Neustift am Walde

Neustift am Walde, located between Dreimarkstein and Michaelerberg, is a wine-growing town with a long history, and was first mentioned in documents as early as 1330. 

In 1413, Neustift was bequeathed to the Dorotheerstift abbey in Vienna, thus the name. According to the Registry of Deeds dating back to that year there were 24 dwellings in Neustift.

Neustift's growth was thwarted twice by the invasion of the Turks, who destroyed most of the village. However, the town recovered and grew steadily. According to old family chronicles, there were 72 houses and 524 inhabitants in 1880. With growth came prosperity and progress: As of 1874, Neustift had its own mail station, while 1890 saw the installation of a sewer system and in 1893, gas lighting was introduced.

In 1890/92 Neustift was incorporated in the city of Vienna, and together with other towns in the area, henceforth constituted the 18th district (Währing) but was declared part of the 19th district (Döbling) in 1938.

Döbling's crest depicts Neustift in the shape of St Rochus (as a shepherd), who is the patron Saint of the town's church. The church was erected on the foundations of a small chapel that was built in 1713 to express gratitude for the end of the plague. In 1784, Neustift was declared a parish and the chapel was renovated, expanded and refurbished with many paintings and altars from the Dorotheerkirche church in Vienna's 1st district. 

Starting in the 19th century, the area turned into a popular destination for holiday makers and day visitors. Artists came for inspiration and holiday makers visited the region's many small vineyards and wineries. Some of the premises still have the same names as 300 years ago.

The first documented "wine custodian" dates back to 1678. He was in charge of overseeing the vineyards in order to make sure no grapes were stolen or destroyed by the birds. In 1991 and 1995, the custodian's traditional garb was depicted on special stamps issued by the Austrian postal service.

Neustift celebrates an annual "Kirtag" until today.
In the mid-18th century, the extremely low harvest yields forced the vintners to appeal for tax exemption; not only did empress Maria Theresia grant exemption but she also allowed them to keep the vintner's crown (see on the left) but stipulated they organise an annual "Kirtag", which is why every year in August the "wine custodian" can be seen walking through the streets of Neustift and Salmannsdorf, followed by his entourage. Many stalls and festivities offer entertainment for the visitors.