A total 364 prominent individuals invested in Wechselseitige k. k. priv. Brandschaden-Versicherungs-Anstalt – one of the three insurers from which the Vienna Insurance Group was formed – when it was founded in 1824. These included many representatives of church institutions, including the abbeys and monasteries in Klosterneuburg, Zwettl, Altenburg, Melk and Göttweig.
Today, more than 190 years later, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein still has very close ties with the church. A strong partnership has developed over the years. A good example of this is the company’s support for restoration work and arts and cultural programmes at various abbeys and monasteries, which makes an important contribution to the preservation of cultural and religious heritage.
Wiener Städtische Versicherung, VIG’s largest Group company in Austria, also insures these institutions as part of long-standing relationships.
Wiener Städtische Versicherung and Klosterneuburg Abbey have worked together closely for over 190 years. In fact the abbey’s provost was one of the founders of VIG’s forerunner referred to above. Today, the relationship between the two institutions is far more than just a commercial one – it is a genuine partnership. Supporting the abbey’s museum and its numerous cultural activities ensures that the preservation and protection of elements that shape a common identity for future generations lies at the heart of this partnership.
Melk Abbey is Austria’s largest baroque monastery and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The breathtaking library and Marmorsaal attract visitors from all over the world. So preserving the collection of over 1,800 handwritten manuscripts and 800 incunables (early printed books) is hugely important. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein makes a major contribution to the conservation of this valuable Austrian heritage for future generations. It also sponsors concerts, readings and talks.
The close relationship with this Benedictine monastery takes many forms, such as support for the repair of the 18,000m2 roof. The majority of the tiles date from 1720-1740 and were in need of urgent repair. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein also sponsors the extremely popular concerts and atmospheric advent programme at this UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Cistercian monastery in Zwettl in the Waldviertel region of Austria is well known for its Internationale Konzerttage concert series, which is sponsored by Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein under a long-term partnership. This collaboration focuses on a diverse range of regional cultural activities such as the abbey’s floristry exhibition and Bernhardikirtag festival.
This baroque monastery, which enjoyed its heyday under abbot Placidus Much, receives sponsorship from Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein for its diverse cultural activities. These include an annual exhibition, full moon summer garden tours and participation in the Tag des Denkmals heritage day. The company also supported the abbey with the construction of its Garden of Creation.
In mid-2016 Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein extended its commitment to the support of religious institutions, and began providing assistance to the Abbey of St. George in Sankt Georgen am Längsee. The abbey is involved in various religious, commercial, social and cultural activities, providing services ranging from an education centre and a hotel to a seminar venue. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein mainly concentrates on supporting the activities of the education centre, which prioritises a holistic approach to education that addresses intellectual, emotional, Christian and spiritual, and social aspects.
In 2018 Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein began supporting Benediktinerstift St. Paul, a Benedictine monastery in Carinthia’s Lavanttal region, through an annual donation. Labelled “Carinthia’s treasure chamber”, the monastery houses one of Austria’s largest private art collections, including medieval goldwork and textiles, precious Renaissance and Baroque pieces, and one of the world’s most important manuscript collections. The imposing art gallery features works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Holbein and Austria’s last great Baroque artist, Kremser Schmidt.
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein also supports religious activities and projects throughout Austria, which are detailed below.
This event is jointly organised by all 14 of the Christian denominations represented in the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria, as well as those with observer status. It has taken place annually since 2005, and Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein is one of the sponsors.
The Dreikönigsaktion donation campaign of the Austrian Catholic Youth Association has a long tradition, with the money raised going to help people in need in developing countries. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein’s support for the campaign has now also become a tradition.
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein is also a long-standing partner of Dom Museum Wien cathedral and diocesan museum, and has sponsored of a wide range of exhibitions and temporary exhibitions over the years. As the museum’s storage and security facilities were no longer state of the art, and its air conditioning and ventilation systems did not comply with statutory requirements, a renovation programme was necessary. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein also provided funding for this refurbishment. Dom Museum Wien was reopen at the beginning of October 2017.