typical feature); stained glass window of the deposition of Christ (after 1260) is the earliest example of "Zackenstil" in Austrian stained glass art. Late Gothic Galler Altar (around 1530) with Renaissance-style ornaments, cruciform altar (1740) by G. R. Donner, pulpit (1740-1741) according to a design by the brothers Giuseppe und Antonio Galli-Bibiena. Monastery complex: fortified wall with round towers, partly preserved, Gethsemane Chapel (former charnel house, first documented 1275, turned into a chapel in 1720/1721), with Baroque wall and ceiling paintings (Romanesque frescoes destroyed in the 15th ), Baroque monastery complex after 1637 by F. P. Carlone, Lenten veil by Konrad von Friesach (1458). In the centre of Pisweg, Romanesque church and Gothic-charnel house.
Literature: Festgabe zum 900-Jahr-Jubiläum des Bistums Gurk, 1072-1972, 2 vols., 1972.