Some important dates
||First documentation of Gallneukirchen as “Novenkirchen”
||The fortress ‘Riedegg’, seat of laily power over Gallneukirchen for centuries, is built
||"Riedegg’ and the township of Gallneukirchen is ceded to the diocese of Passau (today in Bavaria, Germany)
||Riedegg is sold to the brothers Caspar and Gundakar of Starhemberg
||The project of gothic style St. Gallus church is completed
||Gallneukirchen becomes a protestant township under Rüdiger of Starhemberg
||Reichard of Starhemberg completes the construction of the castle with its famous ‘Reiterstiege’, a stair without steps for riders.
||A horrible fire in Gallneukirchen destroys 64 houses
||During the War of Succession, Judge Siegmund von Hueber and priest Jakob Brunner save the town from getting burnt by Bavarian troops.
||The new-built horse railway is inaugurated and transports people and goods from Budweis, Bohemia via Kerschbaum, Lest and Gallneukirchen to Linz until 1872.
||The bulb tower of St. Gallus Church is constructed
||The protestant Christ Church is built
||The Missionaries of Marianhill buy Castle Riedegg
||The partnership with Northeim in Lower Saxonia, Germany is signed
||Gallneukirchen receives the status of a ‘city’ by the Provinical Government of Upper Austria.
||Country exhibition " Help . Life - Lebenschencen risks ! " in Bethanien
The History of Gallneukirchen
Where Gallneukirchen is situated nowadays, there was a giant sea. People settled the shores of the Gallneukirchner Becken, the great basin that was formed by the sea, very early, which is proved by excavations. The history of the settlement is linked to the diocese of Passau and the Castle Riedegg, even if the township of Gallneukirchen developed apart from the castle during its thousand years of history.
The name of the township is related to christianisation and reminds of the Irish missionary Gallus, who came to Germany in 610 and founded a monastery in the year 613 in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
The first documentation of Gallneukirchen (as ‘Novenkirchen’) was recorded in 1125 in the course of the cession of ‘Chalizinesdorf’ (today Katsdorf, one of the six communities of the Region Gusental) to the convent of St. Florian. In 1272, the very prosperous parish of Gallneukirchen is documented as possession of the bishop of Passau. Passau had been the very center for Gallneukirchen; priests and judges were sent there from Passau. The seat of laily power for centuries was the fortress (and later castle) Riedegg, which was built in 1145. In 1211 it was ceded to the diocese of Passau until it was sold to the brothers Caspar and Georg of Starhemberg. Reichhard of Starhemberg built the new castle with the famous ‘Reiterstiege’, stairs without steps -adjusted for riders. Later on it was sold to an Englishman, who again sold it to the Missionaries of Marianhill. The religious antipode to Castle Riedegg was the Roman Catholic Church which was built in Gothic style in the 15th century.
Under Rüdiger of Starhemberg, Gallneukirchen was officially protestant und stayed Lutheran until 1625. Gallneukirchen has got a very strong and numerous protestant community, which relates back to the catholic priest Martin Boos, who was priest in Gallneukirchen from 1806 to 1816 and became the founder of a religious movement that affected both laymen and clergy. He tried to combine protestant and catholic theories, but was persecuted as troublemaker and blasphemer. When he left Austria, he also left a great community that followed his teaching. With 1861 the members of this community, who had by then become protestants, were granted religious freedom. They founded a protestant school and an orphanage. Later on, they installed the first ‘Diakonissenheim’, an institution for old and disabled people, which then developed into the ‘Evangelische Diakoniewerk Gallneukirchen’. The protestant Christ Church was built in 1905.
Gallneukirchen’s slogan is ‘Stadt erleben, Land genießen’, meaning that its residents can benefit from all the advantages of a city, but at the same time enjoy life on the countryside.
After the end of World War II, Gallneukirchen took an enormous development, as concerns communal and structural issues. With its 5.15 km², Gallneukirchen is the smallest town of the district Urfahr-Umgebung, but still, its being situated in the very center, the high living quality and the good infrastructure can be regarded as reasons for Gallneukirchen’s popularity and therefore also its position as economic center of the region. Local policy aims at maintaining and proceeding the development, but keeping an eye on the living quality for Gallneukirchen’s residents.
With the resolution of the provincial government of Upper Austria, the status ‘city’ was given to Gallneukirchen on March 5th 2001.